PHILSSA Holds 28th General Assembly
PHILSSA held its 28th General Assembly last June 21-22, 2018 at the Walter Hogan Building in Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City that was attended by 45 of its 60 member NGOs.
The two-day event formally opened with the welcome message of PHILSSA Chair, Rosemarie Johnson- Herrera. In her message, she recognized the milestones that the PHILSSA network has achieved in terms of its development goals and its contributions in promoting an inclusive and sustainable urban development for the past 28 years. She mentioned the need for the network members to pause and reflect on the impact of their work in terms of their contribution to nation-building given the challenges of the present political dispensations. She also encouraged everyone to continuously persevere in creating a just, peaceful and nurturing society for the next generations.
The first learning session was a Video Presentation on the Disaster Risk Reduction- Climate Change Adaptation and Land and Housing Projects of PHILSSA and select member NGOs. This session was organized to showcase the projects of the members and to appreciate videos as a medium for project promotion, dissemination and knowledge sharing. The project videos that were shown were the following:
- Integrated and Inclusive Humanitarian Actions for Community and Home-Based Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) of the Marawi Siege (ALTERPLAN with ICES-DEV, PHILSSA)
- Urban Disaster Preparedness, Response, and Resilience ( ALTERPLAN-PHILSSA with 8 other member NGOs)
- Barangay Disaster Risk Sensitive Shelter Planning Project ( ALTERPLAN with KPS, ICES-DEV, A2D, and SAC-Legazpi)
- Community Organizing in Times of Disaster (UPA)
- City Wide Planning (World Bank with FDUP, MDF, ALTERPLAN)
- Institutionalizing Local and National Partnerships to Address Urban Poverty and Homelessness in the Philippines DFID Project (PHILSSA with many member NGOs
- Project Pagbangon (PMPI with SIKAT & TAO-Pilipinas)
This was followed by the Learning Session on Innovative Technologies on Water. Professor Carlos Oppus of the Ateneo Innovation Center (AIC) presented their innovative water technologies that could be used especially in times of disasters such as the Solar Powered Rain Water Catchment, Mobile Water System and Clean Water Kit with DIY PVC Pump. Mr. Rommel Laxamana, President of the Del Rosario Compound Homeowner’s Neighborhood Association, Inc. (DRCNAI) shared about the experience and learnings of their association in managing the Solar Powered Rainwater Catchment that was designed by the AIC. According to him, the rainwater catchment will be very helpful to their community as a source of clean drinking water during floods and a source of livelihood for their association. DRCNAI is a partner community of the Foundation for the Development of the Urban Poor in Valenzuela City. The last presenter for the session was Ms. Cecile Alcantara of Coca-Cola Foundation. She shared about their Hydraulic Ram Pump Projects that were implemented in far-flung areas of the country that do not have access to water.
The last topic for the first day was the Sharing on the Learnings from the World Urban Forum (WUF9) that was held last February 2018. Arch. Sarah Redoblado of ALTERPLAN shared that WUF9 was relevant as it was the key platform to gather inputs on the implementation of the New Urban Agenda. She also emphasized the gains for NGOS of setting up a booth in the WUF. Mr. Jojo Carandang from the Social Housing and Finance Corporation (SHFC) talked about the government’s perspective on the WUF. He said that the government can’t do it all. It needs the help of every sector to achieve the new urban agenda through participatory governance. Mr. Cipriano Fampulme of Aksyon sa Kahandaan sa Kalamidad at Klima (AKKMA), representing the peoples’ organizations to the WUF shared that one of his learnings is the importance of collecting data about the urban poor communities that they can use especially in times of disasters.
The second day of the General Assembly was allocated for another learning session and the business meeting. The learning session was about NGO Sustainability. The first resource speaker was Ms. Joji Abot-Camelon of the Association of Foundations. She discussed the Study on Leadership Transition in the Philippine NGO Sector. Results of the study revealed that there are some doubts about the ability of the NGO sector to continue attracting sufficient quality and quantity of Executive Directors in the future. She emphasized that NGOs need to exert efforts now if they want to be strategic and proactive in dealing with leadership transition challenges. Ms. Gigi Arroyo, the next speaker talked about the type of resources, sources of funding and financial challenges of NGOs. Lastly, Ms. Roselle Rasay, Executive Director of CODE-NGO shared about the network’s sustainability plans and initiatives.
The business meeting in the afternoon provided an opportunity to discuss network matters. The Chairperson and Treasurer’s Reports were presented and approved by the body as well as the Board resolutions of 2017. Ms. Ivy Panganiban of CODE-NGO also presented the results of the Impact Assessment of the member networks including PHILSSA that was conducted by Meraki Consulting. PHILSSA scored high in terms of the evaluation framework used such as relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, and sustainability. Scoring high means that there is a stable presence of criteria despite internal changes in the organization and challenges from the external environment. Regional caucuses were also part of the business meeting to discuss resolutions that will be proposed to the GA. Among the resolutions approved are as follows:
- PHILSSA members to participate in the consultations about the Manila Bay Sustainable Development Plan.
- PHILSSA as a network must not enter into a partnership with the junk food industry.
- PHILSSA to issue a statement in support of Mr. Boy Olarte and KPS.
- PHILSSA Board to take up the policy on the Secretariat’s engagement with AKKMA.
- PHILSSA Regional Clusters to conduct reflection sessions on the current national situation.
- PHILSSA to provide support to strengthen and share innovative socio-economic projects that will promote the sustainability of its members.
- PHILSSA to assist CMP mobilizers to be provided with copies of the Social Housing and Finance Corporation’s (SHFC) Grassroots Special Action Team (GSAT) scope and limitations.
- PHILSSA Secretariat to circulate the guidelines for the Quick Response Fund.
The General Assembly concluded with the awarding of outstanding members and election of new set of Board Members.
This article is also published in the CODE-NGO Website