By: Charles E. Buban
Philippine Daily Inquirer
01:39 AM August 22nd, 2015
THE CHALLENGE of eliminating the country’s housing backlog by 2030—estimated to reach 6.5 million units by then—is possible.
“But thanks to Philippine Housing Industry Plan: 2012-2030 that made this projection, we now also have an indispensable tool that would allow industry collaboration, planning and coordination. With this housing industry plan, it is now easier for everyone involved to point out which segment of the market needs more of the houses that must be produced, what assistance from the government and other concerned agencies will be needed to realize this, and what other issues must be resolved as soon as possible,” explained Subdivision and Housing Developers Association (SHDA) president Armenia Ballesteros.
The Philippine Housing Industry Plan: 2012-2030 is a study commissioned by SHDA and conducted by the University of Asia and the Pacific’s Center for Research and Communication.
That first step, according to Ballesteros, is to produce one-million homes by 2016. So far, SHDA has been succeeding as the organization with 200 members from chapters across Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, that has been delivering over 200,000 units annually since 2012.
Ballesteros said: “Three years ago, when the Philippine Housing Industry Plan: 2012-2030 was released, it provided us data and other relevant information such as production capacity, affordability, financing needs and regulatory framework. It became our guide, giving us developers a clearer picture of the market’s housing preferences and needs. It also showed us how we could effectively increase the supply of housing and tackle affordability issues.”
Ballesteros added that reaching the goal of one million homes by next year would prove that with a complete measurable action plan, the ultimate goal of eliminating the 6.5-million housing backlog in 15 years is achievable.
“We could do it and in the upcoming 24th SHDA National Convention to be held from Sept. 17 to 18 at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel, we will show how the organization is succeeding in its mission despite present challenges,” said Rodel Racadio, SHDA first vice president and this year’s convention chair.
According to Racadio, the convention has laid out several key points of discussions spread over two days: “Harnessing Growth Areas,” “Understanding the Market,” “Greening the Housing Industry,” “Borderless Development” and “An Update of the Roadmap” including panel discussions on land and housing, participatory governance, housing finance and urban development.
“We have invited several key resource speakers including Rep. Alfredo Benitez, chair of the House committee on housing and urban development; and Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito, chair of the Senate committee on urban planning, housing and resettlement. They will both provide the participants guidance as well as inspiration,” said Racadio.
During the two-day event, participants would be able to know why SHDA needs more public-private partnerships in the construction of socialized low-rise buildings in urbanized areas for the poor, including resettlement of informal settlers, as well as legislation that would focus on the housing deficit.
Racadio explained: “This is one of the growth areas SHDA is taking a keen interest in as this has the potential to help the more than half a million households still living in depressed areas. Furthermore, the topics ‘Prospects of the Development of Tourism Areas in the Philippines’ and ‘Long Term Prospects of the Philippine Economy’ are lined up.”
SHDA has included a panel discussion on the organization’s prospective markets and lined topics that include: “Growing Needs of the Business Process Outsourcing industry”; “Providing Remittance Facilities for the overseas Filipino workers market”; and targeting the retirees market.
“We have also included very timely topics for panel discussion: the ‘Greening of the Housing Industry’ where topics like ‘Earthquake and Disaster Preparedness’; ‘Climate Change Adaptation’; and ‘Global Green Building Technologies and Practices’ were included,” said Racadio.
Another informative discussion is “Borderless Development” where topics like “Urban Planning: Keeping Up with the Times”; “Integrating the Key Elements for a Township Development”; and the “Challenges in Exploring International Ventures” have been included.
In the morning of the second day, SHDA has invited various government agencies: (for land and housing) the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Land Registration Authority, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board, National Housing Authority and the World Bank; (for participatory governance) Department of the Interior and Local Government; and Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council; (for housing finance) National Home Mortgage Finance Corp., Social Housing Finance Corp., Board of Investments, Home Guaranty Corp. and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas; (for urban development) National Economic and Development Authority, United Architects of the Philippines; and the Philippine Institute of Environmental Planners.
Racadio said: “The 24th National Convention would be very significant as participants would be able to see how far the organization has gone and what are the things still needed to improve our present 200,000 units a year production capacity. We should realize that between 2017 and 2022, we need to deliver 2 million homes and between 2023 and 2030 we need to deliver 7 million homes. This means, we all need to promote participation of all the stakeholders at every stage of the housing industry plan.”