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VP Noli pushes for more housing reforms
16 September 2005

Vice President Noli “Kabayan” De Castro, chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) will push for the immediate implementation of the value added tax (VAT) exemption of real estate transactions up to P2.5 million, as well as other measures to further boost the housing industry.

Speaking before members of the Subdivision and Housing Developers Association (SHDA) and other stakeholders at the joint HUDCC-SHDA National Developers Convention in Bacolod City Friday, De Castro said he will actively coordinate with the BIR for the issuance of a circular implementing the provision in Republic Act 9337 which exempts for VAT the sale of residential lots valued up to P1.5 million, as well as lots and other residential units up to P2.5 million.

“This will be a big help in lowering the prices of housing units. I trust that your savings from the exemption will be passed on to our buyers through lower prices, or better quality of houses,” he said.

At the same time, De Castro said he will also coordinate with the BIR for the necessary adjustments in the application of creditable witholding tax, according to the recommendation of private developers.

The Vice President said that HUDCC will also look into other measures proposed by developers.

“I have directed the HUDCC secretariat to evaluate the developers’ proposal to adjust the price ceiling for low-cost housing,” he said.

“Likewise within this month I will convene the HUDCC council to discuss the proposed adjustment of the low cost housingloan ceiling, including the coresponding adjustments to Batas Pambansa 220 and the guaranty coverage,” he added.

The HUDCC council recently approved the proposal to raise the loan ceiling for socialized housing from P225,000 to P300,000 to encourage more developers to venture into the production of socialized housing units.

The Vice President also assured that funds for housing will be ready and available for all partner developers. According to De Castro, “this year, the Pag-IBIG Fund has set aside P22 billion worth of funds for housing and another P28 billion next year.”

HUDCC is also working on further streamlining processes related to housing. In particular, the lead housing agency for the sector is in talks with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to speed up the the processing of environmental clearance certificates (ECC) for housing projects by limiting the number of environmentally critical areas and shortening the list of requirements for applications.

“I have talked to Secretary Defensor, and he told me that his target is to bring down the number of requirements for EIS applications to only two,” De Castro revealed.

He called on the developers to help draft a bill that will convert EO 45 into a law, to further eliminate other hindrances to the speedy processing of housing permits that will require amending various laws.

“With  your support, we should be able to finalize our version in time for the shelter month in October,” he said.                                                                                             HOME | back-to-top

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