House OKs bill on socialized housing



MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives has passed on third and final reading a bill requiring the participation of owners and developers of condominium projects in the government’s socialized housing program.

House Bill 4116, to be known as the Balanced Housing Development Program Amendments Act, seeks to amend Republic Act 7279, which provides for a comprehensive and continuing Urban Development and Housing Program.

The measure includes the owners and developers of condominium projects among those mandated to contribute to the production of socialized housing.

Negros Occidental Rep. Alfredo Benitez, one of the principal authors of the measure and chairman of the committee on housing and urban development, said the bill mandates the participation of condominium owners and developers to accelerate the provision of affordable socialized housing nationwide and provide underprivileged and homeless Filipinos the opportunity to own a house.

“The measure requires owners and developers of condominium projects to develop an area for socialized housing equivalent to at least five percent of the total condominium area,” Benitez said.

He said the measure amends RA 7279 by reducing the required percentage of socialized housing to be produced by the owners and developers of subdivision projects from 20 percent to at least 15 percent.

Owners and developers of proposed socialized subdivision projects and proposed socialized condominium projects shall be exempted from the requirements, Benitez said.

Under the measure, developers can engage in a joint-venture project with another private developer, both of whom shall be solitarily liable in the production of the socialized housing in compliance with the balanced housing requirement, regardless of the provisions of their joint-venture agreement.

The measure mandates the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) to jointly determine and set separate housing price ceilings for socialized subdivision and condominium projects to be reviewed and revised every three years to conform to prevailing economic conditions.

The measure mandates the HUDCC and the NEDA to review and adjust the required percentage of compliance for both subdivision and condominium projects not later than the end of the fifth year from effectivity of the measure and every five years thereafter, provided that legislation by an act of Congress shall be resorted to if the adjustment sought is less than the minimum percentage of compliance set forth in the measure.

The measure includes the development of educational facilities in an existing socialized housing area or within the projects or within cities or municipalities as an alternative compliance.

The bill also prohibits approval of subdivision or condominium plan by any local government unit or government agency unless accompanied by a written undertaking, made under oath by the owner/developer, setting forth in detail the manner in which compliance is proposed.

The Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) is mandated to submit before Congress an annual report on the compliance by the owners and/or developers of subdivision and condominium projects.

The bill imposes a fine of not more than P10 million for the first offense and cancellation of license to do business for the second offense.

House Bill 4116 is in substitution of House Bills 89, 1484 and 2576 sponsored by Reps. Amado Bagatsing of Manila, Lani Mercado-Revilla (Cavite), and Ibarra Gutierrez III (Akbayan party-list), respectively.

The co-authors of the bill are Reps. Walden Bello (Akbayan), Rodel Batocabe (Ako Bicol party-list), Xavier Jesus Romualdo (Camiguin), Juan Johnny Revilla (OFW party-list), Maximo Rodriguez Jr. (Abante Mindanao party-list), Francisco Ashley Acedillo (Magdalo party-list), Jose Tejada (North Cotabato), Kaka Bag-ao (Dinagat Islands), Laurence Lemuel Fortun (Agusan del Norte), Pablo Roces Nava III (Append party-list), Leah Paquiz (Ang Nars party-list), Edgardo Masongsong (1 Care party-list), Raymond Democrito Mendoza (TUCP party-list), Leopoldo Bataoil (Pangasinan), Ma. Lourdes Acosta-Alba (Bukidnon), Ferdinand Hernandez (South Cotabato), Gary Alejano (Magdalo) and Julieta Cortuna (A Teacher party-list).


By Paolo Romero 

The Philippine Star|