By Marifi S. Jara
Mindanao Bureau Chief
WHILE CONDOMINIUMS and gated subdivisions continue to mushroom in urban and sub-urban parts of the country, the need for affordable housing units is seen at 6.8 million between 2017 to 2022.
As of end-2016, the socialized housing backlog already stood at more than two million, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), and the government admits that it cannot do the work alone to meet the needs of about a quarter of the population.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said the government’s ten-year BALAI (Building Adequate Livable Affordable and Inclusive Filipino Communities) program, will require “private sector playing a significant and pivotal role” to close the housing gap.
“Besides rapid population growth, urbanization, and rural-urban migration, the housing needs of our country remain a challenge. We have to harness housing as a platform to reduce poverty and improve social outcomes… NEDA will carry on supporting communities, marginalized sectors, local government units, and the private sector in promoting safe, secure, and well-planned communities” Mr. Pernia said in a statement released by NEDA on Sept. 26.
Habitat for Humanity Philippines Managing Director Mike Meaney said their work in helping provide decent homes and building communities, similarly, would not be possible without multi-stakeholder participation, including the government.
The global foundation has benefitted 140,000 Filipino families in about 200 communities in the last three decades.
“These are more than numbers, these are milestones that highlight the importance of housing and concrete actions… These would not have been possible without our partners, volunteers, donors,” Mr. Meaney said during Habitat for Humanity Philippines’ 30th anniversary celebration held at the Apo View Hotel in Davao City on Sept. 27.
At the event, Habitat announced a P50-million partnership over the next five years with property developer Euro Towers International Inc., an affiliate company of Apo View Hotel and has high-rise condominium projects in Metro Manila and Davao.
“We share the same passion for advocating building with dignity among the Filipino community by providing them with livable and decent homes,” Grace de Leon, Euro Towers head of sales, said at the partnership launch.
“We support nation-building,” she added.
The tie-up with Habitat, which will also involve providing design and construction expertise, is Euro Tower’s foray into the socialized housing sector.
“Both Habitat for Humanity and Euro Towers believe that a decent and comfortable home is more than a privilege, but a basic need for each family…Through this partnership, we want to protect this right and take part in uplifting the spirits of our fellow Filipinos,” said Euro Towers Chief Operating Officer Maricar J. Encarnacion.
Melissa Avanceña Aradanas, deputy secretary general of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, commended the partnership as she called on more participation in “making cities and human settlements inclusive.”
She said, “We call our partners, private sector and non-government organizations, to step up our housing production and development not just in terms of numbers but more importantly, in terms of quality, durability, and resiliency.”