One of the objectives of the response initiative is to bring markets closer to the people through fairly priced food and essential goods as it continues to provide support in fighting the spread of the coronavirus. Photo: UN-Habitat/Mark Padida

Marawi, Philippines,  20 May 2020 – UN-Habitat began its operation of satellite markets and mobile stores in Marawi City as part of its Covid19 response initiative, funded by UN-Habitat’s Global Emergency Response Fund and launched in April with the handover of the first batch of personal protective equipment and disinfectants to the Marawi City Government. Through the satellite markets and mobile stores, the initiative, Covid-19 Response As We Rebuild Marawi, brings markets offering fairly priced food and essentials closer to people.

While some restrictions have eased under the recent transition from Enhanced Community Quarantine to General Community Quarantine in the province, limitations in mobility and transportation of goods still remain as part of government-mandated policies against the spread of coronavirus, constraining access to food especially by families displaced by the 2017 Marawi armed conflict between pro-ISIL militants and Government forces which devastated the city’s urban center.

To facilitate food access, two satellite markets under UN-Habitat’s initiative are now operating daily in the barangays (villages) of Sagonsongan and Boganga, located in the periphery of the city, to serve over 2,000 internally displaced families in transitory sites as well as other families there. Families in these barangays are encouraged to buy from the satellite markets to save travel time and expense and as a way of decongesting central markets. 

“We aim for families to get the food and essential items they need at the lowest cost possible, at wholesale prices with no mark-ups as UN-Habitat is already covering the other operating costs, while also eliminating transportation and other related costs when people have to go to markets.”   

—Habitat Programme Manager Christopher Rollo of the UN-Habitat Philippines office

The initiative complements UN-Habitat’s existing post-conflict shelter project, Rebuilding Marawi through Community-driven Shelter and Livelihood, funded by the Japan Government, as it taps local beneficiary groups under this project such as cooperatives and homeowners’ associations as partners in the operation of the satellite markets and mobile stores. 

Vehicles owned by partner cooperatives and homeowners’ associations have been deployed as mobile stores in 10 villages located far from the city center to reach more than 500 families.  Rice, vegetables, canned goods, and other daily household necessities can be bought from these market outlets on specific days of the week. Members from these cooperatives and homeowners’ associations volunteered to manage the satellite market and mobile stores.

Measures to prevent coronavirus spread such as the wearing of face masks, stepping on foot baths, and observing physical distancing are followed by both customers and community volunteers/vendors. Handwashing facilities with water and soap are installed not only in the satellite markets of Sagonsongan and Boganga but in other strategic areas within the city.

The response initiative covers the cost for the inventory, volunteers’ allowances, transport, and other costs for the markets and stores so these will not be passed on to customers.

“We aim for families to get the food and essential items they need at the lowest cost possible, at wholesale prices with no mark-ups as UN-Habitat is already covering the other operating costs, while also eliminating transportation and other related costs when people have to go to markets,” says Habitat Programme Manager Christopher Rollo of the UN-Habitat Philippines office.   

“We cannot really quantify how helpful this initiative is to the communities – in this time of crisis the tendency is for prices to increase, products become more expensive. The more the suppliers, the better for the people, especially that the price of the goods under this project is not aimed at gaining profit. Our office supports this kind of project for the contribution it provides as communities cope in this pandemic,” adds Mohammad Mamainte, Provincial Director of the Ministry of Trade, Investment and Tourism of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Government.

Sanitizing facilities installed at the satellite market under the response initiative.
Photo: UN-Habitat/Mark Padida

The second batch of disinfectant supplies was turned over by UN-Habitat to the city government of Marawi, represented by City Mayor Majul Gandamra, during the opening of the satellite market.

The three-month response initiative is being implemented in partnership with the City Government of Marawi, Task Force Bangon Marawi of the Office of the President of the Philippines, and the Marawi Sultanate League. It supports 2,500 internally displaced families living in transitional sites in the remotely located villages of Sagonsongan and Boganga, as well as other families staying there, local authorities, the Marawi city government, women, and youth, among others, through the provision hand-washing facilities, distribution of PPEs and disinfectant supplies, access to food and basic necessities through the operation of satellite markets and mobile stores, support in small-scale vegetable growing at the household and community levels, and capacity development of the city government’s Incident Command System.

UN-Habitat’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP) is launching a call for proposals (CFP) for a technical partner to support the implementation of an ambitious one-year project focused around 6 cities in the Philippines towards reducing their Marine Plastic Litter (MPL), the Healthy Oceans Clean Cities Initiative (HOCCI).

Research organizations and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) with significant expertise in the fields of Solid Waste Management (SWM), MPL and stakeholder engagement are encouraged to submit proposals which contribute to the capacities of local governments and communities in the Philippines to effectively reduce marine plastic pollution through strengthened institutional capacity, piloting improved waste management systems, and developing an educational campaign to embed a 3R approach.

Closing: 22 May 2020
Download the Call for Proposal document below for full details and guidance on proposal submission.

This master’s thesis examines the role of coordination in the implementation of climate policy in the Philippines. In the course of this, the study seeks to discuss how local climate planning is shaped by horizontal and vertical coordination. Based on the argument that intensified coordination could make implementation of local policy more effective, this study critically reflects on coordination among implementing national institutions, international donors, and the local governments. The study adopts a theoretical framework based on policy implementation theory and coordination theory and also incorporates insights from multi- level governance to reflect the different levels of government involved. Twenty expert interviews and one focus group with actors from all relevant levels and groups provide empirical evidence.

In the Philippines, many local climate action and planning processes for climate protection are recorded thanks to a pioneering national framework legislation on climate policy. This study, however, reveals that the implementation of climate policy at the local level could be accelerated through improvements in coordination that can drive the actions needed to combat and adapt to climate change in the Philippines.

On the basis of twenty expert interviews with actors from all relevant levels and groups, the study shows that the implementation processes and the local climate planning framework are particularly lacking coordination. In order to improve and streamline local climate planning in the Philippines, two crucial starting points are presented: (1) the development of a unified implementation approach for local climate policy and planning and (2) the application of a more integrative and inclusive approach for local climate implementation, tackling donor activities and local government involvement.

This study was conducted by Kora Rösler in the course of the Environmental Policy and Planning master programme at Free University of Berlin and Technical University of Berlin, Germany, under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Miranda Schreurs and it received a grading of “very good”. This master’s thesis is the result of a year-long research work in 2016 in the Philippines and Germany thanks to a scholarship by the DAAD. The research project was embedded in the project Vertical Integration and Learning for Low Emission Development in Africa and Southeast Asia (V-LED), run by the German public policy consultancy Adelphi and one of the implementing partners, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) in the Philippines in Manila.