By Catherine Teves
MANILA, (PNA) — Authorities raised urgency for expanding public-private partnership (PPP), noting people must be part of this strategy to facilitate meeting the need for decent housing that’s considered a foundation for breaking the poverty cycle.
According to Philippine Vice-President Jejomar Binay, who’s also Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council head, public-private-people partnerships (PPPPs) must be forged instead of PPPs only as housing is a complex issue requiring a wholistic response even from citizens whose spirit of volunteerism can be harnessed to boost the shelter bid.
“There’s a broader view that we should all embrace – the third ‘P’ represents people who are part of the solution,” he informed delegates to the fourth Asia-Pacific Housing Forum that opened Wednesday (Oct. 2) in Metro Manila.
He believes PPPPs are already a must as looming climate change and rising urbanization are exacerbating housng woes.
“The poor, the homeless or those living in danger areas are the most vulnerable to disasters so housing needs to figure in disaster risk reduction planning and programs,” he said.
Urbanization is spreading with half of the world’s population already living in cities where poverty is a reality just as it is in rural areas, he continued.
“It is this backdrop that impresses on us the need to do more, to surpass every measure that was, until recently, sufficient,” he said.
Former US housing chief Henry Cisneros also recognized need for PPPPs, noting population explosion and other developments are fueling demand for more effective models for addressing housing.
“We can’t be complacent and accept the rate of progress we’ve made – if the old models don’t work, then it’s time to explore new ones,” he said at the forum.
He cited non-profit organization Habitat for Humanity for coming up with a housing delivery model that mobilizes volunteers to get the work done.
Habitat demonstrates viability of tapping volunteers as housing partners of government and the private sector, he noted.
“I believe PPPP is a new framework that gives us a new chance and new hope,” he said.
Mr. Binay acknowledged governments must harness citizens’ spirit of volunteerism to help boost momentum needed for addressing housing needs particularly as these are no longer limited to provision of dwelling units only.
Housing issues like climate change and basic services are “inextricably linked” to poverty concerns and must be addressed accordingly as there are no one-size-fit-all and overnight shelter solutions, he also said.
“When we speak of housing, we no longer speak of housing infrastructure only – dignified housing is about giving people the means to live decently as well as a fair chance of building a productive life,” he said.
Habitat’s Vice-President for Asia-Pacific Rick Hathaway agrees and cited need for decent housing.
Such housing helps improve people’s well-being and instills in them a sense of dignity and pride as well as the strength to take on life’s challenges, he noted.
“The solutions are complex and can’t be tackled by one single group of actors in isolation,” he said, citing need for PPPPs.
He believes PPPPs will benefit Asia where one in eight people is a slum dweller.
“There’s tremendous scope for collaboration between governments, businesses and civil society to pare down this number,” he said.
Asia-Pacific Housing Forum is a biennial conference Habitat organizes to provide a venue for stakeholders from the public, private and people sectors to discuss possible solutions to housing and poverty.
Stakeholders from over 50 countries already participated in the forum since its inception in 2007.