Chamber of Real Estate & Builders' Associations, Inc.

A Home for Every Filipino



CREBA stands for the Chamber of Real Estate and Builders’ Associations, a private non-stock non-profit corporation established under Philippine law.

 As the name suggests, it started out as the union of Philippine business and trade associations in the real estate, housing and construction industry.

CREBA was established in October 1973 by CREBA Founder MANUEL M. SERRANO, together with the industry Dons at that time: Antonio Avecilla, Luis Bernasconi, Victor Buencamino Jr, Cesar Caliwara, Demetrio Capuyoc, Rosendo Donida, Mariano Goce, Octavio Kalalo, Mariano Lucero, Ariston Nakpil, Romulo Reyes, Victorio Soliven, Artemio Valencia and Rodolfo Valencia.

Today ~ with 32 Chapters throughout the Philippines and 7 overseas ~ CREBA is the recognized umbrella organization of some 4,000 firms, individuals and associations directly or indirectly involved in land and housing, construction, allied industries and various professional fields of discipline.

CREBA’s membership includes developers of land, housing subdivisions, condominiums, industrial estates, resorts, hotels and retirement facilities; home builders; brokers; building contractors; professionals in the fields of urban and environmental planning, architecture, engineering, and real estate management; property appraisers; financial advisors; and suppliers of land development and construction inputs.

The CREBA Center is housed at the third floor of CREBA’s own building at Don Alejandro Roces Avenue corner South A Street, Barangay Paligsahan, Quezon City, Philippines.

The CREBA Building
CREBA Founder

The CREBA Hymn

Jose Manuel “Bub” S. Serrano

Business with a social conscience. Throughout its more than 3 decades of existence, CREBA’s actions have been guided by the overriding philosophy that the greater interest of the greatest number is always the paramount concern, and that sustaining public faith in real estate transactions is essential to the industry’s continuing progress.

Anywhere in the world, land and housing development is recognized as the primary catalyst for economic and social progress. CREBA’s vision is to enable its members to effectively fulfill their respective roles in this regard.

It is toward this end that CREBA has etched in its By-Laws the following goals:

  • To instill, encourage and promote awareness among its members that ownership, development, construction, conservation, management and disposition of land and real property are imbued with public interest, and that in all relations with the public the members should at all times temper self-interest with concern for the general welfare.

  • To integrate, correlate, harmonize and mage the activities of the Chamber in a manner that would best promote national growth and economic stability.

  • To initiate and undertake studies on ways by which the homeless may be provided with homes of strength, durability, form, function and utility at reasonable cost.

  • To initiate, encourage, and maintain effective cooperation with Government and other economic and social sectors towards formulation of programs and policies that would foster national development and provide a conducive environment for members to effectively participate in nation building.

CREBA’s presence is nowhere more felt than whenever the fate of the industry or the interest of the homeless is at stake.

  • In the first year of the Martial Law regime, then President Marcos issued PD 25 which imposed a  tax of 100% of the assessed value of all real property. Because of CREBA’s vocal opposition, an amendatory decree (PD 76) was issued, reducing the tax base to only 30%, 40% and 50% respectively, for residential, agricultural and industrial/commercial property.

  • The Martial Law regime also imposed 30% open space requirement (exclusive of roads) for subdivisions, which would have considerably raised housing production costs and the price of housing packages. Again because of CREBA, this 30% open space requirement now includes roads.

  • Later on, the Martial Law regime proposed to include a “land grants” clause in the Constitution, which could have allowed the government to dole out State-owned lands to its favored few. Vocal opposition by CREBA was instrumental in the rejection by the National Assembly of this proposed amendment.

  • During the Estrada administration, CREBA vigorously opposed a lending system that was biased against socialized and low-income housing loan borrowers. Eventually, this lending system was scrapped under the Arroyo administration.

  • In between, onerous land conversion taxes and overly restrictive land use laws ~ which would have effectively blocked the non-agricultural use of practically all of the country’s lands ~ have been proposed in Congress. With unrelenting effort, CREBA has succeeded in convincing Congress to shelve these proposed measures. (Read CREBA’s Position on the Proposed National Land Use Act  of 2002.)

  • In 1994, CREBA challenged before the Supreme Court the constitutionality of the Expanded VAT Law which threatened to push the prices of housing packages further beyond the reach of the homeless. While the suit failed, CREBA nonetheless succeeded in convincing Congress to grant VAT-exemption to housing packages worth P1 Million and below. To date, CREBA continues the fight as housing prices continue to escalate and the government continues to try and increase the VAT on housing.

CREBA’s initiatives and advocacies have been consistently focused not just on the interest of its members, but also on enabling the millions of homeless families to acquire decent, affordable homes.

CREBA stands proud, knowing that its faithful adherence to its philosophy and vision has earned for it the continuing respect of Government ~ to the extent that CREBA’s position is sought on any law, policy or rule that may affect the industry that it represents or those that it serves.

Public records attest to CREBA’s indispensable participation in the establishment of the administrative and regulatory infrastructure that now governs land and housing development.

Working hand in hand with Government, CREBA counts among its major achievements the following:

  • Enactment of 3 landmark social housing laws:
    • The Social Housing Act of 1982 (BP 220). Prior to this law, only high-cost high-priced housing packages could be produced, due to the stringent land development and housing construction standards under various laws. Because of CREBA’s advocacy, BP 220 was enacted to liberalize these standards, thus enabling the production of socialized and low-income housing.

    • The Urban Development and Housing Act (RA 7279 of 1990). The author of this law, then Senator Jose D. Lina Jr, worked closely with CREBA and the Bishops-Businessmen’s Conference (BBC) in its conceptualization. This law imposes a 20% Social Housing Quota, under which it is mandatory for  developers producing high- and middle-income housing to also produce socialized housing. While the Quota is admittedly burdensome for CREBA’s member-developers, CREBA nonetheless supported it in order for Government to effectively pursue its social housing goals, and succeeded in mitigating the associated burdens through the inclusion in the law of more incentives to developers.

    • The Comprehensive & Integrated Shelter Finance Act (RA 7835 of 1994) which incorporates CREBA’s proposed funding assistance measures for socialized and low-income housing.
  • Construction of water mains throughout Metro Manila in 1975, as a result of CREBA’s representations with the MWSS to address the water needs of a burgeoning urban population.

  • Creation of the National Housing Authority (NHA) under PD 757 of 1975. Prior to this, regulation of land and housing development activities was exercised by local government units (LGUs). Rules and standards varied from one locality to another, lacking central coordination and planning, thus creating a developmental nightmare. CREBA advocated centralization, and the Martial Law regime responded with issuance of the decree.

  • Promulgation of the Subdivision and Condominium Buyers’ Protective Decree (PD 957 of 1976) and subsequent amendments. While this law was intended primarily to protect buyers, the close collaboration between Government and CREBA in its enactment and implementation served to temper its onerous provisions and balance the interests of both the buyers and the industry.

  • Creation of the National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation (NHMFC) in 1977, in response to CREBA’s advocacy for a home mortgage system similar to that of the US encourage the flow of private capital into housing.

  • Creation of the Pag-IBIG Fund under PD 1752 of 1980. This was a direct result of the CREBA-conceptualized savings/fund pooling scheme of employee-employer contributions, to generate a special provident and housing fund for employees. Since then, Pag-IBIG has been the major source of funds for homebuyer financing assistance to both government and private sector employees. With the NHMFC and Pag-IBIG in place, Government was able to institute the rudiments of a Secondary Mortgage Market System (SMMS) for housing, whose initial operations served to catalyze and increase the housing production rate to an unprecedented level.

  • Creation of the Human Settlements Regulatory Commission now known as the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB), under EO 648 of 1981, to spin off the central regulatory powers of the NHA and thus enable the latter to effectively focus on government housing production. The HLURB’s development standards and guidelines, promulgated in continuing close collaboration with CREBA, have since then governed the approval and licensing process for land and housing development nationwide.

  • Institution of the Social Housing Program by the Aquino administration, as a result of the collaborative work of CREBA and the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC). The Program has benefited hundreds of thousands of homeless poor families.

  • Imposition of the Idle Lands Tax ~ which CREBA advocated despite strong opposition by some of its landowner-members ~ to curb land speculation and arrest the price spiral of land, which is one of the major cost components not only in housing production but in all businesses as well.

  • Creation of the Social Housing One-Stop Processing Center (SHOPC) under EO 184 of 1994, a CREBA brainchild designed to reduce the bureaucratic red tape and concomitant costs and thus speed up the development of social housing projects.
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