A Youth Statement on Housing as Priority Issue in the Philippines

A Youth Statement on Housing as Priority Issue in the Philippines

February 9, 2022
Petition to
2022 Electoral Candidates of the Republic of the Philippines
Signatures: 313Next Goal: 500
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Why this petition matters

A joint statement written by representatives of Habitat for Humanity Philippines Campus Chapters, Community Youth Groups, and the Youth Congress Committee.


Two out of three Filipinos are suffering from the housing crisis, and are at high risk of losing their lives each day. Now more than ever, we are calling on our national government to rapidly work towards building sustainable communities and breaking down the barriers in accessing decent and affordable housing, to ensure protection against diseases, casualties, and other detrimental impacts.

The Housing Crisis

We are in a housing crisis because of (1) the housing affordability gap, an unintended consequence of economic growth and land development that challenges those trying to find quality homes within their purchasing powers, (2) the lack of proper urban planning and management of our limited land amidst our growing population, urban migration, and cyclical natural disasters, and (3) the tedious housing project registration and accreditation process that requires 148 signatories, 28 permits and 373 documents to be submitted, prolonging efforts geared towards the ensuring widescale accessibility of housing.

Filipinos are consequently troubled in ways beyond the lack of four surrounding walls and a roof over their heads. Those heavily affected by the housing crisis live in an environment wherein their physical and mental health is constantly compromised. For the dreams and aspirations they have, their hope diminishes as their voices remain limited and unheard. They remain victims of violence, crimes, community fires, and stampedes. They continue to be neglected in important decision-making processes on matters like lockdown restrictions that don’t consider its infeasibility due to (1) the lack of shelter, (2) the need to generate income for survival, and (3) greater health risks from unsanitary conditions.

The simple truth is that millions of Filipinos are suffering every day and they face multiple barriers in uplifting themselves from their current situations due to the lack of decent housing. These issues have gone on for decades and the time to solve them is now.

The Government’s Response

We cannot afford to delay the process of closing the housing gap nor continue wasting limited resources. The Senate Committee on Urban Planning estimates that over P30 billion have gone to waste due to (1) the overreliance on subcontracting, (2) improper location strategies along danger zones, and (3) the failure to meet their requirements of a decent home based on the community’s contexts. We know that it entails the involvement of community members in its planning and execution, proper design that ensures durability against any possible casualties, and accessibility to basic needs and services, among others. Why is it that the same mistakes are repeated?

The House of Representatives adopted a resolution declaring a housing crisis in the country to increase the annual allocation for housing. For 2022, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) suggested an allotment of P6.39 billion (or less than 1% of the DHSUD’s proposed budget), which is insufficient and inappropriate given the extent of the housing crisis. The DHSUD needs more support and assistance from the national government, its various departments, and local government units (LGUs) in recognizing the significance of housing as a human right and an avenue for both social and economic development. We want to show you why the investment in housing is worth it.

Investing in Housing

“Importante ang bahay para maging safe, nang alam mo hindi ka masisilipan, hindi ka masasaksak, nang pwede kang gumising na nakangiti.” The fulfillment of a basic need and human right pushes for human dignity and human development. Through decent and affordable shelter, we promote food security, access to clean water, and electricity from the reallocation of disposable income that enables individuals to focus on other livelihood opportunities. Through well-constructed shelter within holistically developed communities, we promote quality education, improved physical and mental health, and psychosocial development in a clean and safe environment with minimal disruptions, and where norms and values are built for the common good.

The increased accessibility to basic needs and services puts more individuals at a capacity to actively participate in efforts that can drive their contribution to society and the economy, to ultimately attain their self-sufficiency. Housing is not an expense, but an investment that enables every Filipino to create a life of living rather than of day-to-day survival. It is an investment towards nationwide development and in fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Holistic approaches to continue solving the housing crisis from this point, onwards

The housing crisis, together with the ongoing health crisis and economic recession further reveals the need for systematic changes that target the heart of these issues. We need to work towards the long-term prosperity of the Philippines and all of its people. Our suggested approaches for the national government are as follows:

Illustrate that housing is prioritized and given due allotment in the 2022 National Budget to fund better approaches for the DHSUD and its agencies to solve the housing crisis, and to incentivize civil society organizations (CSOs) and the private sector to do the same.
Strengthen and streamline public policies and services to promote the feasibility and efficiency of building sustainable communities and executing non-discriminatory public housing policies and programs that provide quality homes to all Filipinos that do not have one.
Engage in participatory discourse for housing efforts such as in the People’s Plan approach, where the expertise and contexts of community members are recognized alongside the government, CSOs, and the private sector.
Address the housing crisis from all fronts to mitigate all of the root causes and their impacts. Use what is already known and disseminate all relevant information on building decent housing across all concerned entities for solutions to be executed effectively and continuously.

“Kung talagang prioridad ng gobyerno ang taong bayan, sana maging prioridad ang pagbigay ng tahanan sa bawat pamilya kasi ito ay isa sa essential para sa kanila ngayon at para sa kanilang kinabukasan.” We invite you to recognize the benefits of housing to promote economic development, reduce inequality, and meet the SDGs. Not only that, but also as an avenue to shape active citizens that can actualize their potential and opportunity for national development. As our country’s leaders, we ask that you use your capabilities, power and influence to create and strengthen the foundations needed to unlock this. Through shelter, we can empower.

Support now
Signatures: 313Next Goal: 500
Support now