Housing czar taps private developers to address housing backlog

Addressing the country’s housing backlog remains an enormous task for the Marcos administration. There is a backlog of 6.57 million units as of end-2022, according to the Subdivision and Housing Developers Associ-ation (SHDA).

Filipino engineer Alex Serrano said this 6.57 million housing backlog can serve as a golden opportunity for private developers to help the Philippines.

Fortunately, the country’s housing czar, Secretary Jose Rizalino Acuzar is well aware of the importance of partnering with the private sector to address the housing backlog.

Thus, as part of the efforts to accelerate the ongoing nationwide rollout of President Marcos’ Pambansang Pabahay para sa Pilipino (4PH) Program, the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) recently convened the country’s top private developers in a dialogue.

DHSUD Undersecretary Jose Ramon Aliling, 4PH-Project Management Office head, led an open dialogue with developers at the DHSUD Central Office in Quezon City. Apart from addressing concerns with regards to the implementation of the flagship program, the meeting was also meant to further rally the support of the pri-vate sector to 4PH.

Acuzar said that while there are already ongoing 4PH projects nationwide, constant engagement with private developers is a necessary move as developers play a key role in harmonizing efforts and addressing the chal-lenges.

“This program is new so it is normal that we engage in these dialogues to ensure that we are on the right di-rection. Synchronized efforts in the housing industry are vital for the success of 4PH,” Acuzar said.

DHSUD Secretary Jose Rizalino L. Acuzar

“It is an out-of-the-box approach, very different from the traditional ways of addressing the housing backlog,” he added.

The recent dialogue was attended by officials and representatives of private developers, including some of the country’s top property companies.

“Your presence in this dialogue shows that we have strong allies in you in making this program a success. Maraming salamat po sa pagtugon sa panawagan ng ating mahal na Pangulong Marcos para maiahon ang ating mga kababayan,” Acuzar said during the meeting.

DHSUD officials also explained the financial structure of the program from developmental loan application for developers up to the loan process for beneficiaries. The Home Development Mutual Fund or Pag-IBIG Fund discussed the updates on how to apply for developmental loans for housing construction.

The Pag-IBIG Fund has allotted P250 billion to support the Pambansang Pabahay with new provisions that contractors may apply for housing construction loans including joint venture agreements.

Earlier this month, Acuzar had a similar dialogue with a contractors group with the mission of preparing the sector in joining this administration’s housing program. Around 20 4PH projects in Luzon, Visayas and Minda-nao are now in various stages of development.

“While we are addressing the needs of Filipino families wanting to own a home, we are also boosting the economy by providing business opportunities to the sector’s allied industries – a big chunk of this is on housing project development and construction,” Acuzar also said.