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Socialized housing rules opposed

BY BEN ARNOLD O. DE VERA REPORTER
[ manilatimes.net ] May 9, 2011
DEVELOPERS are bucking the proposed rules on the socialized housing requirement for mass housing projects that would avail of tax incentives.
“We feel that 30 percent of the 20 percent of building cost as amount of compliance to socialized housing is quite high considering this is donation,” Manuel Crisostomo, Subdivision and Housing Developers Association Inc. (SHDA) national president, told a public consultation at the Board of Investments (BOI) on Friday.
According to the proposed specific guidelines of the 2011 Investment Priorities Plan (IPP), proponents of vertical housing projects may either develop an area for socialized housing equivalent to at least 20 percent of the building construction cost based on the actual number or equivalent total floor area of qualified saleable low cost units, or donate 30 percent of the socialized housing cost—as long as it may not exceed 40 percent of the estimated income tax holiday—to non-government organizations.
“We are proposing 10 to 20 percent [of the socialized housing cost],” Crisostomo said.
The SHDA is proposing that the purchase of bonds from the government’s housing financing institutions be allowed as an alternative mode of compliance for the socialized housing requirement.
SHDA is also firm in calling for the scrapping of the cap on low cost mass housing units eligible for tax perks under the 2011 IPP.
“The ceiling should be P3 million to make it consistent with the present ceiling of HUDCC [Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council],” Crisostomo said.
A HUDCC representative told the public hearing that the agency is “supporting the clamor of developers” to scrap the proposed P3-million cap.
The BOI had proposed a lower ceiling of P2.5 million.
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