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PIA Press Release

Congress seeks amendments to housing laws

by RG Alama

Davao City (5 October) -- The House of Representatives committee on Housing and Urban Development is seeking the amendments on housing laws with a series of bills being deliberated in its chamber.

According to House Rep. Eduardo Zialcita of the 1st district of Parañaque, they are conducting a series of public hearings to feel the pulse of the grassroots on the bills of the Lower House, which deals with amendments to housing laws.

These are House Bills 3508, 4521, 4803 and 4903 that seeks to amend certain provisions of Republic Acts 7279 and 6552.

RA 7279 or otherwise known as the "Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992" is considered as the bible of the housing program of the country. On the other hand, RA 6552 formally known as the Realty Installment Buyer Act" or popularly known as the Maceda Law, is a 34-year old law that aims to protect housing buyers against alleged onerous and oppressive conditions imposed by the sellers.

HB 3508 of Rep. Monico Puentevella seeks to amend certain provisions of RA7279 by providing incentives to urban poor organizations in the acquisition of lots by means of direct negotiated purchase.

HB 4521 of Rep. Rey b. Aquino M.D. seeks an amendment of RA7279 by giving local government units (LGUs) a free hand to recommend to developers the schemes for the acquisition and disposition of lands within their localities which would be used for their socialized housing requirements.

HB 4803 of Rep. Rodolfo Valencia seeks to amend certain provisions of the "Maceda Law". It seeks to remove the obligation of the seller to refund to the buyer the cash surrender value of the total payments he has made whether or not he has paid an equivalent of two years of employment. The bill seeks to restore the balance between the interests of the buyers of real property and the welfare of legitimate real estate developers/sellers.

HB 4903 of Rep. Eduardo Zialcita seeks to amend certain provisions of the "Maceda law" by limiting the applicability of the law to individual buyers only of residential real property.

Zialcita's bill also seeks the deduction of penalty charges and interests on the installment amortizations, certain taxes and expenses paid to third persons. Such third person such as the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the LGUs and real estate brokers and agents from the total payments made for the purposes of determining the cash surrender value refundable to the buyer.

Rep. Zialcita said that the Maceda Law in its three decades of existence needs to be updated, as it has become an obstacle to fair business dealings between the real estate buyers and the sellers.

The public hearing on these Housing bills was conducted last October 4 at the of the Mindanao Economic and Development Office (Medco) Conference room. And was presided by Representatives Eduardo Zialcita, Arturo Pingoy of South Cotabato and Corazon Malanyaon of the 2nd district of Davao Oriental. (PIA XI) [top]

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