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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.

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.

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

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).

Session 1

In the first session entitled “Introduction to Community Architecture and Participatory Design Process,” Dr. Rei Shiraishi, architect and assistant professor at YU, welcomed the participants by explaining the background and context of the Co-Creation Workshop which falls under the first phase (capacity-building) of a bigger project supported by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The workshop outputs shall feed into the second phase (community design development) and eventually into the third phase (knowledge management and network building). Mr. Ruel Orcajada, TAMPEI Partnerships Coordinator, briefly provided the profile of five people’s organizations (POs) that will be part of the project specifically during the second phase. These POs are: 1) Samahang Magkakapitbahay ng Munting Nayon, Inc. (SMMNI) in Brgy. Pututan, Muntinlupa City; 2) Del Rosario Compound Neighborhood Association, Inc. (DRCNAI) in Brgy. Coloong I, Valenzuela City; 3) Mira North Homeowners’ Association (MNHOA) in Brgy. 180, Caloocan City; 4) Flores Springville Homeowners’ Association (FSHOA) in Brgy. 175, Camarin, Caloocan City; and 5) Payatas San Gabriel Neighborhood Association (PASAGANA) in Brgy. Payatas A, Quezon City.

Facilitated by TAMPEI community architect Louie Posadas, the first session covered four topics, starting off with “Urban Poverty and Housing the Poor in the Philippines” given by Dr. Melissa Navarra, executive director of JHF and assistant professor at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology of the Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU). Dr. Navarra first defined poverty and in relation demonstrated the housing situation in the Philippines. She then narrated the timeline of the Philippine government’s default response to informal settlements which historically involved slum clearance through demolition, eviction, and off-site relocation. Building on this, architect and environmental planner Maria Lourdes “May” Domingo-Price, executive director of LB, deep-dived into the “What’s and Why’s of Participatory Processes” and emphasized the uniqueness of each community, thus reminding that there is no one way of doing participatory housing design process which she called responsible, transformative and fun. In connection, Dr. Kenichi Tanoue, an architect and vice president and professor at KU, conveyed the poetica of “Participatory Design Principles” by presenting three case studies in Japan that embody such. For him, participation is a social space where no one is left behind and that housing is a process, a verb and not an object or a noun. Capping off the lectures was TAMPEI community architect Emelyn Bermundo who bridged “Community Architecture and the Role of Technical Professionals” by describing the field as a movement that advocates for a democratic system, inclusivity and participation of community members in planning, design and decision-making with regards to issues concerning their built environment. Talking from experience, she distinguished community architecture from conventional architecture and reflected that in the former, the architect is merely a facilitator of the design process.

After the four lectures, the participants were given time to ask questions and share their takeaways during the open forum. The first session concluded with a graphical synthesis provided by Mr. Vincent Eugenio, advocacy and communications manager of JHF.

Session 2

Ruel Orcajada of TAMPEI first gave a recap of the previous session before turning over the virtual floor to TAMPEI president Carla “Kai” Santos who facilitated the second session themed “Inclusive Housing Development from Social Preparation to Project Implementation” which covered five topics.

The first three topics focused on the social processes of people’s planning. Guiding the participants through the “Social Preparation,” Ms. Luz Malibiran, executive director of Community Organizers Multiversity (COM), explained the stages of people’s planning process from community integration and profiling; visioning; planning and housing proposal development; assembly and validation; partnering and negotiation; community-managed housing project implementation; and moving in and estate management. Her presentation was immediately followed by Dr. Navarra’s topic on “Socio-economic Profiling” where she identified participatory research as an approach and not as a research method and where “new knowledge” is produced collectively rather than individually. Then, she shared the lessons in the conduct of paperless socio-economic profiling in Southville 7, Calauan, Laguna and communicated its outcomes that resulted in the development of projects and fostering of partnerships. The participatory data gathering process was seconded by Ms. Ruby Haddad, national coordinator of the Homeless People’s Federation Philippines, Inc. (HPFPI), in her talk about “Property Acquisition through Community Process” where she related their land acquisition experience as member of the Ang Payatas Scavengers Homeowners’ Association, Inc. (APSHAI). She reminisced about some of the challenges they faced such as the lack of technical knowledge among community members, the lack of guidance from technical professionals in assessing land, and the lack of support from the government in securing permits and licenses. Ultimately, she underscored the importance of community organizing and collective savings program in overcoming these challenges.

Responding to these challenges were the fourth and fifth topics. In his presentation about “Architectural Design and Planning: A Collaboration between Community and Technical Professionals,” Ar. Christopher Ebreo, then-executive director of TAMPEI, talked about the participatory approach as both a tool and a process. In this approach, mutual learning takes place. For instance, people draw their dream community and dream houses in the site development planning and housing design workshops facilitated by technical professionals who afterwards provide their technical inputs to the workshop outputs so as to adhere to the socialized and economic housing standards required by the law. In relation, architect and environmental planner Villa Mae Libutaque-Ebreo, project development and coordination manager of LB, discussed “Community’s Participation in Project Implementation.” She enumerated the various stages of project implementation (from project set-up and procurement to site layout, construction, turn-over, and finally, estate management) and reiterated the need to enhance the skills of community members through technical training.

After the open forum, Mr. Vince Eugenio of JHF gave the graphical synthesis of the second session.

Session 3

For the third session, Ruel Orcajada of TAMPEI again reviewed the topics covered in the previous session before passing the online facilitation to Ms. Deanna Ayson, member of the TAMPEI Board of Trustees. Themed “Experiences on Participatory Housing Processes and Sustainable Community Strategies in Japan and the Philippines,” the third session had four speakers.

Dr. Shunsuke Yokohama, emeritus professor from the Osaka City University, discussed “Participatory Public Housing Designs in Japan” through the case of Nishikatamachi Public Housing Complex in Yatsushiro City in which the residents, architects and the government altogether participated in the housing reconstruction process. The participatory nature of the project contributed to its smooth progress and in particular, to the development of a sense of pride and ownership in their homes among the local residents. The Japanese experience was contrasted with the Philippine experience on “People’s Plan Design for High-Density Housing” as narrated by architect Rei Shiraishi, assistant professor at the Yamaguchi University. First, she reviewed the evolution of social housing policies in the Philippines and its corresponding issues, and then detailed the P50B housing fund approved during the Aquino administration in terms of budget utilization and housing design options specifically that of the High Density Housing (HDH) of the Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC). However, she noted that this initiative took over six years due to the lack of support from the local government, unavailability of land, and the complex and tedious permitting processes.

The third lecture, given by Dr. Kazuo Asahiro, associate professor at Kyushu University, focused on “Community Greening and Landscaping.” He cited Fukuoka City as his primary example for having its own design code for greening and landscaping as well as other initiatives such as training of “green coordinators” and local food cycling activities. The last lecture on “Social Enterprise Development and Sustainable Livelihood” was provided by Mr. Vincent Eugenio of JHF who emphasized the need to form cooperatives and social enterprises to address the scarcity of livelihood and work opportunities in off-city resettlement sites. With this, he identified and explained the three steps in social enterprise development, which are: 1) asset mapping; 2) asset mobilization; and 3) asset management.

The lectures were followed by an open forum facilitated by Ms. Deanna Ayson of TAMPEI and a visual synthesis provided by Dr. Melissa Navarro of JHF.

Sessions 4 and 5

The last two sessions of the Co-Creation Workshop aimed to provide the participants first-hand experience, albeit virtual, working with grassroots organizations in their housing development needs. Themed “Community-Driven Development: Action Planning with People’s Organizations,” the fourth session in the morning started with a recap of the previous session given by Ruel Orcajada of TAMPEI. This was followed by a quick rundown of the workshop mechanics. The workshop secretariat pre-grouped the participants into five, making sure that each group consisted of community leaders and technical professionals with varied expertise. In this way, each group will be able to co-develop solutions for the respective issues faced by the partner community assigned to them. A facilitator and a documenter were assigned for each group. The groups’ discussions were documented using the workshop template provided.

For the fifth session in the afternoon, each group was given 20 minutes to report the workshop outputs. The presentations covered the status of the project (from social preparation and land acquisition to architectural planning and design) and the proposed project timeline. Participants from other groups were invited to throw in their questions and inputs to the reports. Below are the highlights of each presentation:

Group 1: Ms. Maricel Deculawan of PASAGANA, Quezon City shared the claimant issues on Lots 18 and 19. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the local government unit has not taken any action yet on this matter. At present, the organization has not scheduled the conduct of the housing design yet due to the land issues.

Group 2: Ar. Christopher Ebreo of TAMPEI reported on behalf of Del Rosario Compound in Valenzuela City. He mentioned the community’s main issue about the rising water level since the community is situated in water. With this, the community’s decision to landfill or not must be carefully evaluated relative to other sustainable options that may be available. Reblocking process will begin after this dilemma has been worked out.

Group 3: Ms. Jermelyn Penalosa of Munting Nayon Community in Muntinlupa City discussed that the community is planning for the redevelopment of the 1,000 sqm property. Since the location is certified safe by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), the community can build a four-storey structure. Ground floor will be allotted for livelihood initiatives while the uppermost floor will serve as a common space for gardening and hanging clothes.

Group 4: Ms. Renea Serana of Flores Springville HOA in Caloocan City communicated that the socio-economic profiling and the HOA’s loan application to the Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC) is already ongoing. Also, the HOA needs geotechnical assessment due to the presence of a creek and some low-lying areas on the site.

Group 5: Mr. Renato of Mira North HOA in Caloocan City shared that the HOA is already in the pre-takeout stage for the land acquisition. For the loan application, the community needs to finalize their site development plan and housing design. Their target is to submit all the requirements to SHFC by December. With this, the timeline is quite hurried

To wrap up the Co-Creation Workshop, Dr. Melissa Navarra of JHF gave the synthesis, providing the acronym of “PLANS”: P-articipation, L-and, A-daptive capacities, N-ew approaches and S-paces. Then, she went over the five cases and articulated the concerns of each community. Taking all these into account, she shared the following insights:

1. People’s plan requirements are of different levels;

2. Unity and solidarity among the residents are evident in all cases but at different weights;

3. Interface of local knowledge and preferences with technical experts’ knowledge and skills is demonstrated;

4. HOA partnership with LGUs, technical experts, NGOs and private sector is underscored;

5.Designs articulate the need of the vulnerable sectors in the community, desire economic mobilityand promote a vibrant community; and

6.Realistic project timeline is apparent during or after land acquisition.Assistant professor Rei Shiraishi added that this workshop series proved to her again that leaders know best for their communities. The technical professionals can help the communities in tackling their issues. She conveyed that she is looking forward to more collaborations. Also, Dr. Kenichi Tanoue thanked the participants for their active participation. Lastly, architect Christopher Ebreo congratulated the participants for finishing the workshop series and thanked them for their time and effort. He urged the participants to spread the advocacy of the participatory process in the housing design. After that, he thanked the community leaders and fellow organizers for their support.

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.

Learning Session 1 - Defining the People’s Plan Approach: Principles and Practices

The first learning session was held on 1 October 2021, with Ericka Nava from Philippine Action for Community-led Shelter Initiatives, Inc. (PACSII) facilitating the session. Ms. Ruby Haddad, National Coordinator of Homeless People’s Federation Philippines, Inc. (HPFPI), gave an introductory remark by welcoming the participants, speakers, and explained the series of events for the month of October - learning sessions, workshops, summit and policy drafting writeshop validations in preparation of the 30 years anniversary of the Urban Development Housing Act.

The first speaker was Mr. Percival Chavez, President of the Board of Trustees of PACSII, presented the concept and origin of “People’s Plan” through the history of the People’s Plan, its concepts and basic principles, and experiences and practical considerations needed in the implementation of the People’s Plan. Next, Atty. JC Tejano, one of the lawyers in Sentro ng Alternatibong Lingap Panligal (SALIGAN), Inc., talked about the People’s Plan from a legal point of view. Third, Ar. Vhal Libutaque-Ebreo, EnP., Program Manager of LinkBuild, Inc., discussed the People’s Plan in terms of the technical perspective. According to Ar. Vhal, it is a plan formulated by members of the community in collaboration with different technical professions. It is a process of co-creation where professionals listen, understands and support and the members of the community learns, develops skills and is able to decide on what is suitable and fit for the community. As a case community presentation, Ms. Madeline Suarez, president of Alliance of People Organizations Along Manggahan Floodway (APOAMF), recounted her community’s experiences with the People’s Plan. To synthesize the first session, Ar. Louie Posadas, Executive Director of Technical Assistance Movement for People and Environment, Inc. (TAMPEI), discussed and shared the main takeaways from the different topics through a diagram with social justice in the middle and the actors involved in People’s Planning (the government, the academe and private sectors, civil society, and people’s organizations), the concepts that contribute to social justice (the People’s Plan, the Right to the City, Co-Creation, and social empowerment), and the components of the housing process (social preparation, technical preparation, project implementation, and estate management) around it showing how all these interact with each other.

Learning Session 2 - Government as a Partner in Implementing the People’s Plan

The second learning session was held on 8 October 2021, with Dr. Melissa Navarra, Executive Director of Joly Homes Foundation, facilitating the session. To formally begin the learning session, an opening speech was delivered by Fr. Rolando A. Tuazon. The essence of the series of events was expounded on as building blocks that help people to be equipped and enlightened with knowledge for the upcoming National Summit Tahanan 2021 on November 19. One of the objectives of this learning session was to learn from each other and help the people realize their dreams in terms of security in housing and land through their own initiative with the collaboration of government agencies and NGOs. Dr. Melissa Navarra gave a brief summary of the previous learning session “Defining the People’s Plan Approach: Principles and Practices”. Highlighting key words and principles shared by the previous speakers that defines and gives life to people’s plan. She also shared an overview for Learning Session 2 wherein according to her, the session will cover: Insight on how to engage with Central and Government units in implementing people’s plan, illustrate different forms of people led social housing and the intricate elements and unique approaches of what makes people’s plan work.

First, Atty. Junefe G. Payot , Executive Vice President of Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC), gave an overview of the role of Key Shelter Agencies (KSAs) in the People’s Planning process. As a representative of the Quezon City LGU, Mr. Valentin Gabor, Housing and Homesite Regulatory Officer II of Quezon City Housing Community Development and Resettlement Department, talked about how People’s Planning can be incorporated into local government projects. Dr. Rei Shiraishi, Assistant Professor of Yamagushi University, then talked about her policy evaluation research focusing on Oplan LIKAS, a PHP50 billion inter-agency initiative that aimed to transfer Informal Settler Families (ISFs) living in danger and high-risk areas to decent and safer settlements. To community leaders Mr. Ping Fampulme, Chairman of the Board of NABIGLA PO HOA, Inc. and Mr. Raymond Jinon, president of Riverview Homeowners Association (RVHOA), were invited to talk about their experiences with working government offices in implementing the People’s Plan.

Mr. Percival Chavez summarized the following important key learnings from the session and the resource speakers:

1. The Government having the lead role. They have the power to mandate law, capacity to formulate laws, policies and ordinances and has power of the purse – budget.

2. Importance of local government. Local government needs to show the capacity to make techniques and ways to resolve housing problems of the poor. Supports the blight of the urban poor in terms of financing and helps in data-based decision making.

3. Scientific way of understanding the approach in housing. Approach to peoples planning supported by data and well-studied research.

4. People’s plan centered on people’s decision-making and autonomy. People’s plan does not start from technical plan and estate managent.It starts with the faces and phases (stage) of the struggle of the urban poor

5. Partnership into a dialogue framework with government - the intention of peoples plan. Look into how to balance control and autonomy, how to balance decision making, how to resolve conflicts not just with technical problems and resources.

The synthesis ended with the notion of the spirit of people’s planning as an ongoing social process and the need to have more capable, accountable and open minded people centered with a vision of serving marginalized underserved sectors.

Consultation Workshop

The 2021 People’s Plan Workshop, held last 22 October 2021, aimed to identify and record the different definitions, approaches, and practices based on the experiences of different groups on people’s planning, from the pre-housing or social preparation stage to the post-housing or estate management stage. It also focused on determining the roles and functions of different groups of stakeholders under the People’s Plan Approach, as well as the levels of implementation at which these roles and functions would be assumed. This workshop also helped identify and set both negotiable and non-negotiable steps in the implementation of the People’s Plan Approach.

A total of forty-eight (48) participants attended the workshop that included representatives from civil society organizations (CSOs), government key shelter agencies (KSAs), technical professionals and academe, the private sector, and local government units (LGUs). The participants were separated into four breakout rooms that discussed the definition and principles, processes and roles, and the challenges and limitations with each breakout room focusing on the perspective of each key stakeholder.

Mr. Percival Chavez synthesized the main points raised during the workshop. The People’s Plan is the product of the struggle because of the differences between the people and the government - especially from the time when there were no laws about this. In this workshop, we see the light, the People’s Plan is a progressive timeline, evolving, and developed through time. And within this timeline there are stages, from pre-stage to actual construction and estate management. There is also the matter of timing – timing of data, of budget, of which department the funds should come.

But the principles are clear: People’s Planning is multidisciplinary, multi-stakeholder, transformative and progressive, and other possibilities may arise. There is the spirit of planning, which may be lost in the technical aspect. But keep in mind, that the technical aspect is imbued to a single vision of the community. And this is where good governance enters.

People’s Plan is part of good governance. People’s Plan is part of the openness of both parties – the community and the government. People’s Plan is the generosity of each participant.

These are the intangibles. There are things that are easy to get - from the books, from other stakeholders. But once the predisposition of the participants are nonexistent, we are missing the point, the center of gravity of People’s Plan. People who are serious, who are dedicated and committed. The plans, finance, capacity building, training are all the things that can be acquired. But without the intangibles, if these are not written in our hearts and in our minds, the People’s Plan is unattainable, impossible even. People’s Plan is a burst of energy, a burst of hope. If we lose the spirit and the heart of what we’re going, we will struggle.

Tahanan Summit 2021

The Tahanan Summit 2021, with the theme “Creating Inclusive and Sustainable Settlements through People’s Planning”, was attended by the participants of the previous activities for the purpose of consolidating the different definitions, approaches, and processes documented in the workshops, and coming up with a unified implementation guide on People’s Planning. The event was held on the 19th of November, 2021 facilitated by Ms. Carla Santos of TAMPEI and Mr. Percival Chavez of PACSII.

Cong. Franciso Benitez, Chairperson of the House Committee on Housing and Urban Development, through a pre-written speech read aloud by Mr. Percival Chavez, gave the keynote address. Ms. Luz Malibiran of Community Organizers Multiversity (COM) discussed how the People’s Plan can be mainstreamed given the varying community contexts. Ms. Jeanette Cruz, Director of DHSUD Finance Service, discussed how the DHSUD along with other key shelter agencies can participate in the People’s Plan. Her project focus is Building Adequate, Livable, Affordable, and Inclusive Filipino Communities (BALAI). Ar. Dolly Anne Zoluaga, Assistant Department Head of Iloilo City Planning and Development Office (CPDO), gave her inputs on the mainstreaming of the People’s Plan process at the LGU level. Enhancing public participation in the processes encourages participation in the local development council with the private sector, POs, and NGOs being active in the development of Iloilo City.

After the presentations by the two government offices, three panelist reactors: Mr. Marcelino Mendoza, Chairman of the Board of Organization of Socialized and Economic Housing Developers, Inc. (OSHDP), Mr. Fermin Sta. Teresa Jr., Senior Vice President of Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF), and Ms. Ana Oliveros, Former President of Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC), gave their inputs.

Mr. Percival Chavez, President of Philippine Action for Community-led Shelter Initiatives, Inc. (PACSII), gave a synthesis of all that was discussed in the summit. He notes that it is important to explain and clarify the terminologies used in laws to beneficiaries to increase the accessibility of housing laws. With all that the speakers and panelists presented and discussed, the advocacy for the people’s plan approach is progressing. To strengthen the advocacy, we need to emphasize people’s empowerment.

In summary, the People’s Plan has five aspects. On the social aspect, the plan is a holistic approach. On the political aspect, the right of people to participate is recognized. On the economic aspect, communities are drivers of the economy and in implementing projects, optimal use of resources must be observed. On the cultural aspect, the People’s Plan can change the community psyche if people are given the chance to participate. Lastly, on the technological aspect, People’s Planning encourages innovations given the differing contexts of each community.

Next Steps

The inputs from the Tahanan series of events, especially the results of the consultation workshop, will be consolidated into a policy document that is currently being drafted by our partner, SALIGAN. This March, we will be holding validation sessions for the document. This policy document will be forwarded to DHSUD for implementation. The main objective of this document is to mainstream the people’s plan process and institutionalize support.

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