Real Estate

House approves Bill on Idle Government-owned Lands Disposition

Date: 01 December 2018; Type: Legal News; Source: House of Representatives

The House of Representatives approved on second reading House Bill 8553 or the “Idle Government-Owned Lands Disposition,” which seeks to prescribe the mechanisms to facilitate the disposition of unused properties that are owned by the government for socialized housing.

The bill, principally authored by Rep. Eric Singson (2nd District, Ilocos Sur), provides that the State shall ensure the availability of sufficient lands for socialized housing purposes and improve the capability of Local Government Units (LGUs) in undertaking housing and urban development programs.

To carry out its provisions, the bill seeks to mandate the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) through the National Housing Authority (NHA), in coordination with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), to prepare the inventory of all lands owned by the national government that have not been used for the purpose for which they have been reserved for the past 10 years.

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) through the LGUs shall also be directed to prepare the inventory of all local government-owned properties within their respective localities that have remained idle.

With these inventories, the NHA, in coordination with the Land Management Bureau (LMB), shall identify the lands owned by the national government that are suitable for socialized housing.

Meanwhile, the LGUs, with the assistance of Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board, shall identify the local government-owned properties that can be utilized for socialized housing, as well.

The measure also provides that if these properties owned by the LGUs and the national government will not be used for socialized housing purposes then they shall be sold, alienated, or encumbered for their development into industrial, commercial or other similar estates.

Otherwise, at least 10 percent of their proceeds shall be set aside for the development of socialized housing projects within, adjacent, or near the affected areas in the city or municipality.

The bill stipulates that segregated lands or funds from the properties owned by the national government shall be conveyed to the NHA for the expansion of socialized housing projects. Likewise, the LGUs shall be mandated to retain the lands owned by the LGUs and utilize them exclusively for socialized housing.

For the implementation of this measure, the NHA and the concerned LGUs shall be authorized to enter into a joint venture agreement with private developers as well as non-government organizations that are engaged in housing production.

To encourage the participation of the private sector and the NGOs, they shall receive incentives pursuant to Section 20 of Republic Act 7279 or the “Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992” on Incentives for Private Sectors Participating in Socialized Housing.

The measure stipulates that the HUDCC and the DENR shall promulgate the necessary rules and regulations, including the mechanisms and procedures to make the inventory as well as identify the lands suitable for socialized housing.

The bill is also authored by Reps. Gus Tambunting (2nd District, Parañaque), Ricardo “RJ” Belmonte (Party-list, SBP), Rozzano Rufino Biazon (Lone District, Muntinlupa City), Rosenda Ann Ocampo (6th District, Manila), Micaela Violago (2nd District, Nueva Ecija), Winston Castelo (2nd District, Quezon City), Alfredo Benitez (3rd District, Negros Occidental), Jose Christopher Belmonte (6th, Quezon City), Tom Villarin (Party-list, AKBAYAN), and Michael Romero, PhD. (Party-list, 1-PACMAN).

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