Discuss as:

Residents of Filipino city forced to start over after fire guts their homes

Ted Aljibe / AFP - Getty Images

A resident swims among debris and rubbish looking for recyclable materials after a fire gutted an informal settlement overnight in Malabon City, suburban Manila, the Philippines on April 7. Around a thousand residents were affected by the fire, but no casualties were reported.

Ted Aljibe / AFP - Getty Images

Residents look for recyclable materials among debris and rubbish on April 7 after a fire gutted their settlement in Malabon overnight.

This is the fourth time in as many months that we have reported on a devastating fire affecting the residents of slum housing in the Philippines. Last year, the East Asia Forum published an article on the challenges of providing better-quality housing for low-income Filipinos, reporting that public expenditure on housing is less than 0.1 per cent of the country's GDP. Without sustained investment, desperate scenes like those occuring in Malabon this morning seem likely to be repeated again and again.