UN-Habitat Philippines kicked off Urban October with the first Kapihan at Usapang Urban (Urban Conversations Over Coffee) session on October 7, 2019 (World Habitat Day). Inspired by the theme “Frontier Technologies as an Innovative Tool to Transform Waste to Wealth”, UN-Habitat and event partner Technical Assistance Movement for People and Environment, Inc. (TAMPEI) invited urban actors and community representatives for presentations and candid discussions on community-led sustainable waste management and rainwater harvesting initiatives.

The program started with a video message from UN-Habitat Executive Director Maimunah Mohd Sharif encouraging innovative techniques to solve the waste problem in our cities. It was followed by a presentation on the “Bayang Walang Basura Program” (Country/Town Without Trash Program) by Mr. Marlon Palomo of the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM), who discussed community-level social enterprises focused on solid waste management in partnership with Local Government Units. 

Collaborative action at the neighborhood level was also emphasized by Ms. Theresa Carampatana of the United Libis Homeowners Association, Inc. who talked about a sustainable waste management approach in an urban poor community in Valenzuela City that experiences frequent flooding. Among their future plans is to change the usual perspective about trash:

“Yung pagkilala sa basura, yung perspective ng mga tao na ito’y marumi, patapon, walang kuwenta… Ang isang bagay kung hindi mo na kailangan, pwede pang may makinabang diyan. Pwede pang gamitin ng iba.” (Trash is considered dirty, disposable, and without value. But something that you no longer need can still be used by other people”)

The last speaker, Ms. Maricel Genzola of the Foundation for the Development of the Urban Poor, presented an innovative project in the same city that uses solar-powered technology to turn harvested rain into potable water.

Members of the audience participated by sharing their experiences, knowledge, and suggestions. Many of them agreed that collective governance is crucial in waste management efforts. According to Ms. Ruby Cristobal from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST),

“Ang gobyerno dapat i-recognize ang power ng communities at sa communities, yung mga katulad nating mga nasa organisasyon at media, empower the small groups. Pag marami yan at nagkabit-kabit, naniniwala ako, if not in 5 years, maybe in 10 years baka kakayanin. We start from somewhere and let it flow like a network.” (The government should recognize the power of the communities, while those of us from organizations and the media should empower the small groups. When we link all of them, I believe we can do it, if not in 5 years, in 10 years. We start from somewhere and let it flow like a network.)

The session was also able to acknowledge certain nuances and complexities such as the question raised by Mr. Palomo on whether recycling and upcycling encourage companies to produce more plastic. Another concern was raised by Mr. Ruel Cabile from the EcoWaste Coalition, who mentioned that there are Filipinos from vulnerable sectors who depend on waste-picking for a living.

Apart from facilitating important dialogues in a relaxed atmosphere, the Kapihan provided opportunities for possible collaboration between like-minded organizations and individuals concerned with urban sustainability. The session was streamed online so more people could join the conversation.

Launched in Urban October by UN-Habitat Philippines, Kapihan at Usapang Urban (Urban Conversations Over Coffee) is a series of dialogues between speakers and participants on specific urban issues and approaches to address these challenges.

ORGANIZATIONAL LOCATION: UN-Habitat Philippines
DUTY STATION: Manila, Philippines
FUNCTIONAL TITLE: Finance and Administrative Officer
PROJECT REFERENCE: Building Climate Resiliency
through Urban Plans and Design
Rebuilding Marawi through Community-Driven Shelter and Livelihood Recovery Support
CONTRACT TYPE & DURATION: Local Individual Contractor (LICA); Five (5) months, renewable
DEADLINE OF APPLICATION : 20 October  2019

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

The Finance and Administrative Officer will oversee the overall financial and administrative management of the projects as well as the country office. She/He shall be working closely with the Philippines Habitat Programme Manager (HPM), Project Coordinators (PC) and the rest of the project team members to ensure that the Finance and Administrative policies and procedures of both UN-Habitat and the donor agencies are adhered.

The Finance and Administrative Officer will perform the following tasks and take the lead in the following (specific) activities:

Budget & Resource Management:

  1. Review and analyze data with respect to the finalization of cost estimates and budget proposals, for personnel and non-personnel requirements (operational budgets);
    1. Assist the substantive staff in the preparations of the new grants in Umoja, Agreements of Cooperation with the Implementing Partners or End Beneficiaries in-line with UN-Habitat standards and systems;
    1. Prepare Financial Authorization Requests and Budget Revisions when necessary;
    1. Participate in the project work plan preparation with particular emphasis on the finance functions of the projects; 
    1. Assist in developing the country office work program and budget; analyze inputs and formulate resource allocations by work program;
    1. Monitor budgets/work programs with respect to project budgets, grants and reallocates resources as necessary;
    1. Assist project managers in analyzing resource requirements for budget submissions;
    1. Assist in the development of project proposals particularly in determining appropriate financial and budgetary requirements.

Financial Analysis and Reporting:

  1. Monitor project expenditures according to the budget and the work plan from project initiation, implementation and until closure;
  2. Prepare donor financial reports in line with project documents;
  3. Collect data from relevant databases and prepares customized financial reports as necessary;
  4. Monitor and analyze financial aspects of the project development and implementation; review relevant documents and reports; identify problems and issues and consult with the PMO ROAP on proposed actions; liaise with relevant parties (ROAP, Donor and partner agencies); identify and track follow-up actions;
  5. Draft correspondence/communication as appropriate to ensure smooth implementation of projects.

Finance, Accounting and Internal Audit:

  1. Review payment requests and ensure it is within the UN-Habitat and ROAP established procedures for country programmes/projects and ensure payment within local established financial/banking procedures.
  2. Liaise, monitors and follow-up the support services of ROAP and other relevant with regards to the financial aspects of the project;
  3. Advise local project staff and counterparts on financial management and promote awareness of financial budget toward project delivery;
  4. Analyze financial services needs to support operations and project implementation;
  5. Maintain accurate records of financial status of recruitments, sub-contracts and payments to monitor work plan delivery;
  6. Monitor budget expenditures and maintain a proper record of approved project budgets and their revisions; ensure accuracy of supporting documents particularly donor requirements;
  7. Prepare and submit expenditure and programme budget status reports given the requirements of UN-Habitat and the project donors;
  8. Review and verify operational advance accounts to ensure appropriate balances. Investigate erroneous/invalid entries and take appropriate corrective accounting action;
  9. Review systems and internal controls ensuring promotion of optimal and soundest use of financial resources for project effective delivery, including project inventory and assets;
  10. Review administration of project procedures and ensure that effective controls (UN- compliant practices) are in place, update systems as required, collaborating with other staff members; ensure systems are used and monitoring controls are in place.

Others:

  1. Manage all correspondence/communication related to finance;
  2. Provide information to the Head of Office/HPM and the senior managers on managerial, financial and administrative matters in relation to UN-Habitat policies and procedures, practices and UN Rules and Regulations;
  3. Review requisitions for goods and services to ensure (a) correct objects of expenditure have been charged, and (b) availability of funds;
  4. Review, record and prioritize purchasing requests and obtain additional information/ documentation as required; propose product substitutions consistent with requirements to achieve cost savings; determine the availability of funding sources;
  5. Review tender documents (e.g. Invitations to Bids, Requests for Proposals and Requests for Quotation) based on the nature of the requirements and cost of procurement involved;

QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE

Education Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in business administration, finance or related field. A first-level university degree in Accountancy, Finance or Administration or related field in combination with relevant experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree ; Post graduate certification as Chartered Accountant or Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is preferred
Experience and skills A minimum of 3 years (if with Master’s degree or equivalent) or 10 years (if with first-level university degree of progressive experience in accounting, audit, programme or project operations/administration in the Philippines Previous experience in an International Audit firm, UN or other International Organizations is highly desirable; Good computer skills and knowledge of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systemsKnowledge of Umoja is an assetGood communication skills; Command of English is essential
Language Requirement Fluency in both written and spoken English

CORE VALUES AND COMPETENCIES

               CORE VALUES

  • Integrity – Demonstrates the values of the United Nations in daily activities and behaviours. Acts without consideration of personal gain. Resists undue political pressure in decision making. Does not abuse power or authority. Stands by decisions that are in the Organization’s interest, even if they are unpopular. Takes prompt action in cases of unprofessional or unethical behaviour.
  • Professionalism – Shows pride in work and in achievements. Demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter. Is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results. Is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns. Shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges. Remains calm in stressful situations.
  • Respect for Diversity – Works effectively with people from all backgrounds. Treats all people with dignity and respect. Treats men and women equally. Shows respect for and understanding of diverse points of view and demonstrates this understanding in daily work and decision-making. Examines own biases and behaviours to avoid stereotypical responses. Does not discriminate against any individual or group.

COMPETENCIES

  • Professionalism: Ability to identify issues, analyze and participate in the resolution of human settlement issues/problems. Ability to conduct data collection using various methods.  Ability to apply judgment in the context of assignments given, plan own work and manage conflicting priorities. Shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work. 
  • Communication:  Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; exhibits interest in having two-way communication; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.  
  • Teamwork:  Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.  
  • Planning & Organizing:  Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.  
  • Accountability: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honors commitments; delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards; operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules; supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments; takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.  

Reporting Arrangements and Coordination

The Finance and Administrative Officer will report to the Philippines HPM on a regular basis.

Submission of Applications

Application letters should include:

1. Cover memo (maximum 1 page) including expectations regarding remunerations;

2. A completed UN Personal History Form (P-11) – Please download the form (MS-Word) from UN- Habitat ROAP web site: http://www.fukuoka.unhabitat.org/vacancy/index_en.html;

Qualified applicants are requested to submit their cover letter together with the signed and completed UN Personal History Form (P.11) and Curriculum vitae to rostrata@un.org by 20 October 2019.  Kindly indicate on subject line “Finance and Administrative Officer”.

Please note that applications received after the closing date stated above will not be given consideration. Only short-listed candidates whose applications respond to the above criteria will be contacted. The salary will be determined according to the qualifications, skills and relevant experience of the selected candidate. Details and conditions of the contract will be communicated at the interview.

Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.

By applying to this post, you agree to UN-Habitat’s due diligence in securing highest standards of efficiency, competency and integrity from all its staff members. Candidates will not be considered for employment with United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation or sexual abuse or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that the candidates have been involved in the commission of these acts.

UN-Habitat has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UN-Habitat also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.