Housing agency created 3.5M jobs, says Binay
MANILA, Philippines–The government’s housing arm has built more than half a million houses for indigent Filipinos in the past four years, generating more than 3.5 million jobs in the process, Vice President Jejomar Binay, who chairs the inter-agency Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), claimed Wednesday.
The housing sector has infused about P200 million into the economy, the Office of the Vice President (OVP) further claimed, citing the HUDCC 2014 mid-year report.
As HUDCC chair, Binay “is responsible for the overall implementation of the government housing program, as distributed among the areas of responsibility under its key shelter agencies (KSAs) in housing finance, production and regulation,” the OVP said in a statement.
It said the various KSAs had produced a total of 581,959 houses between July 2010 and June 2014.
The construction of these housing units had created 3,534,281 jobs, the OVP said, based on an the assumption that “a complete house construction will require 8.3 persons working for three weeks, while the development of sites for resettlement or improvement of sites will require five persons working per lot.”
The HUDCC groups together the Home Guaranty Corp. (HGC), Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB), National Home Mortgage Finance Corp. (NHMFC), National Housing Authority (NHA) and Social Housing Finance Corp. (SHFC), as well as a number of government financial institutions and support agencies.
Sought to comment on the housing report released by the OVP, Chamber of Real Estate and Builders’ Associations Inc. (Creba) national chair Charlie A. V. Gorayeb said the figures were “realistic.”
“It’s possible and verifiable that 125,000 units per year were built by the housing agencies these past four years,” Gorayeb said.
As for the jobs generated and the construction cycle cited by the OVP in its computation, he said it was also possible that some 3.5 million direct and indirect jobs have been made available in the housing sector since 2010.
Data from the Philippine Constructors Association (PCA), meanwhile, showed that direct employment in the entire construction industry stood at an estimated 2.266 million at end-2013, up slightly from 2.218 million in 2012.
Binay is doing a “good” job as HUDCC chair, as the housing output these past years outpaces those of his predecessors, he said.
However, he pointed out that the country remains beset by a housing backlog of 5.5 million units, on top of an additional 250,000 units that must be built every year in the next two decades to serve the country’s ever-growing population.
Access to financing remains a hurdle to building more houses, he said, hence Creba’s proposal that the government establish a P210-billion financing program.
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