Mass housing sector developers seek TRABAHO Bill incentives

Published December 12, 2018, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

The Subdivision and Housing Development Association (SHDA) said it would press its request for the inclusion of housing units costing up to P3 million in Metro Manila and above P2 million outside Metro Manila to be eligible for tax incentives and as priority sector under the TRABAHO (Tax Reform for Attracting Better and High-quality Opportunities) Bill.

This is among the points raised in Resolution No. 01 Series of 2018 of the 27th National Developers Convention held recently that identified issues to achieve the vision of the National Housing Program or BALAI 2028, which calls for building adequate, livable, affordable and inclusive Filipino communities.

“Since Board of Investments (BOI) incentives for low-cost mass housing are essential to provide affordable housing, SHDA shall continuously lobby for the inclusion of the mass housing in the Strategic Investment Priorities Plan under the TRABAHO Bill.  SHDA shall continue its efforts to include in the BOI Investment Priorities Plan the low-cost housing up to P3 million within Metro Manila and above P2 million to P3 million outside Metro Manila,” the Resolution stated.

Given the government’s massive “Build, Build, Build” Program, SHDA said that the housing industry’s requirements should be included in the Construction Industry Roadmap.

SHDA said it will pursue a memorandum of agreement with the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the BOI to facilitate the issuance of BIR ruling on income tax availment.

Developers also said they have to work the Credit Information Systems Act to come up with a reliable, comprehensive and centralized credit rating facility with the end result of reducing interest rates and collateral requirements for housing loans.

Another issue raised in the Resolution is on reforms to make land conversion processes easier because production of housing depends on the availability of developable lands.

Housing developers have also urged the government to prioritize the implementation of Easte of Doing Business Act given the strong market interest from foreign investors.

Developers are also encouraged to adopt in their project development renewable energy sources such as solar and wind.

The National Electrification Administration (NEA) was also identified for financial support to local cooperatives to enhance their services and sustain distribution of energy in the countryside.

SHDA, through its member developers, shall collaborate with the local government units in crafting their respective urban development masterplan.

Developers were also urged to consider Local Shelter Plans in understanding local housing need and affordability in planning their future housing projects.

Since climate change is not a myth but a reality, developers are also urged to adapt GREEN buildings which are also cost effective.

Planning of City Extensions should also be integrated in the Comprehensive Land Use Plan of cities and municipalities which will address unplanned urban sprawl to prevent wasteful use of urban land, bad roads system as well as sewage, drainage and flood control requirements.