ADB study shows only a third of Filipinos own a dwelling

A newly released study of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) showed the inequality of land-ownership distribution in the Philippines, with only about a third of Filipinos owning the properties they live in and less than 10 percent having an agricultural land of their own, according to the results.

While the focus of the study was on gender differences in the ownership of land and dwelling in the three countries, results showed there were only marginal gender differences in land and dwelling ownership in the Philippines.

“The likelihood of men owning either dwelling or agricultural land is slightly higher than that of women. However, the differences observed from the survey data tend to be marginal,” the ADB told the BusinessMirror in an e-mail.

The bank said that, for every 100 adult women in Cavite, there are about three women who reported that they own agricultural land. But for every 100 adult men in Cavite, there are nearly five men who reported they owned agricultural land. The pilot survey was conducted in three countries—the Philippines, Georgia and Mongolia. The city of Cavite represented the Philippines in the study.

Data also showed that, among survey respondents who reported that they own agricultural land, 29.6 percent of male agricultural landowners reported that they acquired the land by purchasing it.

The ADB added that around 31.4 percent of female agricultural landowners reported that they purchased the land.

“Given that Cavite is largely urbanized, it is not surprising that survey results show fewer individuals [men or women] own any agricultural land. What is more striking is that only a third of either men or women have reported as owning the dwelling,” the ADB said.

In terms of method of ownership, the ADB noted that owning land and other properties are steeped in culture and tradition. There are even countries that place restrictions on women’s landownership, particularly in terms of inheritance.

The Manila-based multilateral agency said, in some societies, it was more common for men to inherit property than women. This makes women more likely to purchase property from the market.

However, in Cavite, the ADB found that acquiring property was not linked to the gender of the owner and on norms, but with the type of property.

“What is interesting in Cavite is that how a property is acquired by an individual seems to depend more on the type of property than on the sex of the owner. For both men and women in Cavite, land is more likely to be inherited while the dwelling is more likely to be purchased,” the ADB said.

There were only 1,536 households surveyed in the Philippines. A maximum of three adults 18 years old or above were interviewed in each sampled household.

The total respondents interviewed were 3,456 in Cavite. Around 46.4 percent were male and 53.6 percent were female.

The majority, or 67.7 percent, of the respondents were married, while some 11.5 percent were widowed and separated, and 20.8 percent were never married.

Nearly half, or 46.4 percent, completed secondary education; 36.4 percent completed tertiary level or higher; and 17.2 percent finished primary education or lower.

 

 

 

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A professional journalist for over a decade, Cai U. Ordinario currently writes macroeconomic and urban development stories for BusinessMirror. She has received awards for excellence in reporting on the macroeconomy and statistics. She was also cited for her contribution to statics reporting by the National Statistical Coordination Board (now the Philippine Statistics Authority). She is a recipient of journalism fellowships including the Jefferson Fellowship from the Honolulu-based East West Center. She is currently completing her Masters degree in Communication at the University of the Philippines. She graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Arts Major in Journalism from the University of Santo Tomas.