The Institute of Philippine Culture (IPC), in partnership with the House Committee on Housing and Urban Development and the Senate Committee on Urban Planning, Housing and Resettlement (collectively known as the Joint Committee), was assigned to be the official Management Team of the National Summit on Housing and Urban Development, or more commonly known as the “National Housing Summit.”
One of the most pressing issues in the Philippines today is the lack of affordable housing, especially for informal settler families (ISFs) in urban areas of the country. As stated in Point 15 of President Benigno S. Aquino III’s “A Social Contract with the Filipino People,” the government commits to have “inclusive urban development where people of varying income levels are integrated in productive, healthy and safe communities.” The government has also allocated Php 50 billion for more than 100,000 ISFs living in danger zones in Metro Manila, but key policy and institutional issues remain, which is one of the reasons the National Housing Summit was convened.
The National Housing Summit brings together leaders and representatives from the housing sector, including government agencies, local government units, private sector, civil society, faith-based groups, professional associations, and the academe. The goal of the Summit is to identify key policy reforms that would address the need for shelter for ISFs and the housing backlog. The Summit process involves monthly meetings of each of the four Thematic Working Groups, namely: Land and Housing, Participatory Governance, Housing Finance, and Urban Development.
A “People’s Summit I” was also held last July 22, 2015, which brought together various people’s organizations (POs) and nongovernment organizations (NGOs), and where PO leaders themselves identified the critical issues that they encounter as informal settlers in the city. The People’s Summit was organized to make the Housing Summit a more inclusive and consultative process, incorporating the concerns of the urban poor. A People’s Summit II is scheduled this October 6, 2015.
The IPC, in close coordination with the World Bank and the Joint Committee, is responsible for organizing the key activities of the National Housing Summit, and other logistical matters related to it.
The Summit aims to have a culminating activity in February 2016, also to be organized by the IPC. It will launch the policy paper that would identify key directions for policy and institutional reforms to address the housing backlog and the lack of affordable housing in the Philippines.