• Developers renew push for affordable housing bill


    A NATIONAL organization of developers has renewed its call for a bill creating a home financing program for income-earning Filipinos even if they are not members of any of the state- run pension or provident funds.

    In a statement, the Chamber of Real Estate and Builder’s Associations Inc. (CREBA) said it is supporting passage of a bill that would entitle all income-earning Filipinos to low-interest, long-term housing loans even if they are not members of the Social Security System (SSS), Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) or the Pag-lBIG Fund.

    CREBA national president Charlie Gorayeb said the housing loans would be covered by an initial P270-billion fund sourced from the SSS, GSIS, Pag-IBIG Fund and the banking system’s unused lending portfolios for agriculture-agrarian purposes, plus an additional funding allocation from the General Appropriations Act (GAA), all placed under a Centralized Home Financing Program (CHFP).

    “The initial P270 billion for the CREBA-proposed CHFP will come from yearly bond issuances by the SSS and GSIS at P25 billion each, a minimum of P70 billion up to a maximum of seventy percent of the Pag-IBIG Fund’s total investible funds for housing, P100 billion from the unused or residual agri-agra funds of banks, plus another P50 billion from the government’s annual budget,” Gorayeb said.

    The proposed bill amends Republic Act 7835 or the Comprehensive and Integrated Shelter Finance Act (CISFA) of 1994.

    The CREBA-proposed CHFP will be exclusively designed for financing home loans, especially for socialized and economic housing segments.

    The housing program will be strictly used for shelter acquisition for the homeless, as it will feature no component for development loans.

    “Payable in 25 or more years, the loans for residential units in subdivisions or medium-rise condominium buildings shall be P1,250,000 and below at 4.5 percent fixed interest rate for socialized housing, and more than P1,250,000 up to P3,199,200 at 6.5 percent for economic housing,” CREBA said.

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

    CREBA national chairman Noel Toti Carino said the sources of the fund have already been identified by law, including the respective charters of the GOCC’s concerned, and need only to be integrated under the CHFP for effective administration to housing beneficiaries.

    Under the bill, operations of the CHFP will be sustained by funds pooled from mortgages, receivables and other securitized assets that the SSS, GSIS, Pag-IBIG Fund, the banking system and the national government shall continue to invest in, with the mandatory guaranty cover from the Home Guaranty Corporation as to the principal and the three percent (3 percent) interest for all the issues.

    “Thus, a secondary mortgage institution shall be organized by the government to lead in this housing capital development effort which will set in motion the country’s securitization program for housing,” Gorayeb said.

    The proposed bill by CREBA is part of its five-point agenda for housing to address the country’s 5.5 million housing backlog.

    Other reforms in the five-point agenda include the amendment of the Urban Development and Housing Act (UDHA) of 1992; the creation of a National Land Use Policy; The creation of a local housing board for each city and municipality; the amendment of the purpose-related provisions of the Local Government Act of 1991; and the creation of a Department of Housing and Urban Development.


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