OVER chat, I had the pleasure of exchanging notes with former Pag-Ibig president lawyer Darlene Berberabe who, through her groundbreaking reforms, had changed the way the housing sector has engaged with the public.
Despite the advances, the country still continues to grapple with a backlog that increases every year.
While no longer in the housing sector but in an equally service oriented sector as public health, Berberabe outlined for me some key issues that need to be addressed should we want to make a dent in the housing backlog.
“Have a national land-use plan that will lay out the master plan for the whole country. Each LGU [local government unit] must have a local plan that is monitored by the body that will be charged by the national land use. This should help plan where the commercial districts will be, so there is a plan where housing projects will be. Metro Manila must be decongested by supporting business establishment in the appointed regions. When there is commerce, towns in the vicinity must provide housing support for the work force,” Berberabe said.
She said that the transport system that can connect our provinces and islands also will help our people live in places that are not closely contiguous to place of work, but will give option to sustainably live outside of Metro Manila.
Despite the proliferation of developers, access to housing seems to elude the common Filipino.
After the recently concluded “Affordable Housing Fair” by Lamudi, the top developer association champion of the Philippines, SHDA, has taken this how seriously by creating a seamless experience in home buying every July.
“We envision our housing expo to be as anticipated an affair as the well-attended travel fairs,” enthused Subdivision and Housing Developers Association (SHDA) President Christopher Narciso about the 4th SHDA Housing Expo that will be held at Ayala, Center Makati.
“This is a great boon for prospective homeowners who are currently searching for the best deals in their ideal home or condominium locations. Aside from bringing together SHDA’s top member-developers for the expo, we also encouraged them to offer ‘limited edition’ promotions and deals for those who make the effort to join us four-day event,” Narciso added.
According to Narciso, “The Philippines currently has a housing backlog of 6.7 million units, which continues to grow. Given that investing in your own home is a Filipino family’s No. 1 priority, SHDA is doing its part to provide more affordable housing options to the buying public. This expo is in line with pursuing the objectives of our Housing Roadmap and also addressing the outputs of the recently held Housing Summit.”
Among the aggressive deals homeowners can take advantage of during the Expo include P100,000 and P200,000 discounts on down payment for selected projects of Solar Resources Inc., 50-percent discount on the down payment from CHMI Land Inc., a special 10 percent on spot cash buyers and a three-year deferred payment scheme with no interest from Robinsons Homes, cash back promos from Citihomes, special discounts and gift certificates from Ridgewood Tower Premier, discounts of up to 30 percent for basic solar packages from Enfinity Imperial Solar Systems, and a free 32” LED Tv and fully automatic washing machine from ACM Landholdings.
The invited guests for the opening of the Expo were Asec. Lira Buan, deputy secretary-general of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, Acmad Rizaldy Moti, CEO of the Home Development Mutual Fund; Lawyer Christopher Lloyd Lao, CEO of the Housing and Land Use Regulator Board; Livia Alicia Ramos, executive vice president of the National Housing Finance Corp.; Eduardo Manicio, executive vice president of the Socialized Housing Finance Corp.; Frank Gonzaga, department manager III of the Home Guaranty Corp.; Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya of the Board of Investments; and lawyer Claro Cereza, administrator of Makati City.
The SHDA housing expo featured residential projects form a cross-section of the country’s most trusted residential developers, which include ACM Landholding Inc., Amaia, Axeia Development Corp., Ayala Land Corp., Bellefont Properties Inc., Breezewoods Development Corp., Camella Homes, Cathay Land Inc., CHMI Land Inc., Citihomes Builder and Development Corp., DDC Land, DMCI Homes, Enfinity Imperial Solar Solutions Inc., Eton Philippines, Filinvest, Hausland Development Corp., Home Development Mutual Fund, Home Guaranty Corp., Homemark Inc./Ladgroup, Northpine Land Inc., National Home Mortgage Finance Corp., PA Alvarez Properties and Development Corp., Pacific PabahayHomes, PDB Properties Inc., Phirst Park Homes Tanza, Profriends, Prominences Properties Inc., Ridgewood Tower Premiers, Robinsons Homes, Solar Resources Inc., Suntrust Properties, SM Development Corp., Socialized Housing Finance Corp., along with their partners in development, like Boysen, Davies Paints, Lamudi, Powersteel Specialist, Steeltech and World Home Depot.
We also had the pleasure of chatting with lawyer Lloyd Christopher Lao of the HLURB, who committed not just to regulate the industry, but to empower it, as well.
“In the end, the ultimate winner is the Filipino home buyer.”