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Industry confab ratifies housing priorities

In the largest gathering of industry players and practitioners seen in the last decade, the real estate and housing sector under the umbrella of the Chamber of Real Estate & Builders’ Associations (CREBA) unanimously endorsed the Chamber’s updated 5-Point Agenda and advocacy priorities.

The priorities

Convention Resolution No. 02 – ratified during the CREBA’s Golden Jubilee National Convention held at the SMX Convention Center and Conrad Manila September 26 to 28 – commits the Chamber to the following:

  1. Intensifying efforts for the immediate enactment by Congress of a National Land Use Act (NLUA) that is free of sectoral biases, is truly attuned to the needs of the entire economy, and incorporates the CREBA recommendations;
  2. Intensifying efforts for the enactment by Congress of a law instituting a Homebuyer Financing Program – designed to fully leverage the secondary market system for housing assets in providing affordable homebuyer financing assistance to the lower income sectors;
  3. Working for the enactment of a law instituting a Comprehensive Public Housing Program – focused on mass production and delivery of housing to informal settler families (ISF) and the underserved who cannot afford to participate in market-oriented home financing programs, and thus minimize the government’s reliance on private sector production under the balanced housing requirement of the UDHA;
  4. Intensifying collaboration with Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD), Anti Red Tape Authority (ARTA), LGUs and other agencies concerned to fast track the revision and streamlining of processes, procedures and requirements in the issuance of various permits, licenses and clearances for land and housing development;
  5. Collaborating with agencies concerned and legislators towards amending the Electronic Commerce Act, land registration laws, Rules of Court and other related rules, to enable full use of available technology in order to reduce if not eliminate extensive delays in domestic and cross-border land transactions;
  6. Working for the enactment of a law on comprehensive amendments to the UDHA that would, among others, resolve land availability and production issues, effect a more workable delineation of government and private sector roles, institute innovative urban development paradigms such as Transit Oriented Development (TOD), and provide categorical standards in satisfying the right to adequate housing; and
  7. Collaborating with agencies concerned in revising land development and building requirements, towards coming up with a regulatory environment that would result in sustainable and livable building communities.

Other issues not neglected

CREBA President Noel “Toti” M. Cariño, stressed that the prioritization does not prevent the Chamber from addressing other issues or concerns.

“We need to prioritize our efforts so that we can act more expeditiously on those issues that have a much higher degree of critical impact on the industry and the homeless”, Cariño said.

Cariño added that CREBA’s Updated 5-Point Agenda for Housing, which essentially lays out the Chamber’s entire work space, is broad enough to cover practically any problem that may arise in any aspect of the real estate and housing business.

Updated agenda for housing

Under its Updated 5-Point Agenda for Housing, CREBA’s ongoing and future advocacies are synthesized into the following major areas:

  1. Balanced Land Allocation and Rational Land Use Planning – to ensure adequacy and proper use of land for human settlements, agriculture and ecological protection;
  2. Financing Availability, Affordability and Accessibility, and Equitable Taxation – to include, among others, long term financing for socialized and economic housing particularly for employees and informal settler families (ISFs) in urban and urbanizable areas, and reduction of the financial burdens of housing development and acquisition;
  3. Regulatory Reforms – to streamline regulatory standards and processes, including, among others, LGU housing regulations, requirements for issuance of permits, clearances and licenses by various agencies, and the registration of land transactions;
  4. Mainstream Use of Information Technology and  Technological Innovations in all aspects of real estate and housing delivery; and
  5. Sustainability and Livability of Human Settlements.

Cariño said that as CREBA celebrates its 50-year legacy achievements and steps into a new era, there is a felt need to reorient and broaden its focus, so that it may reinforce its ability to address evolving situations affecting the real estate and housing industry and the millions of homeless Filipinos.

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