Press Release
September 29, 2011


The government needs to tap the private sector and take full advantage of available resources to close the housing gap of 3.6 million, said Senator Edgardo J. Angara during the budget hearing of housing agencies today led by Vice President Jejomar Binay.

The Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992 (RA 7279) requires housing developers to allocate an area for socialized housing equivalent to at least 20 percent of the total subdivision area or total subdivision project cost.

Angara lauded efforts to strictly enforce this provision, but he added that "We cannot solve this problem only through beefing up our regulatory authority".

About P361 billion is needed from 2011 to 2016 to provide housing assistance for 1.5 million Filipinos, based on the estimates of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) chaired by Binay.

In contrast, only a total of P6.975 billion is proposed for the following housing agencies: HUDCC, Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board, Home Guaranty Corporation, National Home Mortgage Corporation and National Housing Authority.

"Clearly, the government cannot shoulder the massive funding requirements for socialized housing," said Angara. "We should leverage the government's funds with the private sector's spending on the housing sector--even capitalize on our very liquid banking sector. We should combine all the resources available to us to reduce the backlog."

Angara noted that the Philippines spends only the equivalent of 0.06 percent of it gross domestic product on housing, one of the lowest rates in Southeast Asia.

"Public works and housing are the principal creators of jobs in our country. These are stimulative activities, that is why we must not scrimp on our spending for these," he said.

Every 100 jobs created in housing generates 18 other jobs in ancillary industries, according to HUDCC. In addition, the construction of one housing unit with land development over a two-month period provides employment for eight people.

"IT, BPO, housing and public works--these industries have the potential to be the saviors of the Philippine economy because right now, remittances are down, and even agriculture, our country's backbone, is struggling," explained Angara.

"We need to spend more on infrastructure, including housing, to perk up our economy," he stressed.

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