2nd CAN Regional Meeting-Workshop held in Manila

9-day program highlights community workshops and ends with the Multi-stakeholders Forum on Citywide Upgrading jointly organized by CAN, SHFC, and WB


The Community Architects Network (CAN) successfully held its Second Regional Meeting-Workshop on May 20-28, 2013 in Metro Manila. CAN is a program under the Asian Coalition for Housing Rights (ACHR) that links architects, engineers, planners, academic institutes, and community artisans/builders in Asia who work with the poor in the planning and management of their communities. The network advocates that the poor should play a central role in community planning and in finding solutions to build better settlements. CAN was established in 2010 with the first meeting-workshop held in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Organized with the theme “People can make change”, the 2nd CAN Meeting brought together about 100 participants coming from 18 countries in Asia to learn from each other’s work and support the upgrading initiatives of poor communities. The CAN participants represented East Asia (Korea, Japan, Mongolia); Southeast Asia (Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines); South Asia (India, Nepal, Bangladesh) and Tibet; and the Pacific Islands (Fiji, Australia). Non-Asians from Italy, Belgium, UK, and Kenya also joined the 9-day event.

Program highlights

Several local groups (TAMPEI, TAO-Pilipinas, FDUP, PACSII, HPFPI, UP-TFA) worked together to organize the various program activities from May 20-28. On the first day, participants attended lectures about the Philippine urban poor situation; field visits to urban poor communities and housing projects in Manila, Navotas, Quezon City, and Valenzuela; and a welcome dinner hosted by the Valenzuela People’s Organization Network. The second and third days’ program activities were devoted to country experiences sharing and panel discussions that tackled the young professionals (YP)spirit and sustaining work as a community architect; new education towards designing and planning with communities; and the role of community artisans and builders in community upgrading. These initial activities were held in Balay Kalinaw at UP Diliman campus and participants were billeted at the University Hotel. The international participants also went on a tour around historical Old Manila on May 23.

Community workshops

The main feature of the program was the conduct of simultaneous workshops in nine communities in Caloocan City, Valenzuela City, and Bocaue, Bulacan. The CAN participants were grouped into teams to facilitate participatory planning in these communities and apply their technical skills to local upgrading initiatives and community efforts towards security of tenure. The CAN teams stayed in the communities for three days (May 24-26) to consult the people and work with them on addressing the area-specific issues and challenges to upgrading.

The level of technical intervention provided by the CAN teams depended on the readiness of the community organizations to address the legal, social and economic issues related to community upgrading. Several conducted community mapping exercises as a way to start community dialogue, understand the local situation and explore possibilities for community improvement. In Donnaville in Barangay 177, Caloocan City, the team was able to work with the community to come up with an alternative site plan and architectural design for a 12-unit housing project.

The CAN teams presented the results of the community workshops by setting up exhibits during the Multi-stakeholders Forum on Citywide Upgrading on May 28 at the BSWM Convention Hall in Quezon City. Community representatives from Barangay 177- Caloocan City, Valenzuela City, and Bocaue also presented the CAN community workshop process they have undergone and the resulting proposals during the forum.

Forum on citywide upgrading

The forum, jointly organized by CAN, Social Housing and Finance Corporation (SHFC) and the World Bank, was widely attended by the CAN participants, PO partners, LGU and national shelter agencies representatives. The keynote address was given by DILG Undersecretary Francisco “Bimbo” Fernandez who underscored the government’s PHP50B fund for housing informal settler-families in danger areas as an innovative and community-driven housing program. He acknowledged that planning with people is a slow process and challenged community architects to facilitate the hastening of the people’s planning process for the program to work. The World Bank’s Sector Manager, Mr. Ousmaine Dione, likewise stressed enabling policies and environment for people to be the main drivers of change and better professional support through participatory planning. Ms. Somsook Boonyabancha, Secretary General of ACHR, also considered the Philippines’ ISF housing program as a potential model for other Asian communities if the country implements it the right way.
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2011 YP Workshop Report

front cover of 2011 YP Workshop ReportThe 2011 YP Workshop Report is now available online for download. This report is a documentation of the proceedings from the 2011 Young Professionals Workshop on Social Housing, a 7-day training program held on October 19-25, 2011 in Quezon City.

The YP Workshop is a capability-building activity organized annually by TAO-Pilipinas to orient young design professionals and students about social housing, with different thematic focus every year since 2005. In this fifth cycle of the YP Workshops, the program focused on the theme “Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in Community Planning and Development”.

TAO-Pilipinas worked with partner organizations in carrying out the workshop activities including COM (Community Organizers Multiversity), Masagana of Navotas Neighborhood Association, Samahan ng Maliliit na Mangangalakal ng R. Domingo, Samahang Pantalan Uno, and Kasiglahan Village Phase 1-D Homeowners Association. Fifteen (15) senior students of architecture, engineering and planning completed the workshop along with eight (8) community representatives.

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Summary of the 2011 YP Workshop Activities

yp workshop 2011 participants

YP Workshop 2011 participants with community representatives and the organizers of the event

TAO-Pilipinas completed the fifth cycle of the Young Professionals Workshop on Social Housing on October 19-25, 2011. The 7-day program of activities was developed under the theme, “Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction in Community Planning and Development”. Lecture sessions which formed the first two days of the workshop were held at the FPA Function Room, BAI Compound, Quezon City. Succeeding workshop sessions were conducted at the BSWM Training Room, Elliptical Road, Quezon City.

The YP Workshop is a capability-building activity regularly conducted by TAO-Pilipinas as a venue for young design professionals to learn about social housing issues through direct interaction with poor communities. The workshop activities consisted of lecture sessions on social housing and disaster risk reduction, stay-in immersion in urban poor communities for three days, facilitation of community DRR assessment and action planning workshops, presentation of immersion and DRR workshop outputs, reflection and evaluation sessions.

Fifteen (15) senior students of architecture, engineering and environmental planning completed the workshop along with eight (8) community representatives. Participants included YPs from UP College of Architecture, PUP-CAFA, UE Manila and UE Caloocan College of Engineering, Miriam College Department of Environment, and TIP College of Engineering. Participants from the community represented the workshop immersion areas, namely Masagana Area in Tanza, Navotas; Pantalan Uno and R. Domingo in Tangos, Navotas; and Kasiglahan Village 1 Phase 1D in Rodriguez, Rizal.

Several resource persons gave lectures to orient the participants on social housing and community development planning during the first day of the workshop. Dr. Laura David gave the keynote lecture titled “Sustainable Settlement Development in the time of Climate Change” while Director Zacarias Abanes of HUDCC presented a national situationer on “Social Housing in the Philippines”. Lecturers from TAO-Pilipinas presented various topics related to social housing.

Lecture sessions during the second day of the workshop focused on disaster risk reduction (DRR) and presentations were given by resource persons from government, the academe, and non-government organizations. Ms. Mayfourth Luneta of Center for Disaster Preparedness (CDP) presented the fundamental concepts in “Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction and Management” while Mr. Ramon Padilla of DRRNet Philippines gave an overview of “RA 10121” or the DRRM Act. Professor Ernesto Serote lectured about “DRR through Urban Planning and Management”.

Dr. Baby Jane Punongbayan of PHIVOLCS gave a lecture on “Geological Hazards” while Mr. Carlomagno Ancheta of PAGASA presented “Hydro-Meteorological Hazards”. A lecture on “Structural and Non-Structural Measures for Flood Mitigation” was given by Prof. Peter Paul Castro of UP College of Engineering. Mr. Noli Abinales of Buklod TAO provided a PO perspective by talking about DRR initiatives in their flood-prone community in San Mateo.

After the lecture sessions the participants were grouped into three YP teams and went to their designated community immersion areas. The three YP teams simultaneously conducted participatory assessment of disaster risks in the community which culminated in the formulation of community plans on DRR. Following a three-day stay in the communities, the YPs returned to the training venue at BSWM to present the results of the community DRR assessment they facilitated.

The three YP teams were able to share the outputs of their immersion activities and were critiqued by a panel of reactors composed of TAO Executive Director Arlene Lusterio, PUP-CAFA Dean Ted Inocencio, and COM Executive Director Luz Malibiran. The panel provided additional inputs about DRR and conveyed their recommendations to the community assessment and action plans presented by the YP teams.

The concluding activity of the workshop was a reflection session which gave the participants an opportunity to consider the most significant lessons imparted by their workshop experience. Many communicated their newfound appreciation for community work and found the hands-on methods and direct interaction with people as most fulfilling. These impressions were also reflected in a collection of mural paintings that the YP teams, along with community representatives, completed at the end of the workshop.

With the formal workshop activities finished, the participants then enjoyed a fellowship and videoke-night at BSWM. Evaluation forms, certificates and workshop tokens were distributed at the last day of the workshop.

Project funding support for the 2011 Young Professionals Workshop on Social Housing was provided by Misereor, Asian Coalition for Community Action (ACCA), and Partnership of Philippine Support Service Agencies (PHILSSA).

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List of 2011 YP Workshop Participants

CHAVEZ, Sarah Maria L. BS Environmental Planning & Management Miriam College
BELEN, Maria Cristina C. BS Architecture PUP-Sta. Mesa
MABATO, Cris Benedict M. BS Architecture PUP-Sta. Mesa
MATRE, Glenn Clevert C. BS Architecture PUP-Sta. Mesa
SARIA, Jessabel S. BS Architecture PUP-Sta. Mesa
SONSONA, Lady Melody R. BS Civil Engineering TIP-Manila
AMADA, Russel Jr. B. BS Civil Engineering UE-Caloocan
CRUZ, Jairus B. BS Civil Engineering UE-Caloocan
VALDEZ, Dominic M. BS Civil Engineering UE-Caloocan
ALARCON, Mark Paolo B. BS Civil Engineering UE-Manila
CASTRO, Mharren C. BS Architecture UP Diliman
COLLADO, Klervin John B. BS Architecture UP Diliman
KEMPENEERS, Nancy C. BS Architecture UP Diliman
LAPASTORA, Hazel Angeli C. BS Architecture UP Diliman
REMOLAR, Alver Prince A. BS Architecture UP Diliman
SERRANO, Arvin John BS Architecture UP Diliman
ALMIREZ, Lorelei E. BS Community Development UP Diliman

Pre-Workshop Briefing for participants is scheduled on October 8, 2011, Saturday, 1:00 pm at the TAO-Pilipinas office. Please do not forget to bring your signed/completed confirmation and waiver forms for sponsored participants; and registration fee for non-sponsored participants. See you this Saturday!

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8 Reasons to Attend the 2011 YP Workshop


October 19-25, 2011

Theme: “Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction in Community Planning and Development”

8 Reasons to Attend the 2011 YP Workshop

The BIGGEST Reason:

You have seen disasters happen; you have seen how much the poor suffered. As a young design professional, you want to help but you don’t know how. This is your entry point.


The YP workshop will give you an excellent orientation on social housing along with training activities to better appreciate the issues affecting the urban poor. You will experience working directly and living with the poor, a personal challenge to answer the question, “What is my role in society as a future professional in my country?”


The YP workshop will expertly tackle climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction with invited resource persons from the academe, government, and non-government organizations. You will hear actors in the field talk about experiences not just theories. You will gain knowledge beyond the four walls of the classroom, not from books but from the real world that surrounds you.


The YP Workshop is an opportunity for experiential learning. You will experience first-hand participatory community planning because you will be grouped into teams to work in four urban poor communities. You will learn the theory, hear the stories and transfer the knowledge to the people in the community you will work with. You will learn by doing.

THE Reason to BE THERE:

The YP Workshop will give you a chance for meaningful networking and exchange of ideas. You gain timely knowledge, you meet new friends with common interests, you meet expert professionals in the field, and at the end of the workshop, you have done a very good deed by sharing your time, knowledge and skills (if not your heart) with the poor.


If you attend the workshop as a sponsored participant, you’d be required to do volunteer work at TAO-Pilipinas which can fulfill your college OJT requirement.

The BEST Reason:

The workshop will open your eyes to your potential role as a young design professional in addressing the shelter needs of poor communities. Reflections from past workshop attendees have consistently shown how the workshop has provided them with invaluable lessons to consider as they start out a professional career.

The RADICAL Reason:

You know what you want. You want to be a relevant and responsive professional but you need more knowledge and skills to be prepared. This workshop will teach you the basic principles, the guide in working with poor communities especially in times of disaster.

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