- Population: Over 104.2 million
- Urbanization: 44.2 percent lives in cities
- Life expectancy: 69.4 years
- Unemployment rate: 5.5 percent
- Population living below poverty line: 21.6 percent
Source: World Factbook
Habitat for Humanity in the Philippines
Since Habitat for Humanity Philippines started operations in 1988, it has served more than 140,000 families with decent housing. With significant scaling up of its activities, Habitat Philippines is able to help an average of over 25,000 families annually since 2013. Habitat and its partners also provide families with improved access to clean water, sustainable energy, healthcare, education and livelihood. Working in a country that lies along the Pacific Typhoon Belt and the Pacific Ring of Fire, Habitat frequently responds to devastating natural disasters that hit the Philippines annually.
Housing needs in the Philippines
In the Philippines, nearly four million families are living in unsafe, unsanitary and unsustainable conditions. The Philippine government’s current housing policy and mechanisms for housing subsidy have been deemed inadequate to resolve the rising housing deficit. By 2030, the housing backlog will increase to about 6.5 million units. Partnership between the Philippine government, private land developers, corporations and other organizations is key to the formation of a comprehensive and sustainable housing program.
How Habitat addresses the need in the Philippines
Habitat Philippines is a key partner to government agencies, private corporations and other non-profit organizations in providing shelter solutions. Habitat takes on a holistic approach in the communities it creates. It takes the lead in providing livelihood training, strengthening the skills of the youth through the Habitat Young Leaders Build and Leadership Academy, and advocacy efforts centering on security of tenure issues and empowering communities to assert their right to adequate shelter.
Urban renewal and development
Under the regular housing and community development programs, Habitat Philippines aims to lift low-income Filipino families out of overcrowded, unhealthy living conditions or displacement in urban areas by providing them with decent shelter in healthy communities. The average cost of a new home is slightly less than US$12,000. In disaster-hit areas, Habitat Philippines has helped affected families recover, gain access to permanent housing, and prepare for natural disasters and other calamities through training.
Building the next generation of shelter advocates
Habitat Philippines has made it a priority to work hand-in-hand with the youth and create the next generation of shelter advocates through the Habitat Young Leaders Build movement and the Habitat Young Leaders Leadership Academy. The youths are thus engaged to take action together in building homes and communities, speaking out for decent shelter, and raising funds and awareness of the need for adequate housing. A US$25 donation enables one youth to receive leadership training.
Sustainable and appropriate construction technology
Through collaborating with private companies, Habitat Philippines provides communities with appropriate, sustainable construction technology. The communities are often involved in the production of such construction materials which offer additional livelihood opportunities. A disaster-resilient, environmentally friendly home that is built with the cement bamboo frame technology costs about US$10,500.
Awareness and advocacy
Habitat Philippines supports Habitat for Humanity’s global advocacy campaign, Solid Ground, to raise awareness and improve policies and systems to help 10 million people secure access to land for shelter. Habitat Philippines has attended hearings conducted by the Committee on Housing and Urban Development of the Philippines’ House of Representatives and filed a resolution calling for an inquiry into the implementation of Presidential Proclamations that dedicate land for socialized housing. Habitat also works with the Philippines’ Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council on implementing the New Urban Agenda. These efforts are expected to reach 270,000 families who are in need of adequate shelter. With a donation of US$15,000, we can organize a housing advocacy awareness event.
Meet a Habitat family
Rowena and her family used to live in a shack that she described as a pig sty. “We’re lucky that we never got sick while living at the piggery, because we wouldn’t be able to pay for those expenses.” The monthly rent was US$10 while her minimum daily wage from washing clothes by hand, among other work, was US$4. Although her husband worked in a local construction firm making blocks, he knew he would not be able to afford those blocks. When Typhoon Haiyan hit in November 2013, Rowena and her family had to take refuge in their neighbor’s house. They knew they could not return to their old home and way of life. Rowena decided to build a new home in Ormoc city with Habitat Philippines’ partner organization. Life is different now that she has a decent home. “We used to get water from a deep well and boil it. Now, we have that,” she said, proudly pointing to a hot-and-cold water dispenser. “Before, we only bought rice in a sandwich-sized bag. But now, we buy it by the sack.”