More thoughts on the housing situation in the country PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 03 April 2017 13:49

By Remedios F. Mamoleño

The KADAMAY occupation of the thousands of low-cost housing units in  a number of government housing projects in Bulacan is a clear indication just how acute the housing shortage is for people in the economic bracket represented by the KADAMAY members. Sad to say  I am no bleeding heart  when it comes to situations like this. I still take the position that need is not sufficient justification for anyone to do what is not right. Not always, anyway.  On the other hand it has been my own personal observation that there is a genuine need for decent and affordable housing for families in the lower-middle to below- the middle economic categories.

At one time I was being a “tourist” in a high-end township development in Mactan, Cebu. It was an interesting experience, knowing just how much one has to shell out for an executive studio unit. The units were well laid out in terms of space allocation and came with furniture and appliances. But  the cost ranged from P4M to P7M. Considering the typical Filipino family  two problems were immediately evident: a studio unit would be too small and the price too high.

I was quite candid with my comments to an executive of the company who was showing us around. Did the company have projects providing housing for families earning just about  P50K a month? Since this economic category was a much bigger market, why were they not targeting this market sector?  In the end we both agreed that business considerations ( read profit) were the main reason why the company and other companies like it were in the high end sector.

A column by Cielito Habito a few days ago mentioned that in 2011 there was a shortage of 3.1 million low cost housing units for  people in the KADAMAY income bracket. On the other hand  for those who can buy condo units there was an excess of some 250,000 units. The author said that based on 2016 estimates “if the housing gap is to be filled, at  least 2,600 homes must be built each day till the end of the Duterte administration” .

With the government so busy fighting the illegal drug trade, fending off impeachment threats, pushing the federalism agenda  and planning on the appointments of officials for some  64,000 barangays, will it still have the energy to carry out this tremendous task?

As frequently claimed, PRRD was elected on the promise of addressing 3 priorities- the illegal drug trade, criminality and corruption in government. Building 2,600 homes a day for the lower-middle class families will have to take a back seat just yet.