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V Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC)

V National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC)



Kabayan Forum

                                                                                                          Refer to: Ms. Dale Zapata



04 October 2005


Urbanization is an unalterable fact…and we need to prepare ourselves for the opportunities and challenges it presents.

KABAYAN IN WORLD HABITAT DAY. Vice President and concurrent Housing Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) chairperson Noli "Kabayan" De Castro delivers his keynote address during the kick-off of the Millennium Development Goals and the City in celebration of World Habitat Day. (OVP photo by Egay Montana 10/03/05)


This was the main message of Vice President Noli ‘Kabayan’ De Castro, also chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), at the World Habitat Day celebration at the Makati Shangri-la Hotel with the theme: the MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS AND THE CITY.


In his speech, Vice President De Castro cited a recent United Nations-Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) report on financing urban shelter saying that by 2030, an additional 3 billion people, or about 40% of the world’s population, will live in urban areas, this would translate into more demand for housing, water supply, sanitation and urban infrastructure services. Some of these are aptly included in the millennium development goals (MDGs), a set of time-bound goals at wiping out poverty and the worst of human deprivation and attaining sustainable human development by 2015.


In the Philippine setting, the Vice President reported that the high incidence of urban poverty is a spillover effect of hardship in rural areas that prompted people to migrate to the cities in the hope of finding better opportunities.  This in turn resulted to the fast rate of urbanization that has produced new problems for the urban poor, which include unemployment, underem ployment, poor housing, lack of basic services and sanitation, and enormous pressure on the urban carrying capacity, particularly in solid waste as well as, air and water pollution management.

VP NOLI GRACES WORLD HABITAT DAY. VP Noli" Kabayan" De Castro huddles with Amb. Rosalinda Tirona, former ambassador to Kenya and member of the Committee of Permanent Representatives of the UN Habitat during the kick-off of the Millennium Development Goals and the City in celebration of the World Habitat Day held at the Makati Shangrila Hotel the other day. (OVP photo by Egay Montana)


Currently, De Castro added, some 262,000 informal families are situated in what is considered risky or danger areas, such as riverbanks, railroad tracks, shorelines, and dumpsites. 


Given this situation, the Vice President admitted that it is imperative for the government to improve the performance of the cities and urban areas in addressing poverty reduction and ensuring a living environment that is safe and secure.                                                                       


He acknowledged, however, that ensuring sustainable urbanization would not happen overnight for it would require the adoption of a long-term plan for the Philippine urban system, a process that necessitates a decentralized approach that will harness the forces from government as well as the private and civil sectors.


KABAYAN GRACES WORLD HABITAT DAY. Vice President and Housing Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) concurrent chairman Noli "Kabayan" De Castro delivers his keynote address during the kick-off event of the Millennium Development Goals and the City in celebration of World Habitat Day the other day. (OVP photo by Egay Montana 10/03/05)


In the same gathering, Vice President De Castro estimated that P2.8 trillion pesos will be needed to meet all the MDGs by 2015, indeed a daunting and overwhelming task.   But he is optimistic that if available resources can be channeled properly to the attainment of these goals, and if necessary reforms are adopted at the national and local government levels, then results desired could be progressively realized. He cited the debt relief scheme introduced by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in the recent MDG plus 5 summit in New York where debt servicing may be channeled to financing some, if not, all the MDGs as a welcome undertaking.

As the Vice President congratulated the UN-Habitat for organizing the commemoration of the World Habitat Day, he also took the opportunity to commend the fourteen resource cities and sites: Pasay City, Marikina City, Muntinlupa City, Tagaytay City, Antipolo City, San Jose del Monte City, the Science City of Muñoz, Sorsogon City, Calbayog City, Mandaue City, the Island Garden City of Samal, Iligan City, Naga City and Butuan City for spearheading the concerted effort to improve the lives of their constituents through the MDGs.


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