Workers in Manila as other parts of the Philippines struggle to get low budget high quality rentals. This shipping container dormitory does seem to have the answer for cheap construction but also a better class of living for those with a small budget. Air conditioning and a bed as well as onsite restaurant for P1,500 a month is extremely reasonable and no doubt a big hit. A lot of cheap accommodation in the Philippines normally consists of a rundown room with no air conditioning or cooling system as well as possibly just access to a single bulb light. This on the other hand seems very geared to peoples needs and no doubt has a lot of extra services downstairs besides the kitchen such as charging stations for mobile phones. All in all I think its a huge step forward in quality for workers in the Philippines and look forward to seeing more of these types of building.
The second set of photos are from the same place but a different building. As you can see they have traded the bunk bed dorms for more private cubicle styled beds. Not for everyone but if your on a tight budget with a limited salary I know more than a few Filipinos that would happily live in these compared to their current rentals. From a business point of view though is it viable? Counting all the beds up your looking at 98 just for the upper level and as you can see in the yellow one being constructed its beds lower side as well so roughly 200 beds at P1,500 per month giving an income of P300,000 per month even if you took out all the expenses because obviously the snack bar and other things on site increase the revenue I would easily expect to make P250,000 a month from this venture in the right location and obviously someone else seen the same vision.
I often hear people saying that they wouldn’t live in a shipping container home or that Filipinos wouldn’t odd thing is every year at Sinulog I see a shipping container village develop for pilgrims which is literally just a container! Nothing pretty, no refurbishment, just a roof and a box to sit,sleep and eat.
In reality I do wonder why people assume others can’t see the concept develop down to they’re own ignorance. Its mainly Filipinos that contact me about the shipping container homes and why? because many of them work in Saudi Arabia and other areas that use shipping container homes for worker accommodation. Sort of dispels the myth about “overheating” being a metal structure when these things are stuck out in the desert and still cooled. Its all about passive cooling and adding shade but then again isn’t any home?
Point being is they are a viable solution and more so for difficult areas to find good construction teams as these can be prefabricated and dropped to site with toilets,electrics etc. all pre-fitted reducing the risk of having someone causing damage for not knowing what they do as simply you don’t need them. One professional team building homes for the Philippines instead of random guys with no qualifications in construction that are often only fit for labouring but end up costing a small fortune due to the damage they cause from sub standard work.
Top that with the fact OFWs have a fixed price from factory if involving the family there is no risk of money disappearing as the intervention by family is limited. Add to all of this that its also cost affective even with the inflated costs of shipping containers in the Philippines I do wonder why more people aren’t doing it. If you come across shipping container houses in the Philippines please send some photos! I know there are a lot here already as people are always telling me but normally notice when going passed on a bus or motorbike.