MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Filipinos may soon be able to secure a housing loan within just seven days as presidential frontrunner Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is bent to revive an initiative to address the ballooning housing backlog in the country.
Previously implemented by the Home Development Mortgage Fund (HDMF), more commonly known as Pag-IBIG Fund, the ‘7-Day Takeout Policy’ will shorten the low-cost housing loan application process.
“We recognize every Filipino family’s desire to have a decent and safe home. We will strive to provide the Filipino worker with a dwelling that will restore his dignity and his hope for a better future,” Marcos said in a news release on Sunday.
It can be recalled that Pag-IBIG was established by then-president Ferdinand Marcos in 1978 through Presidential Decree No. 1530 specifically to address the need for a national savings program and financing for affordable homes for Filipino workers.
The takeout policy would drastically reduce the waiting time for loan approval, which currently stretches from three to four months.
Government data show that the total housing needs of the country will hit 6.8 million units by the end of 2022 and could swell to 22 million units by the year 2040 if left unattended.
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the country’s official total population as of May 1, 2020, has reached 109.0 million, equivalent to almost 24.8 million households with an average family size of 4.4 members.
The economic or low-cost housing segment is those units with a selling price of PHP580,000 to PHP1.7 million.
Meanwhile, socialized housing projects cost no more than PHP580,000 for horizontal development and PHP750,000 for vertical development.
“Unlike previous efforts, we will endeavor a whole of society approach to tackle our growing housing problem. We need to have a convergence between all stakeholders as we institute regulatory and policy reforms,” Marcos added.
Apart from providing Pinoys a decent living, housing development can also help jumpstart economic activity through employment generation, consumption, and indirect tax income.
Its downstream effects on 80 industries also bode well for our bid to recover from the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. (PNA)