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Monday, October 3, 2016

SHDA Convention Underscores Challenge to Philippine Housing Industry


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If there is one thing that was unequivocally and indisputably established during the 25th National Developers’ Convention of the Subdivision and Housing Developers’ Association, it is this: the housing industry has a mammoth task before it. After all, a 5.7 million-unit housing backlog for the year 2016 is not to be taken lightly. Yet, the participants of the conference left Iloilo with smiles on their faces because there are many reasons to be optimistic at the conclusion of the gathering held from September 22-23, 2016. With the theme “The Many Faces of Housing: Enhancing Lives”, there was no doubt left on any of the 300 participants’ minds that there are still many different ways to engage the general public in terms of kinds of housing (and price points) as well as location. And that they have a unique and important role in nation-building.

The keynote speaker on Sept. 23, Department of Public Works and Highways secretary Mark Villar noted that government expenditure on infrastructure through the DPWH has been consistently increasing by leaps and bounds: P190.9 billion in 2014, P273.9 billion in 2015, and P363.5 billion in 2016. The total budget for the year 2017 is P342.3 billion. The projects are in various stages of completion and the biggest fund allocation is in Mindanao with P133.1 billion.

Sen. JV Ejercito, chairman of the Senate Committee on Urban and Housing Resettlement, said that “we are in exciting times. The 17th congress is one of the most productive times in terms of setting a legislative agenda.” Two bills to address the housing backlog have been filed: Senate Bill No. 328, an Act creating the Department of Human Settlement and Urban Development, and Senate Bill 331: On-Site, In-City or Near-City Resettlement Act for Informal Settler Families.

Engr. Rodel Racadio, SHDA national president, reiterated that through the SHDA-commissioned Philippine Housing Roadmap, the partnership between government and the private sector “has created a comprehensive and actionable development plan to meet the needs of Filipinos in all sectors of society.” He further reiterated that any development in the housing industry has a multi-sectoral impact and multiplier effect.

More than 300 participants gathered for the Subdivision and Housing Developers' Association, Inc. (SHDA)'s 25th National Developers' Convention with the theme "The Many Faces of Housing: Enhancing Lives" held at the Iloilo Convention Center in Iloilo City from Sept. 22-23. 2016. Among the topics covered were the Philippine Housing Industry, the Many Faces of Housing, and Partnership with Government. SHDA is the biggest housing organization in the Philippines

At the 25th National Developers’ Convention of the Subdivision and Housing Developers’ Association, Inc. (SHDA) held from Sept. 22-23, 2016 at the Iloilo Convention Center in Iloilo City, Engr. Rodel Racadio, SHDA national president, reiterated the importance of working in collaboration with the government and “that any development in the housing industry has a multi-sectoral impact and multiplier effect on the Philippine economy.”

Julius Guevara, Director at Colliers Philippines, presented the results of the study “Determining the Housing Demands of BPO Workers” commissioned by Subdivision and Housing Developers’ Association, Inc. (SHDA) at the 25th National Developers’ Convention of the SHDA held from Sept. 22-23, 2016 at the Iloilo Convention Center. Guevara revealed that members of one of the key drivers of the economy look for better housing options that are located near their places of work--but still look for affordable rental rates.

Department of Public Works and Highways secretary Mark Villar noted that government expenditure on infrastructure through the DPWH has been consistently increasing by leaps and bounds in the last four years and will continue to do so in succeeding years

Sen. JV Ejercito, chairman of the Senate Committee on Urban and Housing Resettlement, has led the filing of several bills in support of the sector at the 17th congress

Dr. Winston Conrad Padojinog, President of the University of Asia and the Pacific, presented the results of the SHDA-commissioned study, “The Economic Impact of the Activities of the Housing Industry”. It serves to update the recent housing industry performance in relation to the association’s Housing Industry Roadmap and the government’s Philippine Development Plan for Social Development on housing.
Several resolutions were made as an outcome of the convention. One of them is to address the housing deficit by encouraging developers to produce more than the annual average production of 350,000 units a year. In relation to this, they asked that government not adopt the proposed moratorium on land use re-classification and conversion. Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council Secretary General Angel Ojastro updated the body that upon Vice President Leni Robredo’s endorsement, President Rodrigo Duterte is seriously considering the proposal and a dialogue regarding this is forthcoming.

Developers were likewise encouraged to focus on delivery of affordable housing, especially in the categories of low cost, economic, and socialized housing--all of which are still on high demand. Corollary to this, more jobs related to the housing industry--including suppliers, laborers, and the like--will also be created. This will lead to a more robust Philippine economy.

Vice President Robredo, in a video message, addressed the participants regarding addressing the Philippine housing backlog and informal settler families: “The only way we can solve this is together. We need a comprehensive roadmap that is based on accurate baseline data, local best practices, public and private financing solutions, and stakeholder consultations are all critical to our success. We need an inventory of all government properties available for housing--we will need the cooperation of all local government units for this. We want to build communities, not just houses,” she said. “Companies that build homes have a unique role in this development story. Homes have a direct impact in the ways families feel safe. Your work matters a lot to our nation. So let us do our jobs well.”

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