SHDA appeals to government and other stakeholders to mitigate COVID-19 effects using housing sector

The Subdivision and Housing Developers Association (SHDA) Inc., is the largest organization of subdivision and housing developers in the Philippines whose goal is to promote developers’ welfare and, consistently, provide decent and affordable housing to help the government in addressing the country’s housing need. 

Under normal circumstances, housing sector activities have been recognized as an economic pump-primer, contributing a 3.44 output multiplier on the economy, due to 80 allied industries attached to the housing industry. Moreover, housing activities generate substantial direct employment or approximately 5% of the country’s total employment. 

In the light of the CoVid-19 epidemic threatening our population, and its adverse effects economy, SHDA urges government-owned and controlled financial institutions, and private banking corporations, to support the continued processing of homebuyers’ loans and the takeout of loan proceeds for property developers. 

The continued release of housing loans will bring advantages to the population and the economy:

Homebuyers will be able to take sooner possession of the houses they bought, giving them a place to self-quarantine and work from home, or, at the very least, move-out from living with relatives or friends, lessening the number of people in a home.

Even in this period of little to no construction activity, it will allow developers and contractors to continue to provide salaries, allowances, or cash advances to its employees, much more, to the hundreds of thousands of construction workers under its direct or indirect employment.  The cash that developers and contractors give to its construction workers will be able to lessen the burden on the government’s social protection programs.

It will accelerate cash circulation, much needed by the economy to survive, at a time when almost all business activities have ground to a halt.

Since developers are accredited, and long-time clients, of the various financial institutions they transact with for the housing loans of their homebuyers, we propose:

That developers and buyers be allowed to submit the required documents through e-mail.

That the various financial institutions allow developers to submit Deeds of Undertaking in lieu of documents needed from government offices that have closed down or are working with reduced capacity, due to the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).

That miscellaneous fees that have to be paid by the developer for a particular account just be deducted from the loan proceeds of the particular account.

That miscellaneous fees that have to be paid by the buyer to a financial institution be done via an inter-branch deposit based on an e-mailed statement-of-account.  

That the requirement for notarization be temporarily suspended, and instead, to e-mail a picture of the signatories signing the required documents.

Such activities will support hundreds of thousands of people, and our economy, predicted to grow at only 4% GDP for 2020 due to the pandemic.  Further, it will help developers mitigate the unemployment and under-employment consequences CoVid-19 brings to approximately 5% of the country’s employees.

Having said that, SHDA continues to commit its support to the government in arresting the impact of CoVid-19 on the health of the population, especially the most vulnerable segments.

SHDA continues to be supportive of the government’s special programs and other stimulus packages to mitigate the adverse effects of the CoVid-19 on the economy.

Lastly, pursuant to our plea last year, please consider the Housing Industry to be a similar contributor to the economy as the BBB program.  In every positive way, the Housing Industry has a direct and quicker impact on our economy.

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