The Board of Investments (BOI) recently approved the application of Schmidt Konstruktion Systems Corp. (SKSC) as a new domestic producer of modular housing components.

The Php13.7 million project qualifies all the requirements under the current Investment Priorities Plan’s (IPP). Economic and Low-Cost Housing (horizontal and vertical) is among the preferred activities listed in the IPP. This covers the development of economic and low-cost housing and the manufacture of modular housing components.

“The company, classified as a Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) augurs well with the administration’s efforts to put the SMEs at the front and center, generating further employment opportunities for our countrymen,” Trade Secretary and BOI Chairman Ramon Lopez said.

“With the government’s 10-point socio-economic agenda in full swing, we expect more SME registrations in the future as the incoming IPP is expected to expand the coverage of industry sectors to scale up productivity of these SMEs with innovation-driven-driven growth models,” he said.

Modular Housing components cover the manufacture of modular housing components preferably using indigenous materials. These include roof/framing systems, wall/partition systems, flooring systems, door/window systems and finishing/ceiling systems.  SKSC’s project is into production of steel frames for wall and roofing systems.

The locally-owned company has already started operations in November 2016 with 53 people in its payroll. They are expected to supply wall and system requirements for houses intended for typhoon Yolanda victims in the Visayas in partnership with related government housing agencies, local government units (LGUSs) and non-government organizations (NGOs). They are also targeting to supply mass housing for the military, schools for the Department of Education (Deped) and construction of regional hospitals. Other targeted markets include property developers and construction firms engaged in socialized or mass housing.

The National Housing Authority (NHA) has endorsed SKSC to the BOI. NHA has attested that the company’s products have better quality and easier installation over the conventional finished concrete exterior and interior wall systems and said systems have no wastage in production and are ergonomically designed to promote efficiency.

The current housing backlog is around 3.9 million households. Assuming that production of housing units would average 200,000 units yearly up to the year 2030, the backlog would still persist and hit 6.5 million units by then. Still, the domestic housing sector has enormous potential for growth, as demand for living spaces continue to increase. The biggest demand comes from the economic housing segment, followed by socialized housing, and lastly by low-cost housing.

Through several industry-led initiatives, the sector hopes to sustain its robust growth and development at affordable price for the domestic household. The industry envisions an increase of housing production capacity to sustain a target of 12% annual growth rate, the implementation of a comprehensive government housing subsidy for targeted segments, improvement of the regulatory environment for housing and the further generation and mobilization of funds for end-user financing.