UP-ALL : Urban Poor Alliance (Pilipinas)

Online Space for Housing and Land Rights Advocates

Documentation: UP-ALL NCR GA 2007

Posted by urbanpooralliance on July 6, 2007

Preliminaries

(see Annexes A1 and A2: Concept Note and Presentation and Annex C: Programme)

Veron Magpantay of ULAP’s Gender and Development Committee led the opening prayer while Ofelia Bagotnon of HPFP delivered some remarks, explaining the rationale behind the GA. The General Assembly was called to discuss two major areas of concern for UP-ALL NCR: Advocacy and Organisation. The GA was an opportunity for the city formnations namely Las Pinas, Quezon City, Malabon, and Muntinlupa to present their respective local or city agenda; for the body to formulate a regional agenda and to discuss possible national agenda such as minimum standards for resettlement, engagement in the elections, and legislative agenda. Another important topic is the UDHA amendment. In terms of organisation, UP-ALL NCR has to define its regional structure and formulate plans particularly among emerging city-formations. Ofelia also went over the day’s programme.

 

City Reports plus riverside communities

by Rizal Beato, Caloy Diaz, Roberto Rabo, Brisa Demo, Ping Fampulme and Jose Morales (see Annexes D – Las Pinas, E – Malabon, F-Muntinlupa, and G-Quezon City)

The city reports have three main parts: accomplishments, local agenda and assessment of UP-ALL NCR’s electoral engagement.

 

 

Las Pinas

The city report of Las Pinas was mainly created from a process that was facilitated by FDA and participated by members of the Kasama at Alyansa ng mga Mamayan sa Pagunlad Inc. (KAMPI).

On Accomplishments:

KAMPI embarked on a livelihood project on liquid soap making with three partners: Dynapharm, BTC and Euro. It also managed to raise funds through the conduct of bingo games and Ms. Kampi Popularity contest. KAMPI also extended assistance to member HOAs who were affected by calamities.

As KAMPI joined UP-ALL, it elected its chairperson, Rizal B. Beato as the representative of the South sector. KAMPI counts among its achievements the pursuit of EO 272; accreditation at the SHFC and having a representative at the SHFC; and the ouster of Celso de los Angeles.

On the Local Agenda
On its local agenda, it is bent on five issues: the creation of a local housing board, the passage of an ordinance that would lower the garbage fee to P50; accreditation at the city council; mainstreaming of the direct buying scheme; and the participation of HOA members of KAMPI at the Barangay Development Council.

On its Assessment of the Electoral Engagement
KAMPI held a caucus in support of the tandem Aguilar and Villar.

 

Malabon

The city report of Malabon was also a product of a process facilitated by FDA. This was consolidated by members of Alyansa ng may Integridad na Maralitang Taga-Malabon (AIMM). AIMM has five goals:

  • To support programs of the local government, national government, civil society and other sectors

  • To have the urban poor sector recognised as a partner of the local government towards the development of Malabon

  • To establish the Alliance as the center of unity and cooperation among urban poor groups

  • To build the capacity, awareness and integrity of leaders and organisations, enabling the active participation of communities.

  • To provide assistance in responding to the issues and concerns of the sector.

AIMM has actively lobbied for an oprdinance which would have exempted social housing beneficiaries from paying regulatory fees. It also worked for the creation of a locxal housing board which was finally approved last March 30, 2007. As it further formalises itself, AIM conducted congresses and trainings and even a logo making contest. 2007 Also saw the expansion of its members from 72 to 75 HOAs.

Malabon has 10 agenda, beginning with a call for the re-activation and strengthening of the local hosuing board. The agenda also dwelled on community mortgage programme, which is seen as a viable housing mechanisms that must be strengthened by introducing tax incentives for beneficiaries, among others. AIMM also echoed a halt tp demolitions particularly those which are not backed by a comprehensive and processed resettlement plan which includes provision for services such as water, electricity, health and infrastructures for education and employment. It also seconded the point that any resettlement action must be done within the boundaries of the city. To further highlight the needs the poor in governance processes, AIMM believes the need to have a representative of the sector in the city council, local housing board, local inter-agency committee, and the task force on anti-squatting syndicate. This will also help in sourcing out funds for urban poor programmes.

On its Assessment of the Electoral Engagement
AIM supported Team Malabon candidates and the line up endorsed by UP for senatorial and partylist positions. It also participated in the Voters Education conducted by Simbahang Lingkod Bayan and FDA.

 

 

 

Muntinlupa

UP-ALL Muntinlupa consists of groups addressing housing and land issues in relation to: government lands, private lands and danger zones. During its June 16, 2007 assembly, it set forth the following goals: (1) to consolidate the urban poor residing in government lands, private lands and danger zones; (2) to continue the engagement with the local and national governments while continuing organising on the ground; (3) operationalise the local housing board (an ordinance on this was recently passed); continuing consolidation of local and national agenda. The group likewise declared June 16 as UP-ALL Muntinlupa Day.

Its major agenda include: the passage of a resolution on the UP-ALL Muntinlupa’s accreditation by the city council; having an representative of the urban poor at the city council; electoral engagement beginning with the barangay level; and surface the issues against HLURB.

 

 

Quezon City

UP-ALL QC initiated a process towards the production of its local agenda, months before the UP-ALL NCR GA. It also launched itself last April 22, 2007 at Miriam Peace, gathering around 150 participants. However, its structure remains ad hoc in nature, consisting of representatives from the 8 federations working in QC: ULAP. ULR-TF, CMP, HPFP, UPA, DAMPA, SAMA-SAMA and ALMANOVA

QC has 18 agenda, topped by the call for the creation of a local housing board; comprehensive resettlement programs; tax incentives for CMP beneficiaries; UDHA compliance; provisions on communities residing in danger zones; gender mainstreaming; provision for basic services, among others.

QC also assessed the past elections, affirming that the electoral exercise remained flawed and corrupt. It also asserted that due to the otherwise rushed participation of UP-ALL NCR, a bloc vote among the urban poor communities was not developed. Nonetheless, the electoral engagement of UP-ALL NCR provided some gains which the Alliance may refer in case it intends to pursue its participation in the coming barangay and 2010 elections.

 

Riverside Communities

The river side communities also presented the output of their conference, particularly the agenda which they wish to be surfaced in engaging the local governments. They have three major agenda: (1) the creation of a local hosuing board; (2) the implementation of hosuing programmes; and (3) strict compliance to the social requirements in the construction and operationalisation of infrastructures. Since the river side communities encounter a different set of vulnerabilities, the communities requires a specific development plan. They also called for the recognition of a People’s Plan; the production of housing beneficiary listing; and the production of an inventory of lands which may be appropriated for social hosuing.

The communities also stressed the need for in-city relocation and meaningful participation of communities during consultations over infrastructure projects. They noted the emerging threat brought by the C3 project which is likely to affect around 394,000 families.

 

 

Synthesis (see Annex H)

by Jing Karaos, ICSI

Jing identified the following common issues and agenda

  • Eviction – the groups affirmed that no eviction must take place without consultations and resettlement action plans. These processes must also be informed by the city shelter plan which must also lay down possible sites for relocation and social hosuing within the city. Danger zones must also be identified to prepare the community both for dialogue/ consultation and resettlement.

  • Resettlement – RAPs must be guided by a People’s Plan (For civil society, the challenge is to provide the processes and build capacities for the communities, enabling them to engendering People Plans. In-city relocation was also stressed.

  • City Shelter Plan – This document must be comprehensive as this require the entire lay-out of programs for social housing, including resettlement. The production of a city shelter plan also requires the release of an up-to-date beneficiary listing; inventory of potential sites for social housing; compliance with the 20 percent balanced housing provision in UDHA; identification of danger zones; and identification of areas for development. One challenge in developing or updating a city shelter plan is to ensure that issues and concerns on women and gender are surfaced.

  • Local housing board – Creation, if not strengthening of local housing boards

  • Housing finance – Cities must create a funding facility for social housing. They must also ensure the integration of housing and urban poor concerns in budgeting processes and participate in CMP and other housing programmes. The localisation of CMP must also be further studied.

  • Participation – All city reports indicate the need for the representation and participation of the urban poor sector in government bodies particularly the city council, budget deliberations. local inter-agency committees, and others. UP-ALL must also be accredited by the local governments.

  • Electoral Engagement – The reports highlighted the need to follow up the activities and processes initiated by UP-ALL NCR during the previous elections, particularly following up the offices of endorsed legislators who won and who made a commitment to pursue the legislative agenda. Other electoral activities which must be considered are the barangay and the 2010 elections. The possibility of having an urban poor party-list was also raised.

Other issues and concerns include: having convcenient and effective processes for land registration; creation of a task force and mechanisms on anti-squatting syndicates; creation of a legal assistance desk for the urban poor; clarification on the mandate of HLURB; and provision for basic services.

Other participants eventually raised supplementary inputs. Ric said that should UP-ALL NCR decide pursue its electoral engagement, it has to identify a legitimate urban poor party list. In terms of land inventory. Audie said that a listing of proclaimed lands for the sector must also be released, verified and monitored. Past incidents of demolitions must likewise be documented. Ana added that LGUs must also be pinned down in determining the extent of their liability for the violent demolitions implemented by the MMDA. She noted that MMDA has even become a partner in the rehabilition of Pasig river, allowing the agency to wantonly clear riverside communities. Ana also raised the latest developments at the Social Hosuing Finance Corporation, whose board members are bent to step down. Some of these board members are supportive of UP-ALL. hence there is a need to lobby that for the appointment of credible personalities for the agency.

 

 

Legislative Agenda (see Annex I)

by Ana Oliveros, FDUP

Ana led a review of the legislative agenda which UP-ALL NCR produced for its electoral engagement. Ana reminded that the legislative agenda is one document which UP-ALL NCR may propose to UP-ALL National, for the approval of other regions.

 

 

Minimum Standards (see Annex J)

by Tanya Gaurano, ICSI

Tanya outlined the requirements which met be met in any resettlement processes.

 

 

UDHA Amendment (see Annex K)

by Jing Gaddi, Saligan and Bien Salinas, UPA

Jing highlighted certain provisions of the UDHA which need to be amended. These are Section 3 or the definition of squatters; Section 8 or the automatic transfer of social housing sites to the NHA; Section 10 or the modes of land acquisition; Section 18 or basic balanced housing; and Section 28 or eviction and demolition protocol. The proposed revision of Section 3 intends to simplify the definition of “professional squatter.” At present, “professional squatter” includes those “who have previously been awarded homelots or housing units by the Government but who sold, leased or transferred the same to settle illegally in the same place or in another urban area, and non-bona fide occupants and intruders of lands reserved for socialized housing.” Meanwhile revisions on Section 8 intends to expedite social housing processes. Currently, disposition of lands requires the approval of the Office of the President. Similarly Section 10 states that land acquisition may be done only when all modes are exhausted. However, this need not be the case especially when all stakeholders have already gone through a consultative process and are willing to pour the necessary resources. Provisions on the 20% balanced housing also have to be defined to ensure in-city relocation. The amendment of UDHA also seeks to provide more teeth to the Presidential Commission on the Urban Poor and to exempt urban poor families from paying bonds in the filing of legal cases.

 

 

Proposed Regional Structure (Annexes L- diagrams and M – workshop guidelines)

by Lita Asis-Nero, FDA

Lita presented a proposed structure for the UP-ALL NCR. Here, the general assembly consists of 10 POs from every city formation; 5 POs from every emerging city formations, and NGOs whose representation would be based on issues. Lita also explained the initial set of criteria for a city formation. These are the following:

(1) constituted by two or more organisations; (2) presence of a formal structure; (3) consolidated by an agenda; (4) its members have a history of cooperation. There are three possible models for the city structures: They may be organised according to disctricts (geographical); federations; or issues.

Beneath the GA is the steering committee consisting of two representatives from every city formation and 3 representatives from NGOs.

 

The proposed regional structure was further discussed in the break out sessions where three groups were formed: city formations; emerging city formations and NGOs.

 

Plenary Reporting (See Annex N)

City Formations
The city formations affirmed the four criteria though they placed emphasis on the presence of a local agenda . Nothing changed with regards to the agenda and plans presented by the four city formation but each identified two representatives (three for Muntinlupa) for the steering committee.

 

Las Pinas – Rizal Beato and Marigold Sabio (alternate: Daria Cuevas)

Malabon – Tony Sablan and Caloy Diaz

Muntinlupa – Roberto Rabo, Bert Paycana and Amy Solamo

Quezon City – Jose Morales and Ping Fampulme

 

 

Emerging City Formations
The following were considered emerging city formations: Antipolo, Caloocan, Manila, Marikina, Montalban, Navotas, Pasig, and Valenzuela. All affirmed the proposed regional structure and agreed to become UP-ALL city formations. Most of them prefer to organise their ranks according to issue (Antipolo, Manila Montalban, Navotas, and Pasig). Only Caloocan said that it will most likely constitute an UP-ALL formation via distrticts or zones. The rest said that they have to discuss the matter further with their communities while Valenzuela manifested that it has yet to gather its resources to even consider becoming a city formation. All emerging city formations likewise affirmed the need to participate in the elections. In fact, some of their members would be vying for positions this coming barangay elections.

 

NGOs
The NGOs moved for the refinement of the criteria for city formations and the modification of the proposed structure. They provided a minimum requirement with regards to the membership of a city formation: It has to have at least five HOAs located in two barangays. Membership may also include sectoral organisations such as women and gender and youth. The NGOs also added a fifth requirement which is the commitment to expand and consolidate urban poor groups within the city. With regards to the structure, NGOs proposed the creation of a set of working groups, in order to provide a mechanism for participation for emerging city formations and NGOs who are not part of the steering committee. This, as the NGOs, after heated discussions, maintained the composition of the steering committee: two representatives from every city formation and three representatives from NGOs. There are seven working groups:

  • Resettlement and basic services

  • CMP

  • Proclamation

  • Eviction

  • Women, children and the elderly

  • Membership

  • Electoral

Resolution

On the regional structure

The following regional structure was approved. However the NGOs have yet to name its three representatives at the steering committee. The composition of the seven working groups was also not discussed.

FINAL UP-ALL NCR Structure

 

 

On the proposals for approval at the UP-ALL national GA

 

 

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