- Population: Over 105.8 million
- Urbanization: 46.9 percent lives in cities
- Life expectancy: 69.6 years
- Unemployment rate: 7.7 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 campaign and Leadership Academy training, 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 HYLB 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 a leadership training session.
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 that 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 help 10 million people secure access to land for shelter. To this end, Habitat Philippines has attended committee hearings by 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
Annalyn, Wilfredo and their two sons used to live in a tiny room over an open sewage canal in the flood-prone slums of Bacolod City, the Philippines. In 1999, they worked alongside international volunteers to build their own home during Habitat for Humanity’s Carter Work Project in a village they had dubbed “Pamana”.
Feeling at peace, Annalyn could leave her children at home while she worked in a salon and Wilfredo held a carpentry job. With their combined income, they were able to buy a small plot of land to plant fruit trees as well as run a modest construction business.
Both their sons are now on their way to becoming full-fledged aircraft mechanics. Annalyn and Wilfredo also welcomed two daughters who need not experience the hardship of living in a slum. “Our home is the place where we keep our family whole, stable and secure. Our children know that they can always return to this place,” Annalyn says.