Housing a key aspiration for most Filipinos – NEDA

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A comprehensive housing program needs to be implemented as part of development plans by the country’s future administrations in order meet the housing aspirations of most Filipinos, an official of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said.

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In a media briefing on Tuesday for NEDA’s AmBisyon Natin 2040 Vision, NEDA Deputy Director-General Rosemarie Edillon noted that there is a need to develop a comprehensive housing program to be able to meet most Filipinos’ aspiration of owning a house.

“. . . the need to have a very comprehensive housing development program. We’ve tried it several times, but obviously, there has to be more comprehensive strategies,” Edillon said.

Based on a survey and focus group discussions conducted by NEDA for its AmBisyon Natin 2040, a collective long-term vision of the Filipino people for themselves and for the country for the next 25 years, one aspiration of most Filipinos is to own a home.

One of the key aspirations of Filipinos based on the survey is to own a medium-sized home, as 61 percent of respondents noted this.

Meanwhile, NEDA Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and Director General Emmanuel Esguerra noted that the survey also found that most Filipinos want to live in a small house with a big lot area, as 79 percent of the respondents chose that option, while 14 percent said they prefer to live in a big house with a small lot.

“Majority prefered a small house with a big lot. Probably that’s consistent with the anticipation that sooner or later, the family will be extended so there’s an allowance for expansion and so on,” Esguerra said.

The survey also found that most respondents prefer to live in more urbanized areas as 30 percent said they prefer to live in a big city like Manila, another 30 percent said they prefer to live in the town center in the province, while 29 percent said they would like to live in small cities or the province.

Edillon noted that housing is classified as a priority sector or priority aspiration based on the conducted survey.

“So what we’re trying to do, given that what’s coming out as a priority “aspirations” we will be coming up with a road map,” Edillon said.

Other sectors classified as priorities are connectivity, education services, tourism-related services, financial services, health services, countryside development and agricultural development.

“Not all of this can be achieved simultaneously because there’s a lot of things that needs to happen,” Edillon noted.

On the sidelines of the media briefing, Bank of the Philippine Islands Lead economist and Vice President Emilio Neri Jr. told reporters that financial literacy should be pushed in order for more Filipinos to achieve their goal of owning a home.

“I think there should be a lot of emphasis on financial literacy,” Neri said.”. . . we feel like there has to be a bigger push for it because even owning a house, may not be such a wise decision after 10 to 15 years because if you can rent your entire life—and the money for that when you retire you can count on, so be it. That would be a better,” Neri said.

The economist noted purchasing a house depends on the financial capability of the individual as his flexibility in being able to pay for it since it would take up a huge portion of your budget.

“In the end, its yung tao and his flexibility to make changes and adapt to the changes in his environment,” Neri said.

Asked what the private sector could contribute to support the aspirations of Filipinos to own a home, Neri noted that the private sector tends to follow the initiatives of the public sector, especially in terms of infrastructure development.

He noted that when private companies see the infrastructure development being pursed by the government, the private sector tends to follow its lead by putting up projects in the area where there is infrastructure development.

“. . . we see a lot of infrastructure being delivered by the government. We intend to follow the lead of the public sector as well,” Neri said.

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