Solon calls for rent hike freeze

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Bagong Henerasyon Party-list Representative and House Committee on Women & Gender Equality chair Bernadette Herrera-Dy has urged the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) to freeze rent rates at current levels to prevent poor and middle income families from suffering.

Consistent with the Rent Control Act of 2009 (RA 9653), which delegated to the The Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), the setting and coverage of increases in residential rent rates, I now appeal to the HUDCC to consider the hardships of the Filipino at this time of rising inflation, high fuel prices, and peso depreciation against the US dollar,” said Herrera-Dy.

However, if statistical analysis, field reports, and management decision of the HUDCC determine that rent rate hikes are necessary, the rate hike should not be more than the 2018 annual inflation rate based on 2012 prices as determined by the Philippine Statistics Authority, said Herrera-Dy.

According to latest information from the government economic experts and officials, inflation this year could be 4 to 5 percent.

In the past, the HUDDCC stratified the allowable rent rate hikes, but the coverage back then was limited to these monthly rent brackets: up to P3,999 (4 percent allowable rent hike) and P4,000 to P10,000 (7 percent allowable rent hike).

Herrera-Dy proposed three tiers of rent bracketing and the percentage of maximum allowable rent increase nationwide as follows: Up to P4,000 per month rent, 3 percent; P4,001 to P10,000 per month rent, 4 percent; and P10,000 to P20,000 per month rent, 5 percent.

“This I believe is fair to most Filipino families who rent apartments and other residential units, but still allows landlords to recover from the cost of inflation,” said Herrera-Dy.

Here in Quezon City, the usual one-room or studio apartments with bathroom go for P10,000 and below, but for two or more bedrooms fit for the usual Filipino family of 5 to 6 members, monthly rentals are P11,000 to P20,000. An internet scan of apartments available on a popular website confirms this.

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