The most difficult fundamental human need to meet for all poor people is that of shelter. Every individual has the right to a permanent residence with basic facilities such as a toilet, a kitchen, and some privacy. This home should be able to withstand the forces of nature, especially in the Philippines which is prone to earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, and other natural disasters.
Currently, more than 4.5 million people in the Philippines are homeless, which adds up to 4 percent of the total population. If nothing is done, this number is expected to rise to 12 million by 2030. Housing Poverty in the Philippines is quite a challenge, considering the following reasons-
High input costs- The prices of cement, steel, and other crucial housing inputs are rising consistently. Naturally, builders would always pass on these expenses to the buyers. For many, the high costs of housing mean they continue to live in squalid conditions till they can find a home that they can afford.
Growing population- Even though the rate of population growth is slowing, the Philippines still has a population of more than 100 million people. Many people live in crowded settlements and homes as they cannot afford to buy or rent a home of their own. Many poor households have large families, which need bigger houses that are expensive to build.
Lack of land- With increasing pressure on limited land, constructing houses for the poor is usually on the backburner for the authorities. Priority is given to constructing homes for the rich or economic activities. Many a time, builders find it unattractive to construct homes for the poor as other land uses are more profitable
Government apathy- Though the Philippine government has taken steps in the right direction, it has mostly turned a blind eye to the crippling housing crisis the poor are facing. Many public housing proposals are stuck in red tape while corrupt officials have diverted funds and land meant for the poor for other uses.
Poor quality homes- Many poor Filipinos tend to stay in shantytowns across Metro Manila and elsewhere in the Philippines. These homes are built with poor quality materials, asbestos sheets, and other materials that usually do not help them with the forces of nature. Whenever there is any natural disaster, it is these squalid shantytowns that get destroyed, making people homeless. Many of these homes are constructed illegally on private or public land, raising the risk of being evicted anytime.
In the end
With limited resources and high demand for low-cost housing, nonprofits and local governments are trying to do whatever they can to help house the poor. However, getting everyone a home can be quite a difficult task, requiring a lot of aid and funding, especially when a disaster has struck.
To help house the poor in the Philippines, you can contribute to Emergency Relief Fund Donation at leading charities like the Catholic Connect Foundation which helps build houses for the poor. Your donation is sure to get you God’s blessings besides immense goodwill from those who have benefitted from your contributions.