Application for 2017 YP Workshop on Social Housing is Now Open!

Application forms for the 2017 YP Workshop on Social Housing is now available for download. Please click here to get the application form. Application period is from March 20 to April 12, 2017. The tentative schedule of the 2017 YP Workshop on Social Housing is on May 24 to 29, 2017. Please read the information below to know more about the 2017 YP Workshop on Social Housing. You can also download the briefing paper here.

What is the YP Workshop on Social Housing?

Group photo of the participants of the 2017 YP Workshop on Social Housing

Group photo of the participants of the 2017 YP Workshop on Social Housing

The Young Professionals (YP) Workshop on Social Housing is a capability-building program of TAO-Pilipinas, Inc. that orients technical design professionals on social housing and cross-cutting issues in human settlements development especially among the poor. Through this program, young architects, engineers and planners are trained to be more socially aware of the shelter conditions of the underserved sectors. The workshop activities serve as a venue for learning and practice, as it gives the opportunity for participants to directly engage and provide technical assistance to poor communities with shelter needs.

TAO-Pilipinas collaborates with its partner organizations, including government, non-government and people’s organizations, to conduct training activities that fosters direct interaction between technical professionals and communities in need.

What is the thematic focus for the 2017 YP Workshop?

Since 2005, TAO-Pilipinas has already conducted several workshops in Metro Manila (2005, 2009 and 2011), Infanta in Quezon Province (2006), Legazpi City in Albay Province (2008), Rodriguez in Rizal Province (2011) and in Cagayan de Oro City (2016). Each workshop has a thematic focus, covering pressing issues related to social housing, community development and sustainable human settlements in general.

The theme for the 2017 YP Workshop on Social Housing is “Planning for climate and disaster-resilient urban poor communities”. The workshop theme looks at the intersections and links between social housing and climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. Furthermore, it puts a focus on shelter issues within an urban context. The workshop will seek to find ways, mainly through community action planning, for communities to initiate solutions that address their climate and disaster risks.

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TAO Holds YP Workshop in Cagayan de Oro City

YPs during expectation setting

YPs group discussion in preparation for their expectations presentation

From March 15 to 21, the 2016 Young Professionals (YP) Workshop on Social Housing was held in Cagayan de Oro City (CdO). This is already the sixth time that TAO-Pilipinas has conducted the training for young professionals and senior students of architecture, engineering and planning. TAO last carried out the YP workshop in 2011. The workshop theme for this year was “Mainstreaming Participatory Design Process in Community Planning and Development.”

Fifty-six (56) participants joined the YP workshop in CdO. They are comprised of engineering students from Xavier University (XU), architecture students from Mindanao University of Science and Technology (MUST), community representatives from Impala Neighborhood Association and Tierra Villa Verde Homeowners Association, community mobilizers from the local government of CdO, and management and technical staff of Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC). The training on social housing for YPs was divided into two parts; part 1 was the lecture and orientation sessions while part 2 was the community immersion activities.

Lecture sessions

Two days were allotted for the lecture sessions that were held at the Manresa Training Center in Carmen, Cagayan de Oro City. The training began with a keynote lecture from Mr. Roel Ravanera, Executive Director of Xavier Science Foundation. In his lecture entitled “The Challenges to Sustainable Human Settlements Development and the Role of Young Professionals”, Mr. Ravanera talked about pressing issues in sustainable development and social housing and the ways to address these issues. He introduced the Xavier Ecoville project of Xavier University as an example of a housing solution to resettle Sendong-affected families and build a sustainable community.

The next presentations were grouped into four sessions that had specific learning objectives. The sessions were categorized into: (1) social housing overview; (2) participatory community planning and design; (3) building sustainable and disaster-resilient communities; and (4) facilitating the community consultation workshop. Several resource persons gave lectures about various topics, these included:

  • The National Housing Situationer presented by Atty. Junefe Payot
  • Cagayan De Oro Housing Situationer presented by Mr. Ermin Pimentel
  • Batas Pambansa 220: Planning and Design Standards for Social Housing presented by Arch. Angelus P. Sales
  • Cost Considerations in Socialized Housing Developments presented by Arch. Angelus P. Sales
  • Methods and Tools for Participatory Planning and Design presented by Arch/ EnP. Geraldine R. Matabang
  • Planning with Urban Poor Communities: Technical Assistance Case Studies presented by Arch/EnP. Faith Y. Varona
  • Sustainable and Disaster-resilient Concepts in Settlements Planning and Design presented by Arch/ EnP. Arlene D. Lusterio
  • Technical Professionals in Post-Disaster Rehabilitation Work presented by Arch. Verna P. Sarraga
  • Communicating Technical Knowledge to Communities presented by Ms. Ananeza Aban
  • Guide to Facilitating a Participatory Community Consultation Process presented by Arch/EnP. Geraldine R. Matabang

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YP Reflections: Taking the Road Less Travelled

by Enika Hernando

As YP celebrates its 10th year, it significantly coincides with the year (2005) I decided to take “the road less travelled”. So I guess it was destiny to have seen that poster about the Young Professionals Orientation and Training Program on Social Housing (YP Workshop August 2005) at the University of the Philippines School of Urban and Regional Planning (UP SURP) one afternoon as I took the detour connecting SURP to the CSWCD building where I was taking up my Masters in Community Development. It was my first semester at the College of Social Work and Community Development (CSWCD) as I said to myself I needed the theories and academic background on development if I am to pursue it as a life work. The poster said that the YP Workshop was organized by an NGO that was TAO-Pilipinas Inc. (Technical Assistance Organization). It surely caught my attention to know there are other technical professionals (architects, engineers) out there who are in development work – and it was an all-women organization.

Enika in Parola, Tondo during the community immersion for the first YP Workshop organized by TAO-Pilipinas, Inc. in 2005.

Enika in Parola, Tondo during the community immersion for the first YP Workshop organized by TAO-Pilipinas, Inc. in 2005.

My first close encounter with Manila’s urban poor was actually through the YP Workshop. I was assigned in Parola Compound, Tondo. I have never been to Tondo, much less stay for two nights with a family in Tondo (along with my groupmates in the workshop. A memorable anecdote I would always share whenever I recall this experience is that the CR was directly above the river – no need for a septic tank – and we had no clean running water. Such a basic necessity yet thousands of Filipino families live without it. What I would also always remember is that the families living in these harsh conditions should not be feared nor be blamed for their situation nor be accused of being lazy as the reason for their situation… just like you and me, they have dreams and they work hard but our society sadly can be ruthless and unjust. There I realized that the call for change is imperative. We need to create an enabling environment that offer equal opportunities, one where we are be able to access our rights and fully develop our potential as a nation’s people are its best assets toward a (as best expressed in our own language) – “mapagpalaya at mapagkalingang kaunlaran”.

After the YP workshop, I continued my involvement with TAO Pilipinas as a volunteer for six (6) months working for its various projects. Among the most memorable were: the drawing workshops for the children of members of the People’s Organization Samahan ng Nagkakaisang Maralita ng Navotas (SANAGMANA); talking with families in Navotas’ houses on stilts with up to 3 floors!; sleeping by the river (since houses were built beside the river); shocked at the reality of the community having to alternately guard their houses as it might be set on fire in the middle of the night – which later on I have come to know was a common “strategy” to drive away the informal settlers. I also got to participate in the 1st Young Professionals National Camp 2005 organized by the JF Ledesma Foundation, Inc. held at San Carlos City, Negros Occidental in December 2005.

I am forever grateful for the experiences I had with TAO Pilipinas and I kept my ties with TAO even years after – there are not many technical women professionals truly dedicating themselves to development work such as the amazing ladies of TAO. I was fortunate to participate in its 2009 YP Workshop on WATSAN in Social Housing now as a facilitator. It was an exhilarating experience to have a direct hand in providing the young participants who were brimming with ideas and full of energy with new options to live a meaningful life. I always carried with me those learnings and experiences and it has contributed into shaping me into the Development Practitioner that I am now – one who values people’s meaningful participation, trusts in people’s capacities, perseveres no matter how hopeless things may seem knowing/believing that we are able to do great things not alone but by working together. As the famous old African Proverb goes “if you want to go fast, go alone but if you want to go far, go together”.

Enika with the Aeta women and children in one of her first climb with Aeta Mission in 2005. (Photo source: Maria Veronica Hernando)

Enika with the Aeta women and children in one of her first climb with Aeta Mission in 2005. (Photo source: Maria Veronica Hernando)

In the past 10 years I was blessed to have opportunities to work directly with communities and as well as with national organizations both government and non-government. I was given the chance to be part of the faculty of the Arts Department of the Ateneo de Manila High School – though only for a schoolyear, it was fun and enriching to teach the naughty but nice high school boys about the elements of art, principles of design and even perspective drawing. A big chunk of my ten years, a total of six (6) years, which I spent with the Aeta Mag-antsi communities of Capas, Tarlac (thru the Aeta Mission of the Holy Spirit Sisters) are the closest to my heart – fighting side by side with them for their rights to their ancestral domain, education and selfdetermination. My involvement with the Episcopal Commission on Indigenous Peoples (ECIP) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) gave me the church’s perspective as I went around visiting program sites in various parts of the Philippines. My stint with the government in 2012-2014 where I did pioneering work with the Department of Education-Indigenous Peoples Education Office (DepEd-IPsEO)was an eye opener for me on the in’s and out’s of government operations and how good governance can really bring about long-lasting changes in people’s lives and that of the country and the world.

My technical background always came as an advantage – being able to do lay outs of site plans/floor plans for indigenous groups and urban poor communities as advocacy to the local government, my eye for art enabled me to design advocacy materials that were technically sound. Most recently, I assisted an Indigenous Peoples (IP) Organization develop their logo through a participatory workshop – they were happy to be part of the logo conceptualization process – from choosing the message and then the symbols to use, even the colors. At first they thought that because they did not know how to draw it was not possible for them to take part in the logo design workshop. They were delightfully surprised when they saw the final output and found it reflective of their aspirations as a community. Continue reading

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Call for Applicants: 2015 YP Summer Internship Program

YP  Internship posterThe YP Program of TAO-Pilipinas is now accepting applications for the 2015 Summer Internship. We are looking for senior students of architecture/engineering/planning, dedicated individuals who are open to learn and practice alternative development approaches and with a strong inclination towards community development work.

Interns will be part of the TAO technical team and are expected to work on various TAO projects and perform both office-based (e.g. CAD drafting, model-making, cost-estimating) and community-based (e.g. field research, workshop documentation, construction monitoring) assignments.


  • At least 18 years old;
  • At least in the 4th year of study in architecture, civil engineering, or environmental planning;
  • Maintains an outstanding academic performance and with good writing and research skills.

Application Requirements:

  1. Complete resume with ID photo
  2. One-page personal statement (specifying the objective of the internship and how it fits within your career goals)
  3. Two letters of support from current or past professors attesting to the strengths of the student
  4. Optional: portfolio or samples of student work/projects undertaken


Email complete application requirements to: Selected applicants will be contacted for an interview. For more information about the internship position, please contact Arch. Angelus Sales, Deputy Program Director for YP, at 4410998 / 4367301.


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Three PUP-CAFA Students Complete the 2014 YP Summer Internship

The three PUP-CAFA student-interns (from left to right: Erika Jane Sabas, Wilma Sy, and Mary Mae Jeremias).

The three PUP-CAFA student-interns (from left to right: Erika Jane Sabas, Wilma Sy, and Mary Mae Jeremias).

This summer, TAO-Pilipinas accepted three student-interns from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines College of Architecture and Fine Arts (PUP-CAFA). The interns were Erika Jane Sabas, Wilma Sy, and Mary Mae Jeremias who applied to the YP Summer Internship Program to fulfill the on-the-job training requirement in PUP-CAFA. Their internship work, which began last April 7, is part of the continuing partnership between PUPCAFA and TAO’s YP Program.

Despite most of the technical staff of TAO doing fieldwork in Tacloban City, the interns were still mentored by a technical staff thru Arch. Beryl Baybay who has rejoined TAO for part-time work engagements. The interns did various work ranging from research to drafting to preparing cost estimates and specification documents. They also assisted the TAO staff in preparing the workshop tools needed for the community action planning process that was conducted in Tacloban City. Particular tasks were also assigned to the interns. Erika did illustrations for a bamboo construction manual; Wilma prepared technical drawings, cost estimates and specification documents; and Mary Mae was assigned to do research on socialized housing projects and land research. The performance of the three student-interns was regularly evaluated by Arch. Baybay and their final evaluation was given upon the completion of the required 200 working hours last May 20. YP Program Deputy Director likewise gave each of the interns a one-of-one assessment of their internship work and issued their certificates of completion.

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