Press Release
January 28, 2009

Zubiri calls on House of Representatives to prioritize the rent control law

1.56 million families nationwide; 639,000 families in Metro Manila to benefit

Senator Juan Miguel F. Zubiri called on the House of Representatives to prioritize the passage of a new law on rent control.

"We are looking at creating a regulatory body to have jurisdiction over the rental housing sector with the mission to protect the rights of the renting public as well as the owners of houses or apartments for rent," Zubiri said during the Senate hearing on rent control.

"This new rent control law will protect at least 1.56 million families who pay monthly rent of P10,000 and below. They comprise 97.5 % of the total 1.6 million families who rent nationwide. This latest data revealed that we have an increasing number of families who are renting."

"When we crafted RA 9341 in 2005, only 1.512 families were renting of which 83 % or 1.24 million families were paying P10,000 and below monthly rent."

Zubiri stressed that just in Metro Manila, at least 639,000 families will directly benefit from this law once approved.

"This law determines the difference between a sleepless night thinking of tomorrow's rent or having to sleep without a roof over their head. If rents skyrocket, many may be forced to become homeless or move out to very inconvenient housing facilities, or the slums."

"Developers in the National Real Estate Association and the Subdivision and Housing Developers Association expressed their agreement to my bill protecting the rights of renters and owners."

Zubiri reiterated that Section 7 (Grounds for Judicial Ejectment) was "an input from the affected sectors such as developers and owners of residential units for rent."

"Location is critical in deciding to rent. Most of the socialized and low-cost housing projects are too far from the jobs here in Metro Manila. That's why many decide to rent even if they own homes in Cavite or Laguna to save on transportation expenses."

"Aside from the provision on the rent increase cap, we will now determine if this will be a permanent rent control law which will also pave the way for the creation of a body with powers and functions over the residential rental sector."

"The Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council may be tasked to take charge of the law. We may grant it some enforcement powers since monitoring and enforcement is crucial. They may even have quasi-judicial powers."

Zubiri said he was willing to sponsor Senate Bill 2884 and defend it as Senator Biazon announced during the hearing that he may seek to inhibit himself during the Plenary debate.

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