Everyone is entitled to adequate and decent housing.
In fact, the right to adequate housing is one of the rights that every person has under international human rights law or more specifically the International Human Rights. It is considered as one of the most basic human needs.
But basic as it is, the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements estimates that throughout the world, over one billion live in inadequate housing, with in excess of 100 million people living in conditions classified as homelessness.
The UN stressed that housing is a foundation from which other legal entitlements can be achieved like the right to environmental hygiene and the right to the highest attainable level of mental and physical health.
Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) Secretary Eduardo del Rosario had previously revealed that the housing need from 2017 is about 6.5 million units, and if nothing is done by 2040, it will hit about 22 million units. To close the gap of 6.5 million units from 2017 to 2020, the government needs to build 250,000 houses per year. Unfortunately, the housing sector can only build 203,000 to 205,000 units annually between 2016 and
Meanwhile, Build Change country director for the Philippines Jessica Stanford said that in the Philippines, 70 million people live in substandard housing and this is projected to grow to 113 million people by 2030.
The COVID-19 pandemic has once again brought the spotlight to the importance of adequate housing. As pointed out by Stanford, if you are one of the 1.2 billion people worldwide who live in substandard housing today or you are a low-income household that depends on a daily wage income threatened by changing dynamics due to the pandemic, how will this impact your capacity to shelter safely in your home?
It is good that our Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund) has made it easier for self-employed members of society to avail of funds under its housing loan programs. Unfortunately, members have been complaining that their loan applications are being stymied by certain requirements, specifically, the need to submit a certificate of employment (COE) and pay slip issued by their respective employers.
Secretary Del Rosario and Pag-IBIG Fund president Acmad Rizaldy Moti recently clarified that the required COE for self-employed housing loan applicants could be waived in favor of a proof of income and certification from local governments or barangays of the borrower’s capacity to pay.
More housing investments and construction means more jobs and sales for allied industries of the shelter sector. According to one estimate, every P10-billion worth of housing units contributes around P166 billion of economic activity for the country.
Mother of Phl maps
The Philippine Postal Corp. (PHLPost) has unveiled a new stamp featuring the “Mother of all Philippine Maps.”
The first scientific map of the Philippines, the Carta Hydrographica y Chorographica de las Yslas Filipinas Manila 1734, also known as the Murillo Velarde 1734 Map was prepared by Spanish Jesuit cartographer Father Pedro Murillo Velarde, together with two Filipinos, engraver Francisco Suarez and artist Nicolas dela Cruz Bagay.
It was acquired by Mel Velasco Velarde, chairman of the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication (AIJC) and the NOW Group, through a Sotheby’s auction in London in 2014. Velarde donated the map to the Philippine government through a deed of donation.
Last March 16, PHLPost honored Philippine history and heritage through the launch of the stamp featuring the Murillo Velarde 1734 Map.
PHLPost postmaster general and CEO Norman Fulgencio thanked the Velarde family for the opportunity to issue the souvenir sheet. He said the launch of the stamp was organized in commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Philippines’ role in the first circumnavigation of the world.
In his message during the ceremony, Velarde thanked PHLPost for bringing the map closer to the Filipino people and said that PHLPost is telling the world that “we are one nation deserving of our self-worth and respect, for we are evolving as cultural leaders of this blossoming single global community of man.”
The Murillo Velarde 1734 Map stamp was presented to the Velarde family during the ceremony. Accepting the plaque were Velarde, Vivian Salinas, and their three-month-old baby, Victor Chriscien Velarde.