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Jobs and wage increases will allow poor Filipinos to pay for gov’t housing - KADAMAY

News Release 


Reference: Michael Beltran 09554571061, Gloria Arellano, Chairperson – 09213927457 

KADAMAY said that adequate jobs and wage increase will improve the overall standards of living of poor Filipinos and allow for them to pay for affordable government housing.

“Most are unable to pay the high amortization rates, the Commission on Audit (COA) report proves this. There are no jobs available and no sustainable sources of livelihood. Kahit may bahay, pero walang trabaho na may nakabubuhay na sahod, hindi rin ito mababayaran. Lahat ng maralitang Pilipino nagsisikap para sa katiting na kita sa anumang paraan pero kulang na kulang. People are willing to work, the government should undertake efforts to create jobs with liveable wages for the poor,” explained Gloria “Ka Bea” Arellano, KADAMAY Chairperson.

Since 2015, the Philippines has had the highest unemployment rate in the ASEAN at 6.3%, according to the World Bank.

Payments for community development, not amortization

Kadamay said that forcing amortization costs upon the poorest of the poor and repeating problematic housing practices will only lead to more idle housing.

“The poor should be able to pay for the development of their community, not for capital investments of the government and corporations.” 

Arellano cited the Commission on Audit report which outlined the current trend of dramatically decreasing collection rates for amortization the past few years. Housing projects are typically without basic utilities and far from any type of livelihood, yet the government has insisted on collecting payments despite this. 

“When we say free, we mean free from amortization. Amortization for corruption and profit should have no place in public housing.This is something used for private subdivisions and real estate properties. Instead, affordable and just payments can be made for community development purposes, such as repairs, maintenance and the creation of public facilities when the beneficiaries have adequate income. Payments should directly benefit the people. Privatization and the treatment of housing as a business is unjust and is one of the main reasons behind this current crisis,” noted Arellano. 

Kadamay urged the National Housing Authority to re-orient itself towards affording services to the people instead of raking in investments like a corporation. 

To do this, KADAMAY said that increasing the housing budget is fundamental for the state to fulfill its role of providing adequate housing for all Filipinos. At the moment, the NHA budget for informal settler housing and resettlement is only a mere P4.8 billion. 

“The national government can act quickly to increase the budget for housing in the next few years so that the NHA will not be reliant on investment returns. Spending 5% of our GDP on housing is equivalent to P680 billion, that is not impossible,” said Arellano. 

Substantial socio-econ reforms

With the peace talks proceeding smoothly, the group says that the government can use this as an opportunity to make significant reforms in housing and employment. Arellano said that pending lack of jobs and dismal wage rates and other substantial socio-economic reforms, Kadamay proposed a moratorium on payments for all housing projects in the next few years. “We hope that this can be a subject matter that can be discussed across the table in the ongoing peace negotiations.”

“Ultimately, by taking steps towards national industrialization and genuine agrarian reform, the main causes of poverty will be significantly undercut. The agreement on free land distribution is a welcome development and should translate into other social necessities. Ang trabaho at pabahay ay bahagi ng pinag-uusapan sa peace talks.”

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