Naga developer sees rising housing demand, backlogs
By Juan Escandor Jr. NAGA CITY --- Citing the 5 million national backlog in the demand for housing that reflects the local situation, a real estate developer sees the demand rising in years to come even in Camarines Sur. Richard “Toti” Rocha, chief executive officer of the Deca Homes, said the backlog is caused by the challenges in the processing by government agencies involved in the approval of the requirements of real estate development. “Before we could develop projects the process takes long. Like for example, for the permits and licenses we experience long delay because there are lots of government agencies involved,” Rocha said. Normally, he said, based on his experience, securing permits and licenses in two years is already considered fast. “So, this (long process) creates more backlogs in the housing needs,” Rocha said. He said the process passes through the central office of Department of Agrarian Reform for conversation of land with the prior approval of the Department of Agriculture and National Irrigation Administration and the local government units. “For us developer, because it takes long to process the permits and licenses prior to development after acquiring the lots and loans from the banks, our investment is stalled,” Rocha said. He said with the delay in the processing of permits and licenses, new projects cannot proceed until the first one has been started. “Because of this, we cannot cater to the demand. That’s why the housing supply in Camarines Sur cannot catch up,” Rocha said. He said they have no problem with the clients’ repayment because of the affordable scheme through Pag-ibig with low interest rates. Rocha said the fast urbanization of Naga City has made them to venture in the mid-rise condominium especially that mall development is booming. “It’s a different product and market,” he said. Rocha said the Deca Homes was started by his father in 1992; they started in Naga in 2001. He said, since then Deca Homes has built about 5,000 housing units after 16 years of operation here.