The European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) said relocation for informal settlers need not be far from Metro Manila where they earn their living.
The poor can be housed in socialized condominium projects which will be require large space. The ECCP is also batting for the creation of a clear roadmap on socialized housing and the introduction of sustainable building materials.
“There is a clear need for affordable housing especially for the urban poor. All the stakeholders should ensure that the livelihood of this marginalized sector is not displaced when they are offered socialized housing options,” said Henry Schumacher, ECCP senior advocacy adviser.
Schumacher said socialized housing solutions should be possible without moving them out of the city considering that Metro Manila is still where they find jobs or their livelihood.
The government, he said, can look at some of the properties it owns and transform them into urban medium-rise social housing projects.
According to Schumacher, once there is a viable area for the transfer of the urban poor, construction companies can come in and provide adequate housing as part of their corporate social responsibility projects.
“These companies have access to innovative and sustainable materials which can improve the quality and promote more livable socialized houses,” he said.
Schumacher said the ECCP sees vertical developments within Metro Manila and its outlying areas which will not need huge land areas.
He added relocation does not need to be done in provinces which will again take up more lands that are primarily intended for agriculture.
ECCP is gathering key government agencies and the private sector at the Housing Solutions Congressin a bid to collectively solve the country’s housing backlog.
Vice PresidentLeni Robredo, who is also Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) chairperson, as well as leading construction and housing companies will be at the forum set on August 16at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.
As the new housing chief, Robredo said there isa need to build an additional 5.5 million houses, while also citing a 1.40 housing backlog for those that need to be relocated.
According to HUDCC data, government agencies such as National Housing Authority (NHA), Social Housing Finance Corp. and the Home Development Mutual Fund under Pag-IBIG have given housing assistance to 894,569 families valued at P300 billion from 2010 to 2015.
Meanwhile, Home Guaranty Corp., a government-owned and -controlled corporation, reported P222 billion worth of housing loans have been extended by commercial banks, rural banks and other financing companies for about 127,500 housing units.
Sen. JV Ejercito, Senate Committee on Urban Planning, Housing and Resettlement chairman; Armenia Ballesteros, Subdivision and Housing Developers Association president; and Marcelino Escalada, NHA general manager, are also expected at the forum.