What Are Permits For?

Manila Bulletin, September 24, 2014 | Go to article overview

What Are Permits For?


The controversy to which one real estate developer has been dragged of late raised this question among major players in the property industry.

As it is, developing houses and communities for all segments of the property market remains to be among the most highly regulated and heavily taxed industries.

Right from the project conceptualization stage, developers already have to deal with a long list of government agencies to secure licenses and permits that all take a long time to be issued.

From ensuring that titles from the Land Registration Authority are valid, that the type of development being considered falls under the existing land use plans, securing a conversion order or the exemption therefrom from the DAR, environmental clearance from DENR, obtaining registration and licence to sell from HLURB, development permit from the LGU, and the list goes on.

Yet, housing activities have the power as tremendous growth-driver because at any point in a project's life, the economy benefits directly from investments spent on materials, labor, tax generation and the like. Put together, all direct, indirect or induced impacts of housing construction, particularly when done in mass, can create multiplier effects transcending at least 70 other industries, including the supply of construction materials, services, financing institutions, and many others.

Cognizant of the enormous pump-priming potential of housing and real estate activities in spurring economic and social development of the country, the Chamber of Real Estate and Builders' Associations, Inc. or CREBA has, for more than four decades, been at the forefront of ensuring that every Filipino family will not only have a "roof above their heads" but a "home they can call their own."

Hence, CREBA has made it a foremost policy and advocacy for its 3,500-strong membership to fully comply with all laws, rules and regulations that govern housing and other types of real estate development while fulfilling its role in assisting the national government in addressing the housing shortfall, estimated at 5.5 million units.

At times, some of these laws may vary for each locality, as all local governments are empowered to promulgate and enact ordinances. For example, while only the HLURB is granted the power to issue locational clearances, several LGUs require developers to obtain the same from their city or municipality, particularly for the construction of condominiums.

Hence, the implementation of real estate development projects take huge time, effort and investments across various stages from the point of land acquisition as it involves a complex process of securing permits and licences from all levels of government, up to the national agencies down to the barangay level. …

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