There is wide industry consensus that housing, along with tourism, constitutes a powerful engine of growth for the national economy. Its economic multiplier effect triggers increased business and revenue opportunities for about 68 other related industries.
True to its avowed theme, “Tourists Today, Real Estate Investors Tomorrow”, the 20th CREBA National Convention held from October 6-7, 2011 in Manila is one of many ways CREBA hopes to fulfil its role in helping market the distinct advantages of world-class Philippine tourism sites and facilities and vigorously find new markets and investors. This commitment is shared by all our members and the delegates who have come far and wide from all over the Philippines, thus a set of resolutions were unanimously adopted for the action of various agencies and branches of government.
On promoting world-class tourism, the property industry urges government to actively promote the adoption of world-class standards in all amenities and facilities for local and international tourism and constantly encourage the appropriate institutions to give priority to the required infrastructure, financing facilities, peace and order control, human resource development, and proper environmental management that will attract major investments in the tourism and hospitality assets of our local communities. Special attention shall be given to the proper planning and development of retirement communities aimed at the global retirees market.
On investments promotion, we urge our lawmakers to include in the list of priorities for Constitutional amendment the provision for foreigners the right to 100% ownership of land in the Philippines but not without the appropriate safety nets and limits as provided for by existing laws. Lands purchased as agricultural must remain agricultural and must not be converted to any other purpose, with the produce retained for local consumption. To channel investments where they are needed most, ownership must be limited to under-developed areas to spur growth of new communities and centres of business.
This will encourage foreign investors to put bigger and more substantial investments in the Philippines, promote additional opportunities for business and employment, attract the much-needed capital and stimulate intensified construction and real estate development and, in the process, raise government revenues from taxes to support the efficient delivery of basic services.
On ensuring sustainable mass housing, we shall continue to mount a strong lobby with both chambers of the Philippines legislature to finally pass a bill creating the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
In order to realize the effective increase in annual national housing production target of at least 300,000 new houses annually, government must rationalise the incentives program for housing to ensure that all incentives offered by specific agencies is made as easy and practicable as possible, and that its implementation is synchronized among these agencies to avoid delays due to duplication of requirements and red tape.
CREBA envisions to include as an alternative mode of compliance to the balanced housing provision of R. A. 7279 the development of socialized residential condominiums with a minimum floor area of twenty (20) square meters per unit, under the following packages, provided that the project is located in urbanized areas: (1) Socialized five-storey walk-up condominiums with a maximum ceiling price of Php750,OOO.00 per unit; and (2) Low-cost six to twelve-storey condominiums with elevator with a maximum selling price of Php1.2M per unit.
Building vertical residential communities is as timely as it is extremely necessary to start creating opportunities out of the growing scarcity and increasing cost of land in the cities -the centre of business activities, employment, livelihood, education and other inevitable services where demand for decent and affordable housing is at its peak.
On ensuring sustainable long-term funding, we support Pag-IBIG Fund’s policy reversion to the use of real estate mortgage provided that Pag-IBIG shall be responsible for the conversion and the transfer of the title. We likewise strongly support the official adoption of well-studied strategies and schemes that will ensure adequate long-term developer and homebuyer financing in all housing categories.
As the umbrella organization of individuals, business corporations, and professional associations in housing and real estate development, CREBA takes cognizance of the sorry state of the environment. Thus, we urge all our colleagues in the property industry to do our share by strictly adhering to the laws and policies that govern land use and care for the environment in our country, particularly in the communities where their projects are located.
To support a holistic approach to sustainable development, we urge the Department of Education to include in its curriculum a training program for schoolchildren that will teach them the basics of caring for and protecting the environment and strongly recommend for government to implement a total ban on logging by the year 2014 or after an adjustment period of 2 years.
By working together as one industry and one nation through CREBA, the industry can make the best out of the many good things that are going for the Philippine real estate and property industry.
Our hats are off to the entire 2011 Convention Committee headed by Purita R. Soliven and Avelina P. Acuna, and to all our speakers, delegates, sponsors and guests. Maraming salamat po! Mabuhay ang CREBA!