I have put a lot of time in looking at alternative housing construction methods in the Philippines from different angles.
Some sustainable living others more cost related to construction. But one of the major factors in disaster relief I think comes down to corruption especially at ports.
Because a lot of the pricing can fluctuate not only for specialised goods that may see a “special tax” added but also even local construction. Concrete, steel bars etc. fluctuate in price and often without any real reason.
But this gets back to some of the housing ideas for not only container housing but also modular and social development. Because a lot of the equipment needed for foam injected walls for example and a regular supply of the sheets and chemicals involved where do they come from? Importing is a huge headache and I believe the same can be said for many locations that badly need not only sustainable but emergency housing.
By the time you have paid all the taxes and cleared ports how much money disappears? But it goes deeper as you can find charities well aware of the corruption and political issues tied to the money that “helping” brings.
So much so that I believe that its budgeted for and as such it then becomes the norm and almost encouraged. The hidden figures on where your donations go, and an encouraged black market that doesn’t help local populations.
For me its frustrating as I like many others like to create jobs and help places develop. I recently started a call center in the Philippines because I know it can boost local employment. As well as many of the population are already suitable and just need a bit of training.
But you start looking into everything it can mean a bit of grease money here and there to get things moving. Something I am not really prepared to do, don’t mind talking politics over lunch but brown envelops or hush money isn’t the way I do business.
May sound a bit off tangent but the same no doubt goes for people looking to develop housing projects and other large scale operations. Its not all on the surface though which is the problem. As helping locals you try your best and deal with the cards your dealt with. Normally people coming from outside won’t be familiar with local pricing and labour costs and obviously this is an easy thing to manipulate without even trying.