Statement of the Commission on Human Rights on the government’s initiative to build 170,000 housing units in NCR

Statement of the Commission on Human Rights on the government’s initiative to build 170,000 housing units in NCR

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) lauds the government’s initiative to build 170,000 housing units for informal settler families (ISFs) in the National Capital Region (NCR). This commendable program reflects a positive step toward addressing the pressing issue of inadequate housing and internal displacement faced by these vulnerable communities.

The chief executives of all local government units (LGUs) in NCR were tasked with creating an inventory of ISFs and government-owned open spaces in their respective areas to serve as temporary relocation sites while housing units are being built.

According to the United Nations Habitat (UN-Habitat), the country has an estimated 3.7 million ISFs, with 500,000 living in slums and high-risk areas of Metro Manila by 2023.

The Commission reaffirms that decent housing is a fundamental right of everyone. As enshrined in Article XIII, Section 9 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, “The State shall [make] a continuing program of urban land reform and housing which will make available at affordable cost, decent housing and basic services to underprivileged and homeless citizens in urban centers and resettlement areas.

In line with this effort, we note the government’s initiative, particularly the relevant agencies, to institutionalise a program that incorporates grassroots and human rights-based approaches to efficiently plan, implement, and monitor ISF housing programs.

Moreover, we seek proper, decent, and understandable approaches when building temporary housing so that beneficiaries can continue to live a dignified life near their source of livelihood and families. We also hope that this program will be expanded to other parts of the country, particularly rural areas that require adequate housing.

Recognising the significance of inclusive development, the CHR, together with the government and other stakeholders, advocates for a comprehensive approach that addresses housing challenges not only in urban centers but also in rural communities.###