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SDHA wants government to ease housing policies

By Zinnia B. Dela Peña (The Philippine Star) Updated September 12, 2011

MANILA, Philippines - The Subdivision and Housing Developers Association (SDHA) is asking the government to ease its stringent housing policies that have put the brakes on home sales market.

In a briefing, SDHA president and chairman Manuel C. Crisostomo said the group is hoping to work out a compromise deal with the Home Development Mutual Fund, the Housing & Urban Development Coordinating Council and the Land Registration Authority (LRA) to mitigate the effects of its new rules on home buyers in the hope of plugging the gaping housing backlog in the country estimated at 3.7 million.

 State housing agencies have rolled out tightening measures as an offshoot of the Globe Asiatique scandal, in which it was discovered that loans were taken out by ghost borrowers.

The government has introduced a new package of reforms aimed at preventing bubbles and an ensuing collapse that would destabilize the macroeconomy.

Crisostomo said the government should simplify procedures to encourage the public to purchase their own homes, pointing out that the processing of loan applications had been extended from several days to more than three months due to LRA’s problem on its computerization project.

 “This long and extended trasanction time adds to the burden of every Filipino family wishing to finally enjoy having their own homes. Instead of being able to move in to their new homes immediately, these individuals have to pay their rent for their current homes instead of paying the amortization for their own homes,” Crisostomo said.

The new rules have resulted in a deline in the number of Pag-Ibig loan takeouts from an average of under P4 billion a month in 2009, the figure has now dropped by 37 percent to just P2.4 billion per month this year.

 “Housing is a big part of economic growth. If its slows down, the economy also slows down and developers will have less and less money to start their projects,” Crisostomo said.

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