While the newly created Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) of the Philippine national government started operations this year, its members had been actively participating in the IKI-funded Building Climate Resiliency Through Urban Plans and Designs (BCRUPD) project in the last three years through its former offices, Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) and Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC).

With its enhanced mandates and functions, the new department articulated the need for the strengthening of its capacities and, through BCRUPD, requested for a costed project extension to assist in the formulation of its human settlements framework.

As the implementing agency of BCRUPD and drawing from its previous experience of facilitating the development of the Local Shelter Planning Manual and Planned City Extension Guide with national government, UN-Habitat conducted a virtual brown bag with DHSUD last March 24, 2020 on local shelter planning (LSP) and planned city extensions (PCEs) to meet these emergent needs. The brown bag focused on integrating LSP and PCE processes into the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) that DHSUD is mandated to train local governments on. BCRUPD’s current outcome areas include mainstreaming climate resilience building into the CLUP training modules that DHSUD delivers for LGUs.

As such, climate resilience building was strongly integrated into the technical discussions on LSP and PCE, with guidance on how to include analyses on exposure and sensitivity, population growth in risk areas, and climate-driven housing provisions and standards and infrastructure requirements.

Attended by 23 DHSUD staff, the virtual brown bag adopted a more informal format compared to onsite trainings, resulting in a marked increase in participants’ confidence to ask questions and share experiences from the ground. A follow-up, online technical session is scheduled on April 28, 2020.