The country’s housing backlog is a problem that cannot be solved with a ‘silver bullet,’ the chairman of a top conglomerate said.
During a forum organized by the Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines (EJAP) and ING Bank on Tuesday, DMCI Holdings Inc. Chairman Isidro Consunji said the country’s housing backlog problem is something that cannot be instantly solved.
“I don’t think we can address the housing [problem]with a silver bullet,” Consunji said.
The country’s housing backlog is currently estimated at 5.5 million. According to the Chamber of Real Estate and Builders’ Association Inc. (CREBA) 500,000 houses need to be built annually to be able to reduce and eventually eliminate the backlog.
Consunji noted that the housing problem is not exactly a nationwide concern, as it is the urban areas of the country that are being affected by the problem.
“The housing backlog is essentially an urban issue, not a nationwide issue,” Consunji said “The issue of housing is complicated by the lack of infrastructure. The housing factor is complex.”
Meanwhile, the chairman noted the difference between the terms ‘shelter’ and ‘ownership of shelter,’ suggesting that ownership could be a lesser priority.
“Shelter and ownership of shelter are two different issues,” Consunji said.
“We need to create more with the lesser resources that we have,” Consunji said.
He cited the housing project catering to members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in Fort Bonifacio as a possible to solution to the shelter problem.
Consunji noted that although the beneficiaries of the project do not necessarily own the land, it is still a solution to solve the lack of shelter.
“I’m not saying that this is the solution for all, but it is better than no solution,” Consunji said.