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TAMPEI strengthens ties with various universities

As part of its movement-building and advocacy program, TAMPEI partnered with various local universities in promoting community-driven development among members of the academia.


UP Diliman CWTS 

From March to June 2021, some 130 students from the University of the Philippines College of Architecture (UPCA) and School of Economics (UPSE) in Diliman, Quezon City underwent various community development activities for their class on National Service Training Program - Civic Welfare Training Service (NSTP-CWTS).


Through the guidance of TAMPEI representatives along with three UPCA and two UPSE faculty coordinators, the students co-developed several project proposals with eight communities that are members of the Homeless People’s Federation Philippines Inc. (HPFPI). The remote learning strategy made it possible for the students and faculty to engage with the communities in Mega Manila (one in Muntinlupa, two in Valenzuela and one in Rodriguez, Rizal) and Mindanao (three in Davao and one in Kidapawan).

The virtual immersion process was done through the following methodologies:

• An introductory lecture about TAMPEI and its community-driven development advocacy in relation to the objectives of the NSTP-CWTS class;

• Focus group discussions (FGDs) with the communities at the beginning of the semester where the students delved into the current conditions of the community, their local initiatives, and projected needs — especially in the context of COVID-19 pandemic;

• Consultation sessions with TAMPEI and faculty coordinators for technical inputs;

• Coordination with communities to validate the feasibility of project proposals

• Presentation and turn-over of outputs.

By the end of the semester, the CWTS students were able to implement a collection of community-based projects ranging from urban garden design manuals (ex: plot garden, floating garden, vertical garden, etc.) and a webinar on mushroom culture production; financial literacy and business planning modules; fundraisers and networking; information campaigns on disease control and waste management; and conceptual designs of community facilities such as food processing area, welcome arch and street signages. The outcomes of the CWTS class were shared by UPCA faculty representatives in the 4th Colleges and Universities Public Service Conference (CUPSCon) in October 2021.

Through the three-year memorandum of agreement, two more batches of students from UPCA and UPSE are expected to take their CWTS classes under TAMPEI’s supervision in 2022 and 2023.


UP Manila, TIP Manila internship

From July to October 2021, TAMPEI welcomed one social science intern from the University of the Philippines Manila (UPM) taking her AS 190: Practicum in Area Studies class, and three architecture interns from the Technological Institute of the Philippines (TIP) Manila taking their Arch 493: Architectural Internship class.

Through an output-based online internship approach, the lone UPM student worked on producing two sets of information, education and communication (IEC) materials for Agaw-Agaw, a community in Muntinlupa facing eviction and demolition threats. She likewise assisted in the preparation and documentation of a learning session on disaster resiliency.


On the other hand, the architecture interns from TIP Manila worked on improving the CWTS outputs submitted earlier by UP Diliman students. Specifically, the interns drafted a complete set of architectural drawings for the welcome arch and street signages of ULHOA, an urban poor group in Valenzuela. Likewise, they provided technical descriptions for the various urban garden manuals made by UP Diliman students. Lastly, they designed event publicity materials and documentation of two learning sessions on people’s planning and community architecture. The architecture interns simultaneously rendered a total of 200 hours each for TAMPEI.

UP SURP, UPCA Post-graduate Studies

TAMPEI engaged with two graduate schools in 2021: the School of Urban and Regional Planning (SURP) and the College of Architecture (CA), both at the University of the Philippines Diliman.


For SURP, 12 students finishing their Diploma and MA degrees took their elective course on Plan 239: Resilience Upgrading in ISF Communities. The students worked in pairs in producing six case studies that document the various adaptive capacities of urban poor groups around the interrelated issues of housing, disasters, and COVID-19 pandemic. TAMPEI was instrumental in linking the class to six urban poor communities in NCR, Iloilo and Davao. The following semester, seven students took the same course and produced three case studies under the same theme. This time, LinkBuild and TAMPEI representatives were invited to give a class lecture on community architecture. In addition, the SURP students from both batches actively participated in two learning sessions on people’s planning approach to housing organized by TAMPEI. The course, handled by Dr. David Yap, will be offered for the third time to encourage more academics and professionals to dwell in the field of community architecture.

For UPCA, 12 students from the Master of Tropical Landscape Architecture (MTLA) and Master of Architecture in Urban Design (MArch) programs took their core course on Arch 211: Environmental Landscapes under Dr. Nappy Navarra and Asst. Prof. Cathe Nadal. Through TAMPEI, the students were linked to APSHAI, a relocation community in Rodriguez, Rizal and worked on four thematic community development plans: ecotourism, disaster resilience, livelihood planning, and solid waste management. The students presented and turned over their outputs to APSHAI.

BulSU, RTU lectures

In August 2021, TAMPEI provided a brief lecture on community architecture to some 100 students from Bulacan State University - College of Architecture and Fine Arts (BulSU-CAFA). The activity was realized through the ten-year partnership agreement between TAMPEI and BulSU-CAFA which started back in 2013.

Similarly, TAMPEI gave two lectures to 15 architecture students from the Rizal Technological University (RTU). Ruel Orcajada gave an overview of community architecture through TAMPEI’s work while Louie Posadas shared his undergraduate thesis about the redevelopment of a Vietnamese refugee community in Puerto Princesa, Palawan which is in line with a design class halded by Architect Jonathan de Guzman.

TAMPEI participates in various international conferences
Webinar Series on International Experiences in People-Led Housing


The webinar series “International Experiences in People-led Housing” is an undertaking of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU), Philippines and the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS), Erasmus University, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.


The Special Lectures aim to benefit both the undergraduate and graduate students of ADMU as well as the graduate students of IHS, urban poor communities who want to embark on the people-led approach, and the general public advocating people-led housing approaches for low-income groups. The presentations to be delivered by the housing scholars and the people-led housing practitioners will introduce the students, faculty, and the institutions to seminal and grounded theories that explicate the emergence and practice of community-led housing. Following this, are live cases reflecting different forms of procedures, and benefits. Finally, two proponents of people-led housing projects from India and the Philippines who have gained inputs from the preceding webinars will discuss their people’s plan proposals for people-led housing model specialists to evaluate and refine. Overall, the webinar aims to impart to the participants a higher appreciation of an alternative form of development initiated by the agency of people located on the fringes of society. It will enable the participants to problematize the state-initiated forms of development for the low-income citizenry.


The Webinar Series comprises four events that happen one week after the other. The first 3 webinars will start with an introduction on theories and concepts of people-led housing by housing scholars working on the people-led approach. The more theoretical introductions will be followed by two cases per webinar on interesting community-led housing projects from Brazil, the Netherlands, Thailand, India and the Philippines.

In the final fourth webinar a presentation of people-led housing proposals by urban poor project proponents from India and the Philippines will be presented for evaluation and refinement by the selected group of panelists. The strong role of women as leaders for housing rights in these communities will be examined. Each webinar will last 1.5 hours with max 60 minutes allotted for presentation while the rest is for Q&A session.

Innovate4Cities Conference: Planning for Resilience in Vulnerable
Communities in the Philippines

4th International Tripartite Conference on “Participatory Slum Upgrading and Preventionin the Decade of Action’’ and Community of Practice (COP) Learning Session: Land,Housing, and Shelter Governance

Ar. Christopher Ebreo and Ar. Louie Posadas each presented TAMPEI’s Citywide Mapping Activity in Muntinlupa City in two different conferences. They first gave the country and city context followed by elaborating on the participatory mapping framework. The project interventions were expounded on as well as the emerging outcomes, challenges, lessons learned, and ways forward for the whole activity.


The conference where Ar. Christopher discussed this activity was in the 4th International Tripartite Conference on “Slum Upgrading and Prevention in the Decade of Action’’ organized by the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), the European Commission (EC), and UN-Habitat held online last July. The conference was organized within the framework of the global policy dialogue of the Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme (PSUP) implemented in 190 cities in 40 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, initiated by the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States and financed by the European Commission. It brought global, national, city and community leaders together in policy dialogues, practitioners in working sessions, and financing partners in round-tables to take stock of progress made in transforming living conditions in informal settlements and slums in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries and around the world.


Ar. Louie Posadas presented the project as a case study along with two other countries, Nepal and Zambia, during the Community of Practice (COP) Learning Session: Land, Housing, and Shelter Governance. The Land, Housing and Shelter Section’s Community of Practice contributes to UN-Habitat’s objectives on knowledge management, normative development, internal capacity development and integration. Through the Section’s LHS Governance, Management, Finance and Human Rights Practice groups, it aims to improve the Agency’s normative capacity in integrated land, housing and shelter solutions. As part of the agreed work plan of the COP on Land, Housing and Shelter Governance, Learning Sessions will be organized to share knowledge and engage colleagues and key partners for collaborative learning. The intention is not just to promote sound policies, projects and practices around the land, housing and governance themes but also to jointly identify and discuss better approaches to address real challenges on the ground.

Also known as I4C, Innovate4Cities 2021, a virtual global and regional event that promises to bring together science and innovation, policy and practice united by a common objective: enabling cities to take accelerated and more ambitious climate action, was held last October. This event was organized by UN-Habitat and the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (GCoM).

I4C is aligned with other international conferences, events and consultations focused on complementary themes. It followed marquee events, including Race to Zero, Race to Resilience, the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), and the Convention on Biological Diversity. It preceded the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP) discussions held last November.

I4C’s key theme is the Global Research and Action Agenda. Discussions stemming from this broader theme will address more specific topics, such as post-pandemic recovery, climate justice and green strategies.

TAMPEI was invited to organize a parallel session for the conference. In this session UN-Habitat presented their development of the Resilient and Green Recovery (RGR) Plan in Ormoc City under their Building Climate Resiliency through Urban Plans and Designs (BCRUPD) project which aims to enhance national and subnational government capacities to guide and manage urban growth and green recovery with resilience principles and practice. TAMPEI presented the results of our Adaptive Capacities Research which aimed to capture the communities’ different conditions given their varying contexts, build on their existing coping mechanisms as immediate responses to the pandemic, and co-create possible solutions in community planning that factor in the safety measures needed to be implemented during a pandemic and other disasters.


TAMPEI facilitates first online CPD workshop

In June 2021, about 60 participants from the fields of architecture, engineering, environmental planning and community development successfully completed the training-workshop on “Co-Creation: People’s Planning and Technical Support on Housing Design for Urban Poor Communities.” The online workshop, accredited 4.5 continuing professional development (CPD) points by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), had five sessions conducted every Friday for three hours each and was facilitated by TAMPEI together with housing experts from LinkBuild, Inc. (LB) and Joly Homes Foundation (JHF) and Japanese architecture professors from Yamaguchi University (YU) and Tanoue Design Laboratory of the Kyushu University (KU).

People’s Planning and Collective Housing Advocacy Project

In 1992, the Urban Development and Housing Act (UDHA) was passed into law, giving hope to millions of urban poor families that the possibility of a more socially just urban development is finally at hand. Nearly thirty years later, the many issues that beset the housing sector — the substantial housing backlog, the reports on failures to comply with eviction and demolition due processes, and the distant resettlement sites with limited basic services, among others — shows that the spirit of empowerment and inclusive development embodied in the UDHA remains elusive, and that much still needs to be done to ensure that urban poor communities are able to meaningfully participate in shaping the course of their own development and ensuring their right to their cities.

Over the past year, the Philippine Alliance, a group of five institutions promoting community-led processes and capacitating urban poor communities in identifying possible solutions to building better human settlements, has been implementing projects that contribute to existing efforts to advance collective, participatory, and inclusive housing and urban development. Earlier this year, two of the Philippine Alliance institutions, the Philippine Action for Community-led Shelter Initiatives Inc. (PACSII) and the Homeless People’s Federation Philippines Inc. (HPFPI), held three national workshops entitled “Bahay, Buhay: Creating Inclusive Urban Communities through a Pro-poor and Participatory Housing Agenda” in which participants from different organizations and government agencies from all over the country discussed some of the most common and critical housing issues faced by low-income and urban poor communities.

To build on the results of these national workshops, three Philippine Alliance institutions — PACSII, HPFPI, and the Technical Assistance Movement for People and Environment, Inc. (TAMPEI) — implemented a series of learning sessions, consultations, and workshops under a People’s Plan Advocacy Project, with the goal of further substantiating and strengthening people’s participation in housing, community-building, and urban development.

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