More than P400-M new investments get tax incentives in Davao City

September 21, 2010

DCIPC officer-in-charge Jason Magnaye during the Davao Business Forum at the MediSpa, SM City Davao

The newest investments in Davao City valued at P441 million that passed through the Davao City Investments and Promotion Center (DCIPC) gets exemption of paying mayor’s permit and fees.DCIPC officer-in-charge Jason Magnaye said this is on top of the approved investments during the first semester amounting to P612 million.

He said they need to work hard in order to meet their target of P1.9 billion this year.

The recent approved investment is still in line with real estate where one is a subdivision project worth P119 million and the other, a commercial building for mixed use with investments at P322 million.

Magnaye also said that the earlier investments consist of two projects on real estate, one in tourism while the other in agri-business.

In the pipeline are on real estate and commercial buildings, he said.

Meanwhile, he said majority of the investments in Davao City for the past several years are in line with real property development.

He said for the past three years, projects in the city were dominated by property development getting a share of 83 percent of the total investments.

He cited that since DCIPC started in 1995, property development got the biggest chunk as it cornered 61 percent of the total investments.

On the other hand, Magnaye is optimistic of hitting their target as they incorporate service marketing in finding new investors.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio also goes out of her way in meeting with prospective investors and personally discussed with them what the city can offer.

He said the mayor also conducts personal visits to and assessments of existing projects of interested investors like in Manila in order to see for herself their projects.

Magnaye cited for instance that the Mayor led a small team to conduct ocular visit to the World Trade Center (WTC) in Manila as she is interested that a developer would invest in convention center here.

Although he stressed that they cannot dictate on the kind of investments he said perhaps they could influence.

A team from WTC composed of some senior officials will be coming to Davao City by end of September to check on the city’s investment area.

“The fact that a senior official is coming over would indicate that they are interested,” he said.

Magnaye said they double up in finishing their inventory and data as to real property investments as these comprise of the common data that investors ask. The other basic data as to infrastructure and other related information are also being readied by their office, he said.

He said a series of review and assessment are being made by them to ensure that investors get relevant and appropriate data as this will help them decide in locating here.

He also said they will continue to improve on their services and reach out to other sectors as they align with the development direction of the city. (PNA)
DCT/DDB/lvp

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Members assured: Pag-IBIG savings are safe; blacklist proceedings vs Globe Asiatique starts

September 8, 2010

The Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund) today assured its members that their savings are safe and that added safeguards to protect the integrity of the Fund are being put in place upon the directive of Vice President and Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) Chair Jejomar C. Binay.

“The Pag-IBIG Fund remains firm in its commitment to protect its members’ hard-earned savings. Our members need not worry about the safety of their savings. Their funds are intact, and will remain under their names and will be lent or, at maturity, released only to them for their benefit,” Emma Linda B. Faria, officer in charge of the Pag-IBIG Fund, said.

Faria said the agency’s budget for services and lending operations, both for housing and short-term loans, as well as funds allocated for claims, remain unaffected by the discovery of spurious transactions involving Property developer Globe Asiatique.

“Pag-IBIG is still on track in meeting its income/dividend targets for the year 2010,” she said, adding that the Fund will continuously review existing Pag-IBIG guidelines and policies “to further strengthen internal audit processes and enhance risk management measures. “

At the same time, Faria said the Agency has started proceedings to blacklist Globe Asiatique. She also revealed that as of August 31 2010, the company racked up notices of buyback totaling P1.1 billion for Xevera housing loans.

“While this amount is by no means small, this represents only half of one percent of the total assets of the Fund and is fully collateralized. We would like to assure our members that this will not affect the agency’s financial stability and capability in providing the necessary services to them,” she said.

The Vice President had ordered a thorough probe into the Xevera case during his first week as chair of HUDCC. Binay is also the chair of the Pag-IBIG Board of Trustees.

“We are ready to file the appropriate charges to protect the Fund. I have also directed the Pag-IBIG management to take the necessary steps to prevent a repeat of the Xevera case and to assure the members that their savings are being managed professionally,” he said.

Faria explained that as a condition for accreditation, developers guarantee against ineligible or fraudulent borrowers, non-completion of projects, and fraudulent transactions.

They also issue guarantees on loans against default within a period of two years. Developers also commit to buy back faulty accounts.

A breach of any of these guarantees is ground for blacklisting developers, aside from failing to remit collections under a Collection Service Agreement (CSA).

“In the case of Globe Asiatique, we have initiated the blacklist proceedings based on the results of our investigation,” she said. Earlier this year, the Fund was alarmed with its discovery of spurious transactions in the developer’s Xevera housing projects in Pampanga involving fake borrowers.

These findings were discovered through Pag-IBIG’s own validation and internal control mechanisms.

The Fund immediately implemented protective measures, including suspension of Globe Asiatique’s access to the HDMF housing program express lane facility.

The Fund also issued notices of buyback for accounts with confirmed breach of warranties. Likewise, Pag-BIG terminated GA’s Collection Servicing Agreements given the latter’s failure to remit payments to the Fund.

A full audit of all Xevera accounts was also ordered. The Pag-IBIG Fund is also speeding up the conduct of a thorough investigation on the matter to determine the administrative, civil and criminal liabilities, as may be appropriate, of concerned parties, she added.

Faria also assured accredited developers and borrowers that the Fund will continue to take out qualified housing loan applications.

“The Fund’s housing program has not just made us the biggest provider of housing loans; it showed that we are one of the more stable and viable government institutions in the country today.

Our institutional strength and our financial stability have enabled us to not just continuously honor our obligations to our members, but also allow the Fund to meet its mandates,” she said.  Source : www.pagibigfund.gov.ph


Big demand for socialized housing, backlogs continue to grow in the country

August 21, 2010

“There is really a big demand for socialized housing and the backlogs continue to grow in the country’s housing business, according to the Organization of Socialized Housing Developers of the Philippines (OSHDP).

OSDHP press relation officer Santiago F. Ducay, however said they are hoping the new administration responds quickly to issues– citing for instance that new housing czar Vice President Jejomar Binay vowed to look into the possibility of lowering further interest rates to make housing more affordable.

Ducay said the current interest rates for socialized housing of a package of P400,000 is about six percent.

He said the current backlog by accumulation through the years is at 3.8 million and as the population grows at 2.8 percent about 900,000 new housing units are needed annually. Of the 900 thousand units, 70 percent of this is for socialized housing.

“If the government build 200,000 for socialized housing, the private sector match this with the same number or about 400,000, there’s still a backlog of 500,000,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ducay said their organization supports the call of President Simeon Benigno Aquino III to fight corruption. He said they respond to the challenges of the Aquino government in fleshing out and flushing out corruption in the construction agency.

Linda A. Tan, national president of OSHDP said they had been true to the call and in fact dropped one developer from their rooster for engaging in activities contrary to their principles of sound business operation.

Tan also heads RJ Lhinet Development Corporation, a builder of medium rise buildings and condominium in the National Capital Region (NCR).

Tan was in the city for a two-day housing convention which opened Thursday and ends Friday at the Grand Menseng. Tan said OSHDP polices its ranks and closely monitor their members.

The OSHDP, she said has to date 150 members. Before a developer is accepted, he has to pass a thorough screening and assessment by looking at one’s background and tract record.

Tan said Congressman Rodolfo G. Valencia, House Committee Chair on Housing and Urban Development disclosed he is filing a bill so that the Social Security System will be compelled to implement 30 percent of its investible fund to be dedicated to housing as stipulated in its charter.

She said when this will materialize, there will be more funds for socialized housing and citing the statement of Congressman Valencia that because Pag-IBIG Fund is now tax exempt perhaps the savings of P2.5 billion could be used to fund socialized housing projects.

“It has been the clamor of our sector for the government for sustainable funds to be made available for socialized housing developers,” she said.

On the other hand, Ducay said Congressman Valencia is also supporting the proposal of the housing sector for the creation of the Department of Housing.

The creation of the housing department will upgrade the Housing Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) to a department status.

“Right now processing of projects is quiet difficult as they deal with different shelter agencies. But if there will be a single department, transaction will be uniform with requirements and procedures,” he said.

The Land Use Law is equally important because developers will have concrete guide how and where to locate subdivisions especially so that lands in the provinces are mostly for agriculture and tourism.

In this aspect, Davao is a focused location city because it is ready with its city/municipal land use plan. All this specific concerns needed in the housing projects, will now be acted upon by the Department of Housing, the body that will regulate and issue policies related to housing.

The other concern that Tan raised is for socialized housing developers to be exempt of cash advances when utilities such as light and water will be introduced to the subdivision.

Tan said for the installation of power in the project site would cost them about P120,000 per post. If there will be more than 10 posts, the cost would be P1 million or more and the return of investment will take long because the refund will only be made when connections are tapped and the utility company starts to earn.

She said they do not expect overnight change but they are willing to cooperate with the government to polish and straighten out policies, so that socialized housing is acted upon and more poor people will have access to housing projects at cheaper cost. (PNA) LOR/Digna D. Banzon/lvp


Today’s news — Revised zoning ordinance

October 20, 2008

Davao City is expected to have its revised Zoning Ordinance by the first quarter of 2009.

This was said by Majority Floor Leader Councilor Danilo Dayanghirang during the Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City who also added that the Committee on Housing headed by Councilor Arnulfo Cabling and City Planning Head Engr. Ma. Luis Jacinto still have to come up with a decision on the complaint filed by Ma-a residents against real property developers Villar and Consunje who owns the high-end properties in the area.

The issue, he said was due to the complaint about development in the area which the residents said is without permit.

He said the ordinance already went to several adjustments and it is high time for the ordinance be reviewed.

Davao City‘s revised zoning ordinance was passed in 1996 and enacted in 2002. The zoning code regulates the use of the city’s land resources in the implementation of the Comprehensive Development Plan of Davao City. It is supposed to be updated every five years.

The updating of the Comprehensive Development Plan and Zonification Ordinance of Davao City is actually a priority project of the 15th City Council (2007-2008).

The purposes of the Revised Zoning Ordinance of 1996 capture this need for balance: to guide, control and regulate future growth and development of Davao City in accordance with its Comprehensive Development Plan; and to promote and protect the environment, health, sanitation, safety, peace, comfort, convenience and general welfare of the inhabitants in the locality.

Meanwhile Councilor Pilar Braga said that they deemed it proper that before development permit is granted they should get a clearance from the traffic management.

She said in the case of property development like malls, traffic plans are already done before the construction of the mall kaya late na. “We will review also the traffic ordinance,” she sai