The Department of the Interior and Local Government Region III (DILG R3) and the National Barangay Operations Office (NBOO) in partnership with the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) hosted Region III’s first ever Workshop on the Formulation of the Local Shelter Plan (LSP).
The activity is one of the Department’s initiatives in addressing the problem of squatter proliferation not only along the Manila Bay Watershed Areas but also in the whole country. Participants from Regions 3, 4-A and NCR together with guests from the NGAs were invited to attend the three-day workshop from March 12-14, 2013and are directed to formulate an implementable Local Shelter Plan which shall be adopted by each LGUs.
Asst. Regional Director Abraham A. Pascua of Region 3 gave his welcome remarks and pointed out that such effort is timely since Region 3 is now in a situation wherein it is ready for further developments which in effect give way to the migration of Informal Settlers into its urbanized places.
USEC Celia Alba of HUDCC thanked all the participants and expressed her enthusiasm regarding the interest of all the stakeholders in crafting the Local Shelter Plan. She clarified the misconception that a Local Shelter Plan is only intended for the Informal Settlers but emphasized that the LSP also includes the Formal Sector and all the residents in a given municipality. She also added that one of the main advocacies of the present administration is to come up with a Shelter Plan which shall be used by all the LGUs in the whole country.
USEC Bimbo Fernandez of the DILG stressed out that participation is one of the main principles which must be followed by every planning conference. He appealed that in order for policies to be effective, consultation, sharing and listening are indispensable. He added that LGUs should concentrate on supporting their Informal Settlers rather than in relocating/replacing them. He believes that the poor are considered to be the “prime movers” of every LGU and thus it is paramount to address their needs in order to attain progress and harmony.
The culmination of the 3-day activity was highlighted by an action planning workshop and a presentation of their LSP drafts led by the Municipalities of Angeles City (Region III), Calamba (Region IV-A) and Pasay City (NCR).