No more extension for Rent Control Law – Zialcita

Published by rudy Date posted on January 3, 2009

The House committee on Housing and Urban Development on Friday ignored another round of extension of the Rent Control Act, which expired on December 31, 2008.

Rep. Eduardo Zialcita, vice chairman of the committee, said they would instead allow prevailing market forces to set the increase on rents in residential areas.

The law prevents unbridled increases in rents of residential units and gives protection to low-income tenants and boarders, especially students.

“No more extensions,” the Para­ñaque City lawmaker said. “Two extensions are enough, let the market forces set the pace in rental business.”

Zialcita explained that the non-extension of the law would instead encourage the public to purchase or enter into a housing loan, particularly in Pag-Ibig, where the interest is very low.

“The government has more housing units for them. They should loan houses instead of renting,” he pointed out.

He stressed the committee’s decision does not favor businessmen. It just wants to send a strong message that rent-to-own through Pag-Ibig is a better option because a house and lot are assets to homeowners.

Pag-Ibig, through the effort of Vice President Noli de Castro, chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, lowered the interest rate to between 6 percent and 7 percent from 16 percent to make it affordable.

Rent Control Law upon its creation has allowed a maximum of 10-percent annual increase.

The expired law covered residential units with total monthly rent not exceeding P10,000 for each unit in Metro Manila and other highly urbanized cities, and not exceeding P5,000 in all other areas.

Based on earlier National Statistics Office (NSO) Census of Population and Housing report, there were about 1.54 million rental units in the country with 687,048 of these in Manila.

The NSO added that about 600,000 units in Manila have monthly rents below P10,000.
–Sammy Martin, Manila Times

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