Affordable condos needed in NCR

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Developers should focus on developing affordable medium- and high-rise condominiums in the city to address a growing housing backlog, a head of a housing organization told The Manila Times on Tuesday.

The country’s housing backlog is concentrated in urban areas like Metro Manila where most jobs and opportunities are located, said Marcelino Mendoza, national president of the Organization of Socialized Housing Developers of the Philippines Inc.

Mendoza described the housing backlog as a “phenomenon of the urban sector.”

“The move towards the city is something that cannot be stopped because the jobs are in the cities. Unless lagyan mo ng jobs sa probinsya (unless you create jobs in the provinces), the magnet of the cities will always be there,” he said.

Mendoza urged both the government and the private sector to develop residential projects inside the city instead of the provinces and focus on socialized, medium and high-rise condominiums to address the shortage of developable land.

The government should also offer incentives for socialized condominium construction to encourage the private sector to develop these despite the high cost of land in urban areas, Mendoza said.

“The government must continue to support housing, whether [these developments are by]the government sector or the private sector,” Mendoza said.

A reduced budget for the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council and the proposed lifting of the value-added tax exemption for low-cost housing might pose a challenge, he said, noting that the country’s housing backlog currently stands at 6.57 million.

“We have a very good momentum [of]growth in the industry. Sayang [it would be a waste]if certain directions now would put a brake on a very healthy housing industry,” Mendoza said.

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