Harmonization of Housing Related Concepts and Definitions
Under the Memorandum Order No. 13 series of 2018, the Inter-Agency Committee on Population and Housing Statistics (IACPHS) created the Task Force on Harmonizing Housing-related Concepts and Definitions chaired by the Philippine Statistical Research and Training Institute (PSRTI). One of the objectives of the task force is to “discuss policy issues and challenges, and recommend standardized definition of significant housing statistics terminologies, characterized by the ambiguous and conflicting definition of terms essential to housing statistics that creates confusion among government agencies, private sectors and other stakeholders”. This particular task is very crucial as housing statistics, as any other statistics, are necessary for planning and program evaluation of the housing agencies. Computation of a housing statistic is dependent on how the statistic is defined and how the terms relevant to the definition are also characterized. Because common understanding of statistics is relevant to avoid conflicting interpretation of the data, the conceptual and operational definitions are not to be neglected. Currently, there is no standardized definition of terms in the housing sector and this creates problematic understanding of the housing problems and challenges which eventually may result to ill-informed planning and program in the government and in the private sector. As PSRTI had conducted several housing related studies in the past, the PSRTI shall lead the task force in the activity. With this, the PSRTI conducted a comprehensive review of existing definitions of housing-related terms and provided harmonized definitions. The objectives of the study are to determine housing related terms that will need to be reviewed, compare housing related term definitions from different sources, and propose standard conceptual definitions for housing related terms under study. One of the main sources of housing related terms considered for this study are the United Nations reference materials which included the UN Methods of Estimating Housing Needs, Handbook on Population and Housing Census Editing, and 2020 UN Housing Programme Series. Other sources include Philippine Development Plans (PDPs) previously termed as Medium Term Philippine Development Plans (MTPDPs), enumerator’s manuals of Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), and the glossary of terms developed during the National Housing and Urban Development Summit conducted by the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and its key shelter agencies in 2015. Proposed harmonized definitions are targeted for presentation to the IACPHS and then to the PSA Board for approval.