VP Jejomar Binay Called on NGAs, GFIs to Harmonize Co-ops in Housing Programs
Quezon City, Philippines. A day after the onslaught of typhoon Glenda in selected provinces in Luzon, the CDA and partners convene some 400 selected national cooperative leaders and stakeholders from different parts of the country to expound issues and concerns facing the implementation of the Cooperative Housing Program in the 1st National Cooperative Housing Summit held at Great Eastern Hotel, Quezon Avenue, Quezon City on July 17, 2014. Top CDA Officials and personnel which include among others Administrators Eulogio T. Castillo, Mercedes D. Castillo, and Nelon B. Alindogan graced the affair.
Through the initiative of Administrator Pendatun B. Disimban, Oversight In-Charge on Housing Cooperatives, the CDA called on all interested cooperative leaders to share and learn from each other’s experiences in rolling out the cooperative housing program. As the co-convenors of the Summit, the Key Shelter Agencies (KSAs) supported the event by sending their top officers not only to grace the affair but to update the delegates on their respective initiatives on Cooperative Housing Program.
No less than Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay, after being introduced by CDA Chairman Emmanuel M. Santiaguel, delivered the keynote speech and had given a glimpse of his thoughts on the cooperative sector’s role in advancing the housing program of the government.
Incidentally, VP Binay is the housing Czar of the present administration in his con-current capacity as the HUDCC Chairman. He enjoined the key shelter agencies and government financial institutions to craft common guidelines for the implementation of cooperative housing programs and to create special loan windows to cater to housing cooperatives. He reminded the delegates that the Implementing Rules and Regulations on Housing Cooperatives also mandated government agencies to provide technical assistance and capacity building to housing cooperatives including the provision of effective mechanism for conflict resolutions. “Housing cooperatives are viable option in addressing the housing needs of their members with their inherent advantages and built-in systems and mechanisms.” VP Binay enthussed. He stressed that the directions that need to be undertaken to operationalize those are “a) the harmonization of concept of cooperative housing with the existing government programs on housing and implementation of capacity building activities by the key shelter agencies b) availability of financing through the special loan windows and making the processing of requirements less stringent to cooperatives, c) assistance of the government in the acquisition of land, and d) institutional strengthening and sustainability of cooperatives wherein cooperatives shall continuously build on their strengths and conquer their weaknesses.” Immediately after his speech, his office has posted in its official website the press release as policy pronouncement of the HUDCC. (http:www.ovp.gov.ph)
Meanwhile, the following government institutions as members of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Committee (JMEC) on Housing Cooperatives presented their respective programs and initiatives: the Housing Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC); the Home Development Mutual Fund or PAGIBIG Fund (HDMF) represented by VP Juanito J. Eje; the National Housing Authority (NHA) represented by Atty. Chito M. Cruz; the Home Guaranty Corporation (HGC); the Housing and Land Regulatory Board (HLURB) represented by Atty. Angelito Aguila who discussed the Cooperative Housing Regulatory Challenges; the Socialized Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC); the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) represented by AVP Leopoldo A. Resmundo, Jr; the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP); the Social Security System (SSS), the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
The Key Shelter Agencies recognized cooperatives as the alternative housing provider and the sector’s contribution to the government’s program to address the needs of the homeless low income earners. With the intention of providing affordable and decent shelter, the housing cooperatives are organized in response to the housing requirements of its members. Some of the cooperatives involved are inspired by “bayanihan spirit” and principle of “self-reliance” to build dwelling units and cooperatively-managed community.
Along this line, the housing projects offered investment opportunities for cooperatives economic activities as additional services to members. Through the support of partner agencies, the realization of the dreams and aspirations of member-beneficiaries to own a decent and affordable housing units will be hastened.
The event was very significant because it marked the first collaborative efforts among key players in coop housing program in holding such activity to further strengthen the cooperative sector and make their social relevance felt
The convenors of the summit aimed to come-up with position paper on issues and concerns confronting the housing cooperatives. The affair is likewised used as venue to advocate the full implementation of blanket loans as enshrined in Article 62 (13) of the Cooperative Code of the Philippines, and Rule 1 Section 8 of its Implementing Rules and Regulations. The summit also served as a platform to instill awareness on the programs and projects of government agencies on housing cooperatives.
As updates and inputs in the learning sessions, CDA OIC-Executive Director Ray R. Elevazo, presented the data and visualize the state of cooperative housing and some vital information on the Philippine Cooperatives. “The potential of cooperative to venture in housing program is great in the light of the focus given by the government to the cooperatives.” Director Elevazo emphasized. The representative of BANGKOOP – the Federation of the Coop Banks, on the other hand, also shared some insights in the summit.
Seen to witness the affair are representatives of Philippine Cooperative Center (PCC), National Confederation of Cooperatives (NATCCO), Federation of Sustainable Development Cooperative (FSDC), the Secretary of the House Committee on Coops among other personalities and advocates from well known cooperatives in the country.
Sustaining some challenging ideas in the forum, Atty. Renato Fernandez of the SLU-SVP Housing Cooperative enumerated the experiences of 1,185 members-strong Saint Louis University-Saint Vincent Parish Housing Cooperative — the very first cooperative that ventured into housing project way back in 1971. With the help of Belgium Missionary coupled with the technical assistance from National Housing Authority and the internal mobilization of funds, the cooperative pioneered the coop housing project. The cooperative’s housing project was not only cooperatively owned and managed but likewise implemented through the bayanihan spirit. To date, the cooperative has constructed and awarded a total of 300 housing units to its beneficiaries.
Meanwhile, Ms. Luz Yringco, General Manager of St. Francis Housing Cooperative located in Abuyog, Leyte inspired the delegates with their experiences amidst the wrath brought about by typhoon Yolanda. On the otherhand, Ms. Maria Lourdes T. Sanchez of the Tuy Community Development Cooperative presented an example of a credit cooperative formed among vendor members who eventually embarked in housing project in answer to the needs of their members.
Amidst lack of technical expertise and experience in undertaking a housing project, the three successful cooperatives implemented theirs respective housing projects with the abled guidance of the concerned government agencies like NHA and other financing institutions.
They were able to hurdle the challenges through times which include the growing demand for socialized housing rendered the cooperatives uncapable to provide logistics and expertise. There were times that they experience difficulty in accessing permits and licenses for the housing project.
Meanwhile, Mr. Inocencio M. Malapit of CDA presented the proposed amendment on Rule I of the Special Provisions of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of R.A. 9520 for the information of the delegates. He outlined and clarified the provisions that are enhanced and modified to respond to the call of the time.
In summary, CDA Deputy Executive Director Giovanni T. Platero synthesized the result of the pre-summits conducted by the CDA Extension Offices for two months prior to this event. “The outputs of the pre-summit activities revealed the commonality of issues which boil down to the need for a synchronized, harmonized, comprehensive and holistic government intervention in the areas of policy initiatives and program development among key shelter government agencies and financing institutions to capacitate the cooperatives in terms of technical expertise and financial capabilities to venture cooperative housing programs.” Director Platero stressed. “The need to sustain the privileges and incentives offered and given to cooperatives is wanting and the closer collaboration of all key players, especially the participation of the Local Government Units must be strategically carried through in order for the coop housing program to prosper.” He added.
To cap the forum, Chairperson Doris Canares of the Philippine Cooperative Center presented the “Call to Action of the 1st National Cooperative Housing Summit” reflecting the declaration of the delegates depicting the current situation of the housing cooperatives and the desired action points.
Administrator Pendatun B. Disimban closed the event and thanked all the 1st National Cooperative Housing Summit delegates, participants, and secretariat for the succesful conduct of activity. (With reports from Corazon Diwas and CPDAD Staff)