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No cause for alarm, says BSP home prices rise faster in Q2

By Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) | Updated October 15, 2016 - 12:00am

  
BSP Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo earlier said authorities have been closely monitoring the real estate sector through the prices as well as the exposure of banks. STAR/File photo

MANILA, Philippines - Housing prices nationwide rose faster in the second quarter due to strong demand especially in areas outside the National Capital Region (NCR), the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported yesterday.

The Residential Real Estate Price Index (RREPI) climbed 11.3 percent to 122.8 in the second quarter from the 110.3 recorded in the same quarter last year.

This was faster than the revised 9.4 percent increase booked in the first quarter when the RREPI stood at 115.9 against the 111 registered in the first quarter last year.

The data showed single-detached housing units booked the highest growth in prices at 18.6 percent followed by townhouses with 14.7 percent and duplex units with 0.6 percent. The prices of condominium units were almost unchanged.

BSP Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo earlier said authorities have been closely monitoring the real estate sector through the prices as well as the exposure of banks.

“We are aware of the potential risk that may result from all our exposure to the real estate sector. The real estate sector is viewed as an important concern in the BSP’s conduct of monetary policy and financial supervision because of the volatility in asset prices which could be brought about by undue speculation of bubbles,” he said.

Guinigundo explained the RREPI that is based on actual banks’ approved housing loans serves as a valuable tool in assessing the change in prices in real estate and credit market conditions in the country.

About 72 percent of the total real estate loans extended by banks were used to finance the purchase of new housing units. About half of the loans were used to buy single detached housing units followed by condominium units with 41.2 percent and townhouses with 8.4 percent.

The RREPI in the National Capital Region (NCR) slipped 2.7 percent to 117.8 in the second quarter from the revised 114.7 in the same quarter last year. This was way below the 10 percent growth in the first quarter when the index reached 116.5 from 115.6.

On the other hand, the RREPI in areas outside NCR jumped to 18.4 percent to 125.7 from the revised 106.2. This was faster than the revised nine percent growth in the first quarter when the index in the provinces climbed to 115.5 from 107.

Guinigundo said the BSP continues to expand the monitoring of the real estate exposure of banks by including past or debt securities of holding companies as well as loans extended for socialized and low cost housing.

“We now have a more comprehensive computation of exposure to the real estate sector. So we would know in advance if there is indeed there is some emerging asset bubble in the real estate industry,” he said.

Latest data from the central bank showed the real estate exposure of banks and trust entities stood at 20.76 percent in the second quarter from 20.79 percent in the first quarter.

Loans extended amounted to P1.39 trillion while investments in the real estate sector reached P233.33 billion in end-June this year.

A stress test exercise undertaken by universal and commercial banks on real estate exposure and other real estate property in September last year showed the industry could absorb shocks.

“We believe that this growth is based on a constructive demand-supply dynamics that have solid structural underpins. Moreover, our latest assessment in the banking system show that they are resilient and they can stand potential shocks on the housing sector,” Guinigundo said.

BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. reiterated there is no overheating in the country’s property market amid the strong demand for housing from the young and economically active population.
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Duterte opens text hotline vs corruption



By Edith Regalado and Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) | Updated October 9, 2016 - 12:00am


 
“I am opening a new daily program over PTV 4 that will be aired every morning and it will do nothing but run the complaints texted to the hotline that will be sent directly to Malacañang,” the President said during the National Banana Congress held at the SMX Convention Center at the SM Lanang Premiere here on Friday afternoon. “Just let me know if there is corruption in a city hall, in the (application of) business permit…During my time (as mayor of Davao City), these are processed in three days.” Ace Morandante

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – To get rid of corruption in government, President Duterte will open an anti-corruption text hotline and the complaints will be aired every morning over government-run PTV 4.

“I am opening a new daily program over PTV 4 that will be aired every morning and it will do nothing but run the complaints texted to the hotline that will be sent directly to Malacañang,” the President said during the National Banana Congress held at the SMX Convention Center at the SM Lanang Premiere here on Friday afternoon.

“Just let me know if there is corruption in a city hall, in the (application of) business permit…During my time (as mayor of Davao City), these are processed in three days.”

Duterte said he needs the help of every Filipino in the fight against corruption.

“I am pleading to the people. I promised you no corruption. But if I do not get your help, if you surrender, then there is nothing I can do. All you have to do is text what office, whether local or national, who is the official causing the delay, and I will call him or her to go to Malacañang for them to explain why,” he said.

“If you do not help me, I cannot erase corruption. I cannot just go to any office and start asking anybody…You have to tell me.
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“If you do not help me ferret out the bad guys, don’t complain,” he added.

The President also warned pranksters, saying they would be dealt with accordingly.

“I don’t like anybody fooling me. I don’t like you to fool me because I used to fool around,” he said in jest, recalling how his mother used to punish him by having him kneel on munggo seeds as he faced the altar.

Duterte said that all he wants is to have a good name.

“There is no issue against me with regard to graft and corruption. Women, yes, but money, no,” he said.

He asked where he would bring the money when he does not have anything to spend it on. He noted that he could not even get out of Malacañang or go anywhere without the President Security Group following him.

Duterte remains baffled why corruption is prevalent in government transactions despite his stern warning to government officials and employees that they will face his wrath if they will not stop their wrongdoings.

“I cannot understand really and so I’d like to know where the corruption is still prevalent,” he said.

He lamented anew that the country would not progress if corruption and criminality are not properly addressed.

“What could bring us down is really corruption and criminality,” he said.

The President announced his anti-corruption campaign after he received international condemnation for his bloody war against drugs, which was marked by alleged summary killings and human rights abuses.
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