MANILA — Concomitant to its upcoming celebration of Urban Poor Solidarity Week (UPSW) on December 7, the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP) and Archipelago Philippine Ferries Corporation (APFC) is set to sign a memorandum of agreement [MoA] to strengthen its partnership in providing genuine service to the country’s marginalized and underprivileged sectors.
In a zoom meeting held recently, PCUP chairperson Undersecretary Elpidio Jordan Jr. discussed with APFC general manager Segundo Mentoya Jr., vice president for marketing Christine Guevarra, assistant vice president for operations Mark Saladino and sales and business development officer-in-charge Virgie Labindao pointers on how APFC could further help in ensuring the success of the Commission’s endeavors with regards to providing service to the urban poor.
Under its mandate, PCUP serves as a link to government agencies in its pursuit of fulfilling its responsibility of promoting and protecting the rights of the urban poor, including informal settler families (ISFs), and providing them assistance aimed at improving the plight of the poor across the archipelago.
Usec. Jordan, who was assisted in the zoom meeting by his project and policy development unit head Yvelen Moraña, promised that PCUP will stand firm in its mandate to support the pro-poor initiatives and poverty alleviation program of President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. who has vowed to fast track the country’s economic recovery and bright progress and development not only in urban centers but in the countryside as well.
He outlined his plans to implement four banner programs by next year that includes the ‘Piso Ko, Bahay Mo’ program, which aims to provide decent housing to urban poor families through a savings mobilization, as well as resource mobilization known as Lingkod Agapay Maralita (LAM), urban poor data generation and collaboration and partnership program.
Under ‘Piso Ko, Bahay Mo’, Usec. Jordan explained that the initiative for the country’s homeless urban poor families (UPFs), particularly those affected by court-ordered demolition and eviction, encourages participation of the private sector for assistance through the provision of lots where houses may be built with complete amenities for the benefit of UPFs. “The program recognizes the increasing role that businesses have been playing in local development by going beyond mere corporate social responsibility. In addition, there is also a growing realization that doing business with social impact is possible which is blurring the gap between conventional territories of development players and businesses,” he pointed out.
Lingkod Agapay Maralita, or LAM, on the other hand, is geared towards addressing the economic needs of UPFs by stimulating savings mobilization, which would be implemented in partnership with the private sector. “LAM aims to build up opportunities for livelihood and employment as well as housing and other concerns of selected communities across the country. The program will serve as the light, so to speak, in building bridges of collaboration,” Usec. Jordan spelled out.
With regards to urban poor data generation, efforts will be made for the PCUP in partnership with local government units (LGUs) to create satellite offices in cities and municipalities in the NCR, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. “This targets a means of strengthening the PCUP’s intervention in urban poor communities through the establishment of a database that would be useful both for the Commission and the various KLGUs in developing plans, programs and projects and formulating policies for advocacy in both the local and national levels that would be beneficial to the urban poor,” the PCUP chairperson enthused.
Finally, collaboration and partnership will institutionalize the call for goodwill ambassadors belonging from the business sector, academe, non-government organizations (NGOs), and others, who will promote the PCUP and its programs for the country’s underprivileged and urban poor. “With our ambassadors sharing our vision of empowering urban poor communities, they will help generate the support of the Commission needs and likewise look for other partners who may provide assistance and services aimed at filling the gaps in alleviating the plight of UPFs from poverty and ensure that they will become economically productive as partners in nation building,” Usec. Jordan concluded.
PCUP chairperson and chief-executive-officer Undersecretary Elpidio Jordan smiles candidly after the Archipelago Philippine Ferries Corporation expressed commitment to support the Commission’s upcoming Urban Poor Solidarity Week in Mandaluyong City and Masbate in December as well as its four banner programs that would be launched next year for the welfare of the country’s marginalized and underprivileged sectors, particularly the urban poor. (Photo supplied by the PCUP Project and Policy Development Unit)