Understanding Subdivision Housing Units in the Philippines

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A subdivision in the Philippines is a residential area divided into smaller land plots for individual homes or housing units. Subdivisions are typically planned communities, offering residents a sense of community and various amenities.

A leafy subdivision neighborhood in Davao City.

Subdivision as middle-class housing in the Philippines

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They are popular among families who are looking for a safe, secure, and well-maintained living environment that offers a sense of community and a range of amenities. Subdivisions can be found in both urban and suburban areas and are typically well-located, providing convenient access to essential services such as schools, supermarkets, and hospitals. With a wide range of housing options available, including single-family homes and townhouses, subdivisions are accessible to families with different income levels and offer an attractive option for those seeking to purchase or rent a home.

Subdivisions in the Philippines can range from basic, affordable housing developments to upscale, gated communities. They often feature streets, sidewalks, and parks, and may also have community amenities such as swimming pools, basketball courts, and clubhouses.

Many subdivisions in the Philippines are built in suburban areas, away from the bustling city center, offering residents a more relaxed and peaceful living environment. The homes in these subdivisions can range from single-family homes to townhouses and condominiums, catering to different income levels and lifestyles.

Overall, subdivisions in the Philippines aim to provide families with a secure and comfortable living environment, conveniently close to schools, shopping centers, and other essential services.

Why do people want to live in subdivisions

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People like to live in subdivisions for a variety of reasons, including:

  1. Sense of community: Subdivisions often foster a sense of community, bringing neighbors together through events and activities and creating a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.
  2. Access to amenities: Subdivisions often offer community amenities, such as swimming pools, parks, and community centers, providing residents with recreational opportunities and a convenient place to gather with friends and family.
  3. Increased safety: Subdivisions often have security systems in place, such as guarded entrances and surveillance cameras, providing residents with peace of mind and a secure living environment.
  4. Well-maintained surroundings: Subdivisions are often well-maintained, with well-manicured common areas and attractive landscaping, contributing to a pleasant and aesthetically pleasing living environment.
  5. Convenient location: Subdivisions are often located near essential services, such as schools, supermarkets, and hospitals, providing residents with convenient access to the services they need.
  6. Affordable housing: Subdivisions often offer a wide range of housing options, including single-family homes and townhouses, making it possible for families with different income levels to access safe and comfortable housing.
  7. Good governance: The homeowners’ association or governing body of the subdivision is responsible for ensuring the community is well-maintained and managed, and for resolving disputes and enforcing rules and regulations.

People appreciate these features and benefits of living in a subdivision and find that it provides a safe, secure, and enjoyable living environment.

Subdivision vs. neighborhood: what’s the difference?

A subdivision and a neighborhood are similar in that they both refer to residential areas where people live. However, there are some differences between the two.

A neighborhood is a broader term that can refer to any collection of homes or residential buildings in a geographic area. Neighborhoods are usually defined by geographical boundaries, such as city or town limits, or by cultural or social characteristics, such as a specific ethnic or income group.

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A subdivision, on the other hand, is a specific type of residential development. It is a planned residential area that has been divided into individual lots for the purpose of building homes. Subdivisions are typically created and developed by a single entity, such as a real estate developer. They are often subject to specific regulations and covenants governing the use of the land and the construction of homes.

In this sense, a neighborhood can comprise multiple subdivisions, and a subdivision can be a part of a larger neighborhood. So, while a subdivision and a neighborhood can be similar, a subdivision is a more specific type of residential area.

Several exclusive subdivisions in the Philippines are known for their luxurious amenities and high-end homes. Some of the most famous or exclusive subdivisions in the country include:

  1. Ayala Alabang Village in Muntinlupa City
  2. Dasmarinas Village in Makati City
  3. Forbes Park in Makati City
  4. Urdaneta Village in Makati City
  5. BF Homes in Parañaque City
  6. Green Meadows in Quezon City
  7. Valle Verde in Pasig City
  8. San Lorenzo Village in Makati City
  9. Loyola Grand Villas in Quezon City
  10. White Plains in Quezon City
Forbes Park subdivision in Makati City.

These subdivisions are known for their large and well-appointed homes, luxurious amenities, and gated security, and are often home to the Philippines’ wealthy and influential residents. They are also located in prime locations, with easy access to essential services, shopping centers, and entertainment venues.

While these subdivisions are exclusive and expensive, many other subdivisions in the Philippines offer a more affordable and accessible option for families looking for a safe, secure, and well-maintained living environment.

Common problems of subdivision housing

Some common problems in subdivisions in the Philippines include:

  1. Land disputes: Issues regarding property ownership and boundary disputes can arise. Proper documentation, ownership of original titles, and adequate communication are key to its resolution.
  2. Inadequate infrastructure: Some subdivisions may lack basic amenities such as roads, water supply, and electricity. Some areas lack adequate street lamps or properly paved roads.
  3. Overcrowding: Subdivisions may become overcrowded due to rapid population growth, increasing traffic and strain on public utilities, and noise pollution.
  4. Flooding: Some subdivisions may be built in low-lying areas prone to flooding, causing damage to homes and disruption to daily life.
  5. Environmental degradation: Poorly planned subdivisions can lead to environmental degradation and loss of natural resources.
  6. Lack of security: Some subdivisions may experience a lack of security due to inadequate or absent security systems. This invites criminal individuals or groups to intrude into homes.
  7. Maintenance issues: Issues with maintaining common areas and amenities, such as parks and community centers, can arise in subdivisions.
  8. Lack of transport links: Some subdivisions are underserved by public transport and residents rely on private cars or carpool services.
  9. Rising costs: The cost of living in subdivisions may increase due to rising property taxes and maintenance fees.
  10. Lack of garbage disposal facilities: Some subdivisions do not have an organized garbage collection system.
  11. Risk of natural disasters: Some subdivisions n the Philippines are built in hazardous areas such as close to banks of eroding riverbanks or earthquake-prone lines.

Ideal subdivision facilities and features

An ideal subdivision should have the following features:

  1. Adequate infrastructure: The subdivision should have reliable and well-maintained roads, water supply, and electricity.
  2. Access to essential services: It should be located near schools, hospitals, supermarkets, and other essential services.
  3. Good security: The subdivision should have a secure and well-manned entrance, with surveillance systems in place to ensure the safety of residents.
  4. Aesthetic appeal: The subdivision should have well-manicured common areas and attractive landscaping that enhances the community’s visual appeal.
  5. Green spaces: There should be enough green spaces within the subdivision, such as parks and playgrounds, to provide residents with recreational opportunities and a connection with nature.
  6. Sustainability: The subdivision should be designed and managed environmentally, with features such as rainwater harvesting and waste management systems.
  7. Community amenities: The subdivision should have community amenities such as swimming pools, community centers, and other facilities to enhance the quality of life for residents.
  8. Affordable housing: The cost of living in the subdivision should be affordable for a wide range of income levels, allowing families to access safe and comfortable housing.
  9. Good governance: The homeowners’ association or governing body of the subdivision should be transparent, accountable, and responsive to the needs of residents.

These features can help create an ideal living environment for residents, promoting a sense of community and high quality of life.

Things to look out for when inspecting subdivision units

Living in a subdivision and a condominium unit are two different housing options offering unique pros and cons. Here are some key differences between the two:

  1. Space: Subdivisions typically offer larger homes and outdoor spaces, while condominium units are typically smaller and have limited outdoor space.
  2. Privacy: Subdivisions offer more privacy, as each home is typically separated from its neighbors by walls, fences, or other barriers. Condominium units are often located in high-rise buildings and share common walls with other units.
  3. Amenities: Condominiums often offer a wider range of amenities, such as swimming pools, fitness centers, and recreation rooms, while subdivisions may have fewer amenities or limited community spaces.
  4. Maintenance: Condominium units often come with a maintenance fee, which covers the cost of upkeep and repair of common areas, while homeowners in subdivisions typically pay for their maintenance and repairs.
  5. Security: Both subdivisions and condominiums can offer good security, but the level of protection can vary depending on the specific development.
  6. Location: Condominiums are often located in urban areas, near shopping centers, restaurants, and other amenities, while subdivisions are often found in suburban areas.
  7. Cost: Condominium units can be more expensive than homes in a subdivision, especially in high-demand areas, but the cost can vary depending on the specific development.

Ultimately, choosing between a subdivision and a condominium unit will depend on an individual’s specific needs and preferences, including lifestyle, budget, and location.

What are the laws that govern subdivisions in the Philippines?

Some laws govern subdivisions in the Philippines. The primary law governing subdivisions is the Subdivision and Condominium Buyers’ Protective Decree (Presidential Decree No. 957), enacted in 1976. This law establishes the rights and responsibilities of developers, homeowners, and buyers with the development, sale, and maintenance of subdivisions and condominiums.

The law requires developers to register their projects with the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) and provides protections for buyers, including requirements for the provision of certain information and disclosures, the creation of a trust fund to protect buyers’ investments and the establishment of a complaints and grievances mechanism.

In addition to Presidential Decree No. 957, other laws and regulations that may impact the development and operation of subdivisions in the Philippines include the National Building Code of the Philippines, the Local Government Code, and various environmental and land use laws. These laws and regulations protect buyers’ rights, ensure residents’ safety and security, and promote sustainable development practices.

Sample subdivision homeowners association by-laws

A homeowner association within a subdivision helps ensure proper maintenance and upkeep of community amenities. As such, this self-governing entity typically abides by a set of by-laws approved by its board members and adopted for implementation within the subdivision community. A sample of this by-law is shown below.


Section 1. Name. The name of this homeowners association shall be [Insert Name of HOA].

Section 2. Principal Office. The association’s principal office shall be located at [Insert Address].


Section 1. Membership. Membership in the association shall be limited to owners of real property within the [Insert Name of Community] community.

Section 2. Voting Rights. Each member shall have one vote for each lot or unit owned in the community.


Section 1. General Powers. The association’s affairs shall be managed by a board of directors, which shall have all powers necessary to carry out the association’s purposes.

Section 2. Composition of the Board. The board shall consist of [Insert Number] members, all of whom shall be elected by the association members.

Section 3. Term of Office. Each board member’s office duration shall be [Insert Number] years.


Section 1. Annual Meetings. An annual meeting of the members shall be held on [Insert Date and Time] of each year.

Section 2. Special Meetings. Special meetings of the members may be called by the board of directors or by [Insert Number]% of the association members.


Section 1. Establishment. The board of directors may establish committees to assist in the management of the affairs of the association.

Section 2. Powers. Each committee shall have the powers delegated to it by the board of directors.


Section 1. Property Use. All property within the community shall be used for residential purposes only.

Section 2. Property Maintenance. All property within the community shall be maintained in a safe, clean, and attractively.


Section 1. Assessments. The association may levy assessments on members to fund the operations and maintenance of the community.

Section 2. Finances. The association shall maintain accurate and complete financial records and shall make them available to members upon request.


Section 1. Amendment Process. These bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the association’s members.

Section 2. Notice. Notice of any proposed amendment shall be given to all members of the association at least [Insert Number] days prior to the vote.


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