InterAksyon – Marcos calls for creation of housing superbody for civil servants

By Ernie Reyes | InterAksyon

MANILA, Philippines – In order to facilitate faster and efficient housing provision to all government employees, Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Wednesday filed a bill for the creation of a “superbody” to establish a one-stop-shop on shelter program for all civil servants.

“There is a need for the creation of a ‘superbody’ that will establish a ‘one-stop-shop’ to make it easier for government employees to realize their dream of having their own house,” Marcos said.

The creation of the superbody, called the Civil Service Housing Executive Committee, is a feature of Senate Bill No. 110, which is meant to set up a comprehensive national housing program for government employees.

The committee will be composed of the chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Council as ex-officio chairman; the Interior and Local Government secretary or appropriate undersecretary, and heads of Social Security System, Government Service Insurance System, Home Development Mutual Fund, National Home Mortgage Financing Corporation, Home Guaranty Corporation, National Housing Authority, and Socialized Housing Financing Corporation, as members.

Under the bill, the committee is tasked to establish a “one-stop-shop” that will integrate all housing programs of various state agencies, of which government employees are the beneficiaries, under a single national office.

“In the process, the government will not only be able to address the housing backlog, but also find efficiencies to obviate the bureaucratic delays that normally accompany the implementation of a housing program,” Marcos said.

Marcos lamented that the housing sector remains saddled with a heavy backlog despite the mandate given to various state agencies, public and private institutions, as well as local government units, to implement their own housing programs.

Data from the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council shows that as of January 2011, the backlog in the housing sector stands at a dismal 3.63 million housing units.

“While the housing need for all Filipino families is a constant priority, the government has to take notice also of the largest beneficiary group on whom all government depends: its loyal and hardworking — and equally needing — government employees, who render valuable services and without whom its machinery would be rendered paralyzed,” Marcos said.

The program calls for the coordination of the various housing and financing programs of the key shelter agencies (KSAs), such as the Social Security System (SSS), Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF/PAG-IBIG Fund), National Home Mortgage Financing Corp., Home Guarantee Corp., National Housing Authority (NHA), Socialized Housing Financing Corp. (SHFC), and other concerned departments, agencies and offices of the government.

Likewise, the bill mandates the participation of, and coordination with, LGUs as well as the private sector in the implementation of the program.

To provide funds for the initial implementation of the program, the bill earmarks P1 billion from the General Appropriations Act on the year of the effectivity of the law.

Other sources of funds for the program include specific budget allocations in the yearly appropriations for the KSAs that get budgetary support from the national government, specific budget allocations from the funds of the LGUs, and one percent (1%) from the Value Added Tax collections of the government.

The program would also accept, as additional source of funds, financial assistance and donations from legitimate sources from the private sector and non-government organizations, which shall be exempt from donor’s tax and shall be considered as well as allowable deductions from the gross income of the donor.

Additional fiscal incentives also await representatives from the private sector and NGOs, whether as landowner, developer, financier or donor, for participating in the program.

To prevent abuse, the bill also includes a provision prohibiting any government employee who avails of the program from selling or transferring the rights over the housing unit he acquired within a period of 10 years, except to his family members within the second degree of consanguinity.

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