In the Philippines, which has an estimated total population of 94 million, some 4.5 million people are homeless. The National Statistics Office (NSO), the primary statistical arm of the government, defines homeless as " living in parks, along sidewalks, and all those without any form of shelter." In Metro Manila alone, the country's capital, there are about 3.1 million informal settlers or commonly known as squatters. Most of these homeless Filipinos make their shelter under bridges that cross big canals and on private and public lands.
Poverty remains the number one reason why a third of the Filipino population cannot afford to buy a house. Economic growth in the country averaged 4.5 percent during the previous administration, but despite this growth, poverty has worsened, mainly because of the population growth rate and inequitable distribution of income.