Sorosogon, January 14 2011 — Sorsogon City and UN-HABITAT organized a 3-day workshop-conference on the “Formulation of a climate and disaster sensitized housing design and site planning standard for the City of Sorsogon” on 12-14 January 2011 at the Function Hall of the new city hall in Barangay Cabid-an, Sorsogon City, Philippines.  Sixty four (64) participants from various national government agencies, professional schools, professionals, city government officials, community leaders, and CSOs put their technical expertise and experiences to achieve the workshop objectives of 1) coming up with a disaster resilient housing and site planning design guideline/standards for the City of Sorsogon and 2) developing a simplified checklist/ baseline tool for house retrofitting.

Sorsogon City Administrator Retired General Ireneo Manaois in behalf of City Mayor Leovic R. Dioneda welcomed the participants and challenged them to focus and work together to come up with a climate change-resilient housing design and site plans. UN-HABITAT’s Eden Garde advised the participants to question the basic assumption that a typhoon-resilient house is a concrete house and to be open and innovative. Warren Ubongen of UN-HABITAT facilitated the workshops.

Hernando Pantoja of PAGASA Region V discussed Philippine hydrological hazards, their causes and effects of these hazards and the different adaptive-mitigating measures for each hydrological hazard.  City Planning and Development Coordinator Engineer Orly Huenda presented the results of the participatory vulnerability and adaptation assessment which identified the city’s vulnerabilities including vulnerable housing structures.  Engineer Danilo Diaz of the City Engineering Office discussed house concepts such as purpose and design and presented guidelines on flooring, roofing, ceiling and others defined in Batas Pambansa 220 and Presidential Decree 1096. He shared that geographical location, topography, roof shape, building shape, stiffness and quality of materials should be considered in building a durable and resilient structure.

Engineer Eliezer Banares of Habitat for Humanity Philippines shared housing construction best practices in disaster mitigation and climate change adaptation of other countries like Indonesia, Bangladesh, Aceh and the Philippines’ DSWD Core Shelter Assistance Project.  Geraldine Matabang of TAO-Pilipinas and COPE Foundation presented their research output on disaster-resilient houses in resettlement areas. She explained the eight shelter models in the Philippines which vary depending on the funding agency and partner/s. Dave Bercasio of International Organization for Migration (IOM) presented the Bicol Typhoon Response including the Bicol Core Permanent Shelter and Community Revitalization Assistance Project and the Core Shelter Permanent Design.

Barangay Sirangan Captain Jun Jamisola, Jr. shared the barangay’s experience on previous tropical cyclones such as “Sisang”, “Rosing”, “Milenyo” and “Reming” with their adverse effects to housing, livelihood, health and sanitation, education and peace and order. He also presented what they did before, during and after the disasters.

On the second day, the participants were divided into four groups to apply what they learned from the various presentations to develop hazard-based housing designs.  They came up with very interesting outputs which they presented to the plenary. The housing designs responded to the following hazards: 1) extreme heat and increased precipitation, 2) flood and typhoon, 3) extreme temperature resulting in heavy rainfall and flood, and 4) various hydrological hazards.

To provide inputs for the site planning workshop, Engineer Larry Aycardo of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) lectured on site planning and emphasized the importance of ecological, economic and social conditions of the community site. He also shared relevant cases experienced in India and in the Philippines including Metro Manila.  Three groups were formed to develop a site plan for three kinds of areas: 1) coastal area, 2) urban area, and 3) hillside/ mountainous.

Commenting on the outputs of the participants after 3 days, City Administrator Ireneo Manaois observed that the plans were structurally fit and complied with existing laws. He challenged the participants to integrate the outputs to combat climate change. He commended the success of having converted technical terms to layman terms.  Two groups were formed to further enhance and refine the workshop outputs on house design and site planning.

Click here for the workshop documentation