Published on September 27, 2013, Philippine Daily Inquirer:

By Amy R. Remo

The Subdivision and Housing Developers Association Inc. (SHDA), the country’s largest association of property developers, wants the government to step up efforts to address the rising housing backlog and enhance mass housing affordability in the country.

Based on the SHDA’s estimates, the current national housing backlog stands at over 3.9 million units. This figure is expected to rise to 6.5 million by 2030 if the problem is not addressed.

The SHDA urged the government to keep mass housing a priority economic activity because this would strengthen investments, generate jobs, enhance Philippine competitiveness and sustain the momentum to eliminate the housing backlog.

“Affordability is a key component of our road map. On top of government subsidy, banks have become more aggressive and offer lower interest rates. As developers, we have also been pursuing increasing housing production for target segments. All the parties involved are doing their part now. So this is the right time to consider how we can keep things rolling,” said SHDA first vice president Ricky Celis.

The association drew up the Housing Industry Roadmap of the Philippines specifically to eliminate the housing deficit by 2030.
Following consultations with the Board of Investments and key shelter agencies, SHDA initiated the crafting of the industry road map to guide members in increasing housing production.

The group noted that, through continuous government support via tax perks and incentives, housing soon could be within reach of the average Filipinos.

The group also recommended the implementation of a comprehensive government housing subsidy to further enhance affordability.

“Our discussions with the BOI were a huge contributor to the development of the road map. It allowed us to focus on unmet housing needs and see how the government and private sector can work together to meet these needs,” added SHDA president Paul Tanchi.

Data from the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board showed that the industry produced 1.88 million housing units from 2003 to 2012. Jobs generated by the sector over the period number reached 513,000.

Projects registered with the BOI benefit from an income tax holiday. These registered projects have a total cost of P223 billion.