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Confronting the Philippine Housing Situation and Scanning Potential Solutions

Addressing the ballooning housing backlog can be a part of the government’s initiatives for economic rebound during and after the pandemic. The estimated multiplier effect of every peso investment on housing can range from P1.93, P3.44, to as high as P16.61. This is because around 80 industries are involved in the construction of a single unit. However, issues on the land market, price-setting, financing, unserved segment, time-consuming processes, weaknesses of existing programs, and other institutional concerns beset the sector. Current efforts of the 18th Congress in prioritizing legislations on financing, rental subsidies, on-site or near-city resettlements, and land expropriation, try to resolve some of these problems. But much remains to be done. Ideas from local governments, Gawad Kalinga, and even some ASEAN member states, offer some insights and solutions. The paper proposes a shift from compliance to incentive-based policies for low-cost housing production as well as some suggestions on sourcing and designing financial assistance. It reiterates the need for a national land use policy and the importance of access and transport in the selection of lands for socialized housing. Aside from inputs on evidence-based programming, it sees the potential bigger role of local governments, especially cities, in contributing to meet the housing demand by subscribing to housing one-stop centers and allocating a portion of their bigger 2022 resource base in housing their poor population


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