THE Subdivision and Housing Developers Association (SHDA) in Central Visayas welcomed the appointment of Vice President Leni Robredo to head the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC).

“We look forward to meeting her soon. We are excited to hear her programs to arrest and drill down the housing backlog,” said SHDA Central Visayas president Julie Castaños.

A pre-recorded footage of President Rodrigo Duterte’s briefing, aired on the government-owned PTV-4 last week, showed the President calling Robredo over the phone to offer the housing post. This was an unexpected move after Duterte in previous pronouncements said he would not offer a Cabinet post to Robredo, saying it might hurt his friend, defeated vice presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

Aside from addressing the country’s housing backlog, the local developers also look forward to the streamlining of permit applications in the government and an end to red tape in government offices.

“We are hopeful that with our HUDCC chair, the whole permitting cycle affecting the housing industry can be revisited, from building permit applications, licensing, financing, easy tax availments, title transfers, etc. The least time to process, the least cost to incur will mean a faster time for developers to produce more homes for the underserved mass market,” noted Castaños.

The HUDCC chairmanship during the previous administration belonged to then vice president Jejomar Binay.

As the new HUDCC head, Robredo will chair the Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF) or Pag-IBIG Fund, Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB), National Home Mortgage Financing Corp. (NHMFC), National Housing Authority (NHA) and Social Housing Finance Corp. (SHFC). In addition, she will also serve as the vice chair of the Home Guaranty Corp. (HGC).

National director Samuel Lao of the Philippine Real Estate Board (PAREB) said he believes Robredo might get the job done, especially reaching out to the poor families in need of housing, being an anti-poverty advocate herself.

“This time, having a Cabinet member like VP Leni, who does not have too much political ambition… makes her a promising, result-oriented cabinet official. Surely, HUDCC will be focusing on answering the backlog (of 1.5 million),” Lao said.

This July 15, Robredo will serve as PAREB’s keynote speaker for its 2016 NCR-Luzon Conference, which will be attended by real estate professionals from all over the country. The conference will be held in Tayabas, Quezon.

SHDA is also planning to invite Robredo this October to the National Housing Summit.