Vice President Jejomar C. Binay announced that key shelter agencies – in particular Pag-Ibig Fund, the National Housing Authority and the Social Housing Finance Corporation – have committed to provide 1.5 million homes by 2016.

“This figure was not plucked out of thin air, but was reached after a careful review of targets, capabilities and resources,” Binay said in a speech at SHDA-HUDCC National Developers Convention held at the Dusit Thani Manila on Friday.

“It does not include the units that will be built using funds from private banks, non-government organizations, local government units, and private developers,” he added.

The Vice President also assured developers that tax incentives are available for private companies engaged in socialized housing and said that this is guaranteed under section 20 of the Urban Development and Housing Act (UDHA).

“HUDCC is currently evaluating the issue of non-availment and will hold a dialog with the Bureau of Internal Revenue for a uniform application of such incentives,” he said.

However, Binay appealed to the developers for their faithful compliance with the 20% balanced housing requirement under the UDHA. Section 18 of RA 7279 or the Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992 requires every developer of subdivision projects to develop an area for socialized housing equivalent to at least twenty percent (20%) of the total subdivision area within the same city or municipality. The developer can also opt to shell out 20% of the total subdivision project cost if he chooses.

Binay said members of HUDCC are now in the process of amending the implementing guidelines of section 18 and emphasized that the UDHA is not there to make housing development difficult for developers.

“Instead, it aims to encourage the private sector to contribute to the production of more low cost housing and provide shelter to majority of our countrymen,” he said.

Vice President Binay also said that he welcomes the dialogue between the Pag-Ibig Fund which he chairs and different developers associations in order to jointly address concerns on how the Pag-Ibig Fund can extend financing to private developers and LGUs for site development and housing construction.

“We are aware of the issues and challenges on your side of the business. We welcome your participation, we understand your concerns, and in the same manner we hope that you understand that we in Pag-Ibig are also mandated to protect the interest of the fund and its members,” Binay added.