Press Release
October 11, 2008

To position RP as a safe haven of investments amid Global Financial Turbulence

Senator Edgardo J. Angara said today that the enactment of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) law will boosts RP's position as a safe haven of investments in the Asia-Pacific region amid the Global Credit Crunch.

Speaking before the 2nd Philippine REIT Forum, Angara said that it is high time to launch REIT in the country since the market is viable for alternative investments.

"Now is the propitious time to launch a REIT because the gestation period for it would take one year to get it up and running. And that's about the time some economist, like IMF, predicts that the recovery will be towards the last quarter of next year. The same time our REIT would have been launched, explained and sold to the investing public so that they will buy the idea and actually get into the market and invest," said Angara, who chairs the Senate Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies.

He added, "In the context of the Philippine Real Estate market, which have experienced a roller coaster ride in the past years, I think that uneven edges will be smoothed out if we've got an active REIT industry."

REIT provides a tax effective legal structure allowing the public to invest in income generating real estate assets and eventually derive a return from it. Angara also said that establishing REIT in the country would provide liquidity to the real estate market, unlock capital and eventually help the Philippine economy.

The Senate Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies has already submitted Committee Report No. 103 on the REIT bill last September 24, 2008 and is now set for plenary discussion.

"I hope that we can put it through the Senate by the end of the legislative year, that means that by December 20 the Senate can get this measure out because this is included as one of the priority measures the Senate would like to pass," said Angara who also authored the Credit Bureau bill which is set to be signed President Arroyo by the end of October.

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