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).