During the National Convention of the Organization of Socialized Housing Development of the Philippines last Aug. 23- 24 , 2012 held at the Acacia Hotel, Alabang I made several observations, conclusions and recommendations .
My first observation was that the Developers were mostly small family-owned corporations of two or three generations with a proven track record of success.
These Developers come from different parts of the Philippines, so I learned that their contribution to the Housing Industry has been well entrenched in their own particular regional locations. By reaching out to the different provinces, these small and medium size Developers proved that the Housing Sector is indeed a major contributor to country side development, progress and growth.
The housing industry is one of the biggest in contributing to the Gross National Product. Every home built brings with it forward and backward linkages. From construction job generation, to suppliers of construction materials, professional services, marketing, advertising, sales, insurance and the banking financial sectors all benefit from Housing. I was told that the multiplier effect reaches more than 16 times for every peso invested.
Looking at the Industry from the point of view of the end user, or those in need of affordable housing, this Sector addresses and supplies a basic need. The demand of quality, affordable and value for money homes is beyond all telling.
Government departments directly involved in supporting the Housing sector has been very helpful, together with hands on Private and Public Partnership they have managed to work together in building and supplying the hundreds of thousand Homes needed by our Filipino Families.
However, we are all aware that the “impossible dream” of supplying the total need of over 3million has to be addressed, worked on, and delivered as soon as possible.
We have the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) headed by our dynamic Vice President Honorable Jejomar C. Binay who is spearheading the creation of a larger body with other Government Agencies and Corporations the what we hope to be the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The Legislation of the Creation of the Department of Housing and Urban Development is headed by Hon. Congressman Rodolfo G. Valencia, Chairman of Committee on Housing and Urban Development of the House of Representatives and Hon. Senator Bong Bong Marcos, Chairs the Committee at the Senate or Upper House.
Senator Marcos, in a brilliant manner, presented the proposed Department of Housing and Urban Development and informed us that he expects the final approval soon.
In his speech, the good Senator pointed out that in the past, there was indeed a similar Department; that of the Ministry of Human Stelments. As, in all things change happens, and society evolves into new structures with Innovation and adaptability.
The need for shelter, housing and with it other basic needs shall be the responsibility of this department. I was in full agreement, as I have mentioned in my past advocacy, that housing and shelter can be expanded by developing the rental or lease market. More often than not, renting proves to be more economical, flexible, tax efficient and convent than ownership.
On other innovation introduced by OSHDAP convention were issues of relocation and community settlement. On-site relocation utilizing modern building systems proves that this option is doable.
Informal settlers are to be given humane and due respect as persons and relocation sites that provide community life, with livelihood, education , healthcare, worship, recreation, and all other facilities and services necessary for the family and dignity of man.
However, we are to address the fact that professional squatters, land grabbers, and criminal elements do exist as syndicates who profit and capitalize on the needs of the poor at the expense and loss of the legitimate landowners, who are deprived of their rights on possessing the land they own.
Honorable Cong. Rod Valencia has a pending bill that would penalize and prosecute these syndicates. Cong. Vallencia, who is also a Professional Realtor for over 40 years, has the experience and know how in working on responsive innovations to help in urban development.
One of these projects is in the beautification of Metro Manila via a strategic, well done master plan for urban renewal. Arch. Jun Palafox has for several years now been very vocal on the need to revitalize downtown Manila.
Dr. Bernardo Villegas gave us an optimistic, inspiring, and very positive economic outlook that would be the strong foundation and base for the sustainable progress and development of the housing sector. With remittances reaching above the $25 M mark, the growth of the BPO and knowledge worker service industry, our strong demographic family growth rate, and the demand for the Overseas Filipino Workers have all contributed to our nation to develop at a growth rate of 7-9%.
This good news urges us to move forward and archive the goal to be the top 16 best economy in the world by 2050. With the construction and housing sectors as prime movers in shaping new world class cities, communities and regional metropolitan centers , the Philippines will be what Jose Rizal seen and died for … “the Beautiful Peal of the Orient”.