Bahay-bahayan: A Communication Campaign for Raising Awareness on Housing Rights

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Bahay-bahayan: A communication campaign for raising awareness on housing rights

There is an alarming increase of informal settlements worldwide and in the country despite adequate housing being a human right. Using the lens of the rights-based approach, this study aimed to discover which media elements and strategies are needed in a communication campaign to empower the informal settlers to claim their rights, and to encourage the State to uphold their duty to protect these rights. The research used the andragogy theory, dual coding theory, and social marketing theory in understanding the narratives of the 17 residents of Daan Tubo to come up with a context-specific campaign focusing on their community‘s needs. Findings revealed that creation of a community Facebook group is promising as it is one of the most preferred media of the residents which they use for communication. This addresses the housing rights knowledge gap between active and inactive members who are unable to attend meetings and activities of the community where leaders disseminate information from barangay and LGU meetings. However, this online campaign needs to be complemented by on-ground seminars from the government agencies in charge of the urban poor communities. On the other hand, the study also acknowledges that the solution does not lie in the empowerment of the rights claimants alone; there is a need to hold the state accountable in improving some of their currently inadequate programs on housing. The study recommends that government leaders conduct assemblies where they can discuss and reorient policies in order to abide by their mandate to protect the human right to adequate housing.

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