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From the Chairman

Charlie A.V. Gorayeb

Charlie A.V. Gorayeb

Chairman of the Board, CREBA Chairman, CREBA Advocacy & Legislative Affairs Committee Honorary Consul General, Republic of Djibouti

Pending Bills on Real Estate and Housing

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Several legislative measures that bear direct impact on housing and real estate are now pending in both Houses of the 15th Congress, mostly amendatory and reformative of various existing laws. The Senate Committee on Urban Planning, Housing and Resettlement headed by Sen. Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. recently invited CREBA to a public hearing where seven proposed bills were presented to be deliberated upon.

Sen. Antonio F. Trillanes IV filed Senate Bill No.  399 entitled the “Small Condominium Unit Buyers Protection Act” which seeks to protect small condominium unit buyers from what he refers to as “onerous and/or unreasonable” contractual provisions and from “flawed and misleading” project information. This, however, is being addressed by the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) headed by Commissioner Antonio M. Bernardo by updating the rules on advertisements under P.D. 957.

Sen. Trillanes also filed SBN 261 entitled “An Act amending the Subdivision and Condominium Buyers’ Protective Decree” with the aim of updating and refining several provisions of P.D. 957 to further enhance buyers’ protection particularly in the context of today’s pre-selling schemes. Amendatory provisions to P.D. 957 are likewise being proposed by House Bill No. 4316 submitted by Reps. Susan Yap, Magtanggol T. Gunigundo and Rosenda Ann Ocampo.

SBN 1025 authored by Sen. Manuel M. Lapid, on the other hand, seeks to modify the definition of a condominium unit to cover industrial estates, amending for the purpose certain provisions of R.A. 4726 or the “Condominium Act”. On this, we propose, likewise, for the inclusion of tourism estates.

Sen. Jinggoy Estrada introduced SBN 666 as an amendment to R.A. 7279, better known as the Urban Development and Housing Act or UDHA which has been in existence since 1992. In his explanatory note, Sen. Estrada asserts that while UDHA gives qualified beneficiaries occupying government-owned and foreclosed lands the right of first refusal, “nothing precludes the government from bidding out the land” in favour of other qualified beneficiaries. The proposed bill seeks to provide the actual occupants the primary right in acquiring the land which they occupy.

In order to address many of the problems being encountered by homebuyers on instalment payments which are perceived to be not fully covered by R.A. 6552 or the so-called Maceda Law, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago filed SBN 2428. The bill, is entitled, “An Act to Provide Additional Protection to Buyers of Real Estate on Instalment Payments by Requiring Subdivision or Real Estate Owners to have an Individual Title on every lot available first before offering the same for Sale, Prohibiting any Mortgage, Lien or Encumbrance on the same, making the Annotation on the Title of the Contract to Sell or Sale Mandatory, making it Compulsory for the execution of a Deed of Absolute Sale and the delivery of the Title to the Buyer upon Completion of Instalment Payments, and providing other protective measures, including the imposition of Penalty for Violation Thereof.” We shall try to explain thoroughly the possible consequences of a bill of such nature when the Committee calendars the same for discussion and we are confident that the good Sen. Santiago will consider the position of the private sector. 

Presented to the stakeholders for discussion was HBN 5446 entitled, “An Act Strengthening the Balanced Housing Development Program, amending for the purpose R.A. 7279 or the UDHA” principally authored by Bagong Henerasyon Party-list representative Cong. Bernadette Herrera-Dy.

The bill seeks, among other things, to amend the balanced housing provision under Section 18 of UDHA to require condominium developers to also “develop an area for socialized housing equivalent to at least 20% of the total condominium area or project cost, at the option of the developer, within the same city or municipality, whenever feasible”.

* * * * *

The CREBA leadership thanks some personalities for the success of its recently-concluded pre-convention symposium on two major emergent issues.

Engr. Miriam Lusica-Tamayo, national president of the Association of Structural Engineers of the Philippines (ASEP) and Engr. Danilo C. Terante, national director of the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers (PICE) presented concepts on “Buildings for Tomorrow” and “Responding to Climate Change”, respectively, as part of the session on “Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Mitigation for Real Estate Development Projects.”

Former Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) deputy secretary-general Nestor P. Borromeo addressed the session on the “Redefinition of Socialized Condominiums and Low-Cost Housing Price Ceilings.”

The event was a prelude to the 21st Annual CREBA National Convention to be held from October 17-20, 2012. Slated at the Legend Hotel in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, the convention is the biggest national gathering of all stakeholders in the real estate industry.

The CREBA National Convention has always been known for its unprecedented initiatives in support of national development goals.  Prominent business leaders and captains of industry look forward to joining the said affair with keen interest.  The event also beams with excellent business opportunities in the framework of private sector and government cooperation.

The focal point of this year’s convention is “Global Filipino: Key to Conserving Growth through Sustainable and Strategic Real Estate Development and Practices.” All roads lead to this premier event where some 30 chapters from all over the country will converge to plan, work and collaborate on issues that directly and indirectly impact the real estate and housing business.

Published in the Manila Bulletin Semptember 2012

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