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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

Putting an end to long-standing housing woes

CREBA is throwing its full support to House Bill No. 4886 filed by House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo which seeks to create a Comprehensive Homme Financing Program (CHFP) that will entitle all income-earning Filipinos to fixed, low-interest, long-term housing loans whether or not they are members of the Social Security System (SSS), Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), or the Pag-lBIG Fund.

Such a move is urgent and necessary if the national government is truly serious in addressing the country’s 6.57 million housing backlog which has grown in unprecedented leaps and bounds amidst inadequate housing programs over the years.

Under the Arroyo bill, the annual CHFP funding of P270 Billion will be sourced through bond investments by the SSS at P25 billion;; GSIS at P25 billion; a minimum of P700 billion or all of Pag-IBIG Fund’s investable funds for housing; P100 billion from the unused or residual agri-agra funds of banks; and a P50 billion government budgetary allocation to serve the informal settlers’ segment — all with mandatory guaranty cover from the Home Guaranty Corporation.

The CHFP is designed exclusively for home loan borrowers with no component for development financing. This, according to the author, is to ensure the use of funds strictly for shelter acquisition by the homeless. If passed into law, the bill aends Republic Act 7835 or the Comprehensive and Integrated Shelter Finance Act (CISFA) of 1994.

These fund sources, anyway, have been identified by various existing laws and agency charters and need only to be integrated for effective administration to socialized and economic housing beneficiaries. .

Payable up to 30 years, loans for residential units in subdivisions or medium-rise condominium buildings will be P1.5 Million and below at 3 percent fixed interest rate for socialized housing, and above P1.5 Million up to P3,199,200 at 4 percent for economic housing which shall remain VAT-free.

The bill appoints Pag-IBIG Fund to administer the loans with the National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation (NHMFC) acting as secondary mortgage institution.

All income-earning citizens who qualify as beneficiaries under the Urban Development and d Housing Act and have not acquired housing assistance from any government institution will be eligible for home loans through the CHFP.

CREBA’s support to the proposed bill stems from its 5-point agenda for housing that will accelerate annual housing production to the level of 500,000 units in order to build a total of 10 million homes in a span of 20 years.

A manifesto urging Congress to pass the bill at once was signed by CREBA members and chapters from all over the Philippines at the concluding rites of its 27th annual convention held in La Union from Oct. 17-220.

HB 4886 is a complete package on its own, and we hope that Congress will steer its immediate passage into law to bring about the urgently needed panacea to our long-standing housing woes.

Published in the Manila Bulletin Decmber 2018

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