Transforming slums into formal communities


IN ADDRESSING the housing needs in our country, SHDA believes that a roadmap must take into consideration urban dwellers living in slums. JOAN BONDOC

(First of two parts)


How important is housing to healthy human and community development? According to Anaclaudia Rossbach, consultant for World Bank on low-income housing settlements and metropolitan management, it matters in ways both subtle and profound.


“It’s goes far beyond having a warm and secure place to sleep. In fact, providing slum dwellers with decent housing offers a good social and financial return—such move could even solve the housing backlog that has plagued countries around the world,” said Rossbach speaking before the country’s top developers who attended the national convention of the Subdivision and Housing Developers Association in Davao City.


Rossbach is no stranger to the slum challenge as her home country Brazil is also beset with such a problem: 44-million people are still living with inadequate urban housing or utilities.


“But Brazil is now succeeding in dealing with the slum problem not by benign neglect or involuntary resettlement but by more positive policies such as self-help and in situ (in the same location) upgrading as well as enabling and rights-based policies,” said SHDA chair Manuel Crisostomo.


Closely intertwined


Just like the slum communities in Brazil and in other parts of the world, Crisostomo said those here in the Philippines are closely intertwined with the city’s formal economy and as a result play an important role in solving many problems.


The Metro Manila Development Authority estimates that in Metro Manila alone, there are already more than 500,000 families living in slum areas, more than 200,000 of them occupy government-owned lands while around 175,000 families occupy private-owned lands.


Crisostomo said: “We should recognize and help these families because majority of them work in Metro Manila, ensuring that the needs of the higher-income families are met. They work in factories, construction sites and even in dumpsites (to recycle solid wastes), do a variety of home-based enterprises (tailors, laundry) or work as domestic servants, security guards or street vendors. If we help their families acquire decent housing this country may be able to hasten bridging the housing gap and overcome shortage in housing.”


This is why during the national convention, the “Housing Industry Roadmap 2012-2030” that SHDA launched recognized the need to assist slum dwellers (the roadmap is a joint undertaking with the Center for Research and Communication-University of Asia and the Pacific).


New roadmap


SHDA national president Paul Tanchi said: “We realized in recent years that we need to formulate a new roadmap because the current housing demand and supply profile excludes the 832,046 households that can’t afford financing. If left unchecked, existing trends indicate that the total backlog, which has been hounding the country for decades now, could balloon to 6.5 million units by 2030. Thus, drastic plans and programs must be implemented.”


The country is currently facing a 3.9-million housing backlog.


Tanchi added that the lack of funding support for the socialized and marginalized sectors should be given priority.


“By studying the current state of the housing industry, knowing our capabilities, and taking cue from both failed and successful strategies that have been implemented here and abroad, we have banded together to determine the most feasible steps to take in curbing the current housing backlog,” Tanchi said.


The Housing Industry Roadmap 2012-2030 seeks to increase housing production by 1 million by 2016, 2 million by 2022 and 7 million by 2030.


The roadmap also seeks to mobilize and generate housing finance for end-user financing support, equivalent to P130 billion annually from 2012 to 2016; P236 billion annually from 2017 to 2022; and P523 billion annually from 2023 to 2030 as well as improve the regulatory environment for housing through the faster processing of housing permits, resolution of conflicts between local and national housing policies and guidelines; and the enhancement of the representation of the housing industry in policy forums.

“But more importantly, the roadmap will also find ways to enhance shelter affordability through a comprehensive housing subsidy program for targeted beneficiaries, through direct provision of housing to those who cannot  afford,” said Tanchi who added that the Brazil experience greatly contributed in the drafting of the roadmap.


Crisostomo added that this roadmap brings to the foreground the challenge to all stakeholders to work together to address the housing problem by determining the true extent of the housing backlog, identifying the priority areas for immediate action, and formulating multi-year strategies until the backlog is erased by 2030.


The roadmap also seek the following:


Ways to lessen delays in the issuance of development permits in local government units;


Conflicting and redundant local and national policies;


Utilities costs absorbed by developers and buyers;


Lack of drainage and sewerage systems;


Fast turnover and brain drain in the industry’s key human resources;


Strict bank requirement;


The lack of qualified contractors, increasing labor costs; restrictive guidelines on selling and marketing activities;


An absence of institutionalized estate management program;


Delayed passing of Department of Housing and Urban Development bill and other pending bills abolishing any form of incentives; and


Obliging developers to also comply with the 20-percent socialized requirement of Urban Development and Housing Act.


The preceding issues are also discussed in the roadmap that will be presented to Vice President Jejomar Binay who also chairs the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council.


“As such, we, from the housing industry call on all sectors of society to participate in pushing the roadmap. It may still need some fine tuning but it is a start and with the support and participation of the private, the public and the social sectors, we can turn the 2030 vision into reality,” Tanchi said.





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  • http://twitter.com/myQuillRose Paul Smirnoff

    Then tell me, what do you do for the society? That’s the problem of people wanting to blame without giving a solution other than an existing one. In fact the ones living in relocation sites originally have landowners, so blame them too.

  • ah_ok_fine12

    im really against informal setllers. kawawa ang land owner, sila na nga nakuhanan ng lupa, sila pa mamomoblema panu kuhain uli
    govt had tried to provide informal setllers options  and assistance peru gusto nila sila ang nasusunod..ayaw sa mga relocation site kasi malayo sa hanap buhay– duh-iff naman- ano klasing hanap buhay ba yan na hindi maiwan iwanmaking reason that their kids are still studying, my mga schools naman siguro sa malilipatan nila, kahit malayo ung school atleast hindi na sila matatawag na mga eskwater.
    makikita mo mga yan, hithit ng hithit ng yosi, tagay tagay, maya maya rumble na.. haissstt

    • Paglaya09

      Sa pagkakaalam ko sa kasaysayan ng Pilipinas ay karamihan sa mga malalaking lupain ay inangkin lamang ng mga dayuhan. Maaring sa “legal” na pamamaraan (kagaya ng royal grants noong panahon ng Kastila), panlilinlang at sa outright na dahas ng pang-aagaw. Libu-libong ektarya ng lupa ang ipinamahagi ng mga hari’t reyna ng Espanya noong panahon ng kolonyalismong Kastila sa mga kapanalig nito kagaya ng mga religious orders, military officers, public officials at iba pa. Mayruon ding mga lupain na nakuha sa panlilinlang kagaya ng ginawa ng mga Larrazabal sa Leyte. Kunyari ay magbibigay si Senior Poten Larrazabal ng mga “regalo” na cigar pipe at iba pang luxury items sa mga “mangmang” na mga magsasaka at pagkatapos ng ilang araw ay babalik ito at magdadala ng listahan ng mga UTANG ng mga magsasakang akala ay regalo ang ibinigay sa kanila. Meron din namang nawawalan ng lupa dahil sa pagkabaon sa utang. Sabi pa sa isang kasabihan “ang magsasakang nagigipit, sa usurero kumakapit”. Marami pang examples nyan pero ‘di ko nalang iisa-isahin. TANGINA nga naman, ang Pinoy talagang squatter sa sariling bayan dahil sa kawalan ng lupa. Yup! KAWALAN NG LUPA! Maraming mga magsasaka ang napipilitang pumunta at mamuhay sa mga syudad dahil magsasaka nga sila pero wala namang lupang sinasaka. Kung magkakaingin man sila para may matamnan dadamputin naman sila kasi illegal yun. Kung magiging tapasero man silang buong pamilya eh maliit din naman ang sweldo. Noong nakapunta ako sa hacienda nina Lucy Torres sa Ormoc City noong 2002 ay 60 pesos pa ang araw nila noon. Kaya nga ‘wag sana tayong agad-agad manghusga dahil most of the time kahit gaano mo pa kasikap at tiyaga sa trabaho ay sadyang may mga social conditions na pilit na humihila sa kanila paibaba. Oo nga pwede ka namang humanap ng ibang trabaho o ‘di kaya mag-negosyo ka kung may maliit kang naipon pero ang problema ay nandyan parin at ito ang rason na dapat tayong magalit. At hindi sapat ang magalit lang dapat meron din tayong gawin para mabago ang sitwasyong ito. Kung alam mong may mali, ang dapat gawin ay kumilos upang solusyonan ito at hindi ang simpleng pagsasabing “ganyan talaga ang buhay let us just move on”. 

  • http://twitter.com/zipcode1116 Rodolfo L. Gorospe

    Everybody should help the informal settlers.  They deserve better treatment.  They are human beings like us.

    • CyberPinoy

       Tama ka bro lets help them pero may hanganan ang pag tulog. Ok lang tumulong kung nakikita om na tinutulungan din nila sarile nila, kung hindi nila ginagawa yun foreever nalang yan aasa sayo.   like oter people say, wag konsintihin ang mali.

      • ah_ok_fine12

        true! yung iba kc if not all kina career na ang pag hinge ng tulong.

      • Paglaya09

        Pag ba ang batang kalalabas ng sa matrs ng ina ay aasahan mo nang ipagluluto ka? di bat hindi, aalagaan mo muna ito at tuturuan. ganyan din sila. :)

    • http://tagalogshows.com/face-to-face/ ChristInMe

      yup! they are human and we should treat and teach them how to survive in a way that they will not serve as problem in the society, informal settlers (meaning land grabbers) are people living in the provinces seeking opportunities in urban places but because of lack of education can’t find a decent job,  and resorted for illegal activities, Mr. Rodolfo L. Gorospe ano bang ginawa mo sa kanila tumulong ka ba sa kanila in what way? 

  • Brody619

    To solve the problems asociated with the growth of slums, Filipinos need a strong government with a strong leader. Apparently, US style democracy does not work with Filipino culture.  It breds to distinct societies, the very poor and the very rich. The middle class are supported by relatives working abroad, which cannot be sustained if funds from abroad ceases. It’s up to the Filipino people to modify their government to suit their unique society. Lucky for Vietnamese people that they were able to reject their past democratic form of government. They are now second to the Philippines in economic growth, and will soon surpass the Filipino economy.

    • dgboy

       eh cybercrime law pa nga lang pumaplag na, pano pa kayo ang plano mo

      • Brody619

        Take a look at Singapore. A model country that is able to uplift  its citizens’ lifestyle with a strong and caring government. I wish I could help. I was born there, but I don’t live there. The only way I could help is with my opinion.

    • CyberPinoy

       US style democracy does not work with Filipino culture” 

      – korek ka bro, we need to forge our own type of democracy. Lets face it Filipinos are pasaway kaya hindi pwede ang sobrang freedom. ang mga Pilipino may tendency mang abuso, unang una ito makikita sa pinoy family, bakit ba madaming gustong maging OFW kasi yung mga naiwan na ka-member ng pamilya dun nalang aasa sa kaanak nilang nasa abroad.  We filipinos need to nurture the attitutude of self atchievements at wag umasa sa kahit na sino. Famous line ni JFK “ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country” and the americans all clap their hands, if this will be said by our president here in PH, the people especially the squatters will be angry.. Ang tinking ng pinoy ay parating may tutulong sa kanila para umunlad, mahilig umasa, pasaway pa.
      Pesensyua na kung negative but its the truth !!!

      • Brody619


      • Paglaya09

        “Wag nang umasa sa kahit sino”  — sige mula ngayon, ikaw na ang magtanim ng sarili mong pagkain, alagaan mo, wag kang bibili, dahil magsasakang api ang nag-alaga non. Mula ngayon, ikaw na ang magtayo ng sarili mong bahay, pai pako, yero, kahoy ikaw ang magproduce. ikaw na rin ang magtahi ng sarili mong damit, pati sinulid at karayom ikaw ang gumawa. Mula ngayon, wagkang gagamit ng appliance dahil likhang kamay yan ng manggagawang mumo lang ang kinikita. 

  • rodben

    Those low cost housing build by the gov’t are weak like what  happen in smokey mountain housing, and also in coastal road in Paranaque up to now still no occupants, I think the gov’t must very strict and serious about this housing program if they want to reduce the housing backlog in Pinas.

  • mark1205

    The country should afford developing other cities especially in Visayas and Mindanao. There is a lot of potential in here if we afford it. This way, the probinsyanos will no longer seek jobs in MM.

  • delpillar

    Abolish Lina Law.

    Don’t give squatters the right to vote (in local elections only) so that no dirty politicians would be baby-sitting them.

  • Troy Gonzales

    but the problem with these informal settlers is after you give them decent housing they will just sell them and back to finding a new place to squat and the cycle will go on and on.


    hmmm thats better transform these slum houses into elevated row type residential area into n most economical way..with all system needed for a simple family,a challenge to design the need of the people..start and you will see the changes in all slum area in metro manila..uplifting…hope these will happen..good luck and god bless..

    • noelpdavid

       better still is to train the jobless informal settlers in construction skills and by then putting them into use in building housing for their families which will lessen labor cost for the government at the same time developing these people their ability and skills for their livelihood.

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