Bill to boost socialized housing nationwide takes shape

The House of Representatives will soon tackle in plenary a proposed
amendatory bill requiring the participation of owners and developers
of condominium projects in the government’s socialized housing
program.

The House Committee on Housing and Urban Development, chaired by Rep.
Rodolfo Valencia, has endorsed the measure strengthening the “Balanced
Housing Development Program” under HB 5446 for plenary consideration
and approval.

“To accelerate the government’s socialized housing program nationwide,
we are eliciting the participation of owners and condominium
developers.

HB 5446 is entitled “An Act Strengthening the Balanced Housing
Development Program, amending for the purpose Republic Act No. 7279,
entitled: ‘An Act to provide for a comprehensive and continuing Urban
Development and Housing Program, establish the mechanism for its
implementation, and for other purposes.”

“We have included the development of education facilities within the
projects (areas) or within cities or municipalities as a mode of
compliance with the balanced housing requirements, among others,”
revealed Valencia, principal author of one of the six separate but
related bills consolidated by his committee.

HB 5446, contained in Committee Report 1498 and approved in committee
last October, is in substitution to the separate bills principally
authored by: Rep. Valencia; Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy; Marcelino
Teodoro; Rep. Lani Mercado-Revilla; Rep. Walden Bello; Rep. Kaka
Bag-ao; and Rep. Carmelo Lazatin.

Other co-authors are Reps. Winston Castelo, Catalina Leonen-Pizarro,
Irvin Alcala, Sigfrido Tinga, Angelo Palmones, Arnel Ty, Isidro Lico,
Emerenciana De Jesus, Mel Senen Sarmiento and Jeci Lapus.

Likewise, the proposed measure would also allow developers covered by
the proposed Act to engage in a joint-venture project with another
private developer, both of whom shall be “solidarily liable” in the
production of the socialized housing in compliance with the balanced
housing requirement, regardless of the provisions of their
joint-venture agreement.

Furthermore, HB 5446 includes in the coverage of Section 18 of
Republic Act No. 7279 condominium projects whose owners or developers
shall be required to develop an area for socialized housing equivalent
to at least 20% of the total condominium area or condominium cost.

To further ensure compliance, the bill proposes to amend Section 45 of
R.A. 7279 to include a penal provision for those who violate Section
18 with imprisonment of not more than six years or a fine of not less
than P500,000.00 but not more than P10-million.

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