Wants one-stop shop for socialized housing permits
Senator Sonny Angara on Friday, September 13, pushed for the streamlining and simplifying of the issuance of housing-related clearances and permits through the creation of one-stop processing centers to address the backlog in the construction of settlements for the informal sector.
Angara warned that the national housing backlog would worsen and turn into a national housing crisis if the bureaucratic red tape in government housing agencies is not reduced.
Based on future demand and the current pace of production, the backlog in housing units is forecast to hit 6.6 million by 2022, from 5.5 million in 2016.
For the Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC), the pre-construction processing time for its Community Mortgage Program projects is between 16 to 74 months, according to the Senator.
“But we can ramp up production by improving the regulatory environment. When there is ease in doing business, financing comes in, and with volume comes affordability,” Angara said.
Atty. Arnolfo Ricardo Cabling, SHFC president, said his agency targets 300,000 low-cost housing by 2022 to add up to its current account of 200,000. The SHFC mandate is to provide housing to the homeless poor.
Cabling bared the figure on September 6, at the First Socialized Housing Convergence held in Manila. The Convergence was attended by government agencies and stakeholders in the socialized housing sector.
The Convergence, one of the highlights of the 31st anniversary celebration of the Community Mortgage Program (CMP), the socialized housing flagship of the SHFC, was organized by SHFC and the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) headed by chairman Eduardo del Rosario.
Angara said the mandate of several anti-red tape laws should be applied to housing “not just in national government agencies but also in local governments.”
The senator particularly cited Republic Act 10884, which requires the establishment of socialized housing one-stop processing centers.
Angara said building a house is a slog through 27 offices, 78 permits, 156 signatures, 373 documents that could last for months.
For socialized or affordable mass housing, pre-construction processing time could last up to 74 months, if it involves land conversion, titling, and financing, he noted.
“Before you pour your first pail of cement, you have to follow a long paper trail. And many families do not have the energy for that,“ he said.
Angara said government housing officials have reported to him that it normally takes the National Housing Authority 12 to 30 months to get a green light for construction. (with PNA report)