New advocacies and hopes for SHDA

As the country’s major and leading organization of housing developers — both vertical and horizontal — with chapters and membership nationwide, the Subdivision and Housing Developers Association, Inc. (SHDA) is celebrating 49 years since its establishment. SHDA is at the forefront of promoting and safeguarding the interests of its members and the public through continued coordination and linkages with various government housing agencies, the Senate, Congress, and private institutions when it comes to developments on shelter and urban concerns, including regulations, policies, incentives, new technologies and other related matters.

SHDA’s newly elected board officers: (Standing from left) Kerwin Padua, PRO; Augusto Leonardo Jr., governor; Mariano Martinez, auditor; Renato Tan, governor; Jeffrey Ng, chairman of the board; Raphael Felix, president; George Siy, treasurer. (Seated from left) Yolanda Akol, governor; Fely Ramos, governor; Rosie Tsai Wang, FVP; May Rodriguez, SVP; Arlene Keh, corporate secretary; Atty. Marianne Cruz, governor; and Gena Chua, governor.

“We’d like to be known as the resource for the housing industry, we’d like to make sure that in our association, we really vet our members. Once you have the tag as being a SHDA member, it’s like a Seal of Good Housekeeping. It’s a big responsibility on our shoulders to help mold the newer and smaller developers, the mom-and-pop developers from all over, and mentor them to become responsible developers,” says former SHDA chairman Willie Uy.

“One thing nice about our SHDA family is that we’re quite close because we meet very frequently and we are involved with different and big chapters. These constant meetings become a training pool where our younger officers are brought up and matured, and eventually become national officials,” he adds. “It is a responsibility that each of us has to serve in the association, and therefore, the country. We want to make sure that everything is on equal footing with everybody else whether big or small.”

In January, SHDA elected its new board of officers, with Jeffrey Ng of Cathay Land Inc., helming the organization as its newly elected chairman, and Raphael Felix of Phinma Property Holdings Corp. as its new national president.

New advocacies SHDA will continue to pursue

In line with its mission and advocacy, SHDA hopes to continue guiding and helping the government in minimizing the (steadily increasing) housing backlog. Presently, the housing backlog is reported to reach 6.5 million. For Uy, the organization is continually doing its best in coming up with solutions that would aid in the eventual elimination of the housing backlog.

“One, the problem is there are so many requirements [when buying a house]. I’m not blaming anyone for that because you really need to go through that to make sure you could afford a house and you could afford to pay for it in the next number of years. Two, the changing rules for developers — I have a term for that, I call it regulatory terrorism. As a developer, you already have a plan of what you want to do and your objective is to build as many houses as you can. You start buying land, you start investing in the land, and then two years or maybe even six months from now, there is a new rule being implemented. It’s so difficult and so expensive, there is so much planning money wasted because you’ll have to change the ideas to fit certain regulations, size requirements, lot requirements — I mean these are only some of them and it’s really frustrating but hopefully we’re doing our best and hopefully there will be government officials who are willing to listen,” he shares.

“I don’t think anybody can say that within the next five years, we’d be able to fix the housing backlog but what we can do — and if the government is really serious about it — is to lessen all these regulations and to make it easier for us to concentrate on the production of houses. Everyone is willing to build, but if we’re only limited to certain things, how can we continue?” he adds.