The Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD), in partnership with UN-Habitat Philippines, officially launched on February 14 the Philippine Urban Forum (PhUF 2023), with the theme, “Road to Better, Greener, Smarter Human Settlements and Urban Systems in a more Inclusive Philippines”. This sets the stage for key urban stakeholders, actors, and decision makers to gather for the largest national conference on sustainable urbanization on October 2023.
PhUF 2023 is a high level, open, and inclusive platform to discuss the challenges and opportunities on rapid urbanization.
Designed to align with the World Urban Forum convened by UN-Habitat, the PhUF 2023 is envisioned as an open-ended technical think tank, with inclusive debates, cross-fertilizing of insights, and sharing of effective policies to advance the collective knowledge on sustainable urbanization in the Philippines. Major stakeholders including the urban poor sector are expected to be part of the discourse. Activities to look forward to at PhUF include the Urban Expo, Urban Gallery and Cinema, Training Activities, Investment Forum, Dialogues, and Assemblies.
PhUF will also be an opportunity to assess how the Philippines is advancing in the implementation of the New Urban Agenda. Knowledge gathered form the national forum will inform the Philippine delegation’s participation at WUF 12 happening in 2024 in Cairo, Egypt.
Collaboration and multisectoral support
To officially kick off the groundwork for the high-level platform, DHSUD and UN-Habitat signed a declaration of commitment, affirming their shared objective of realization of the PhUF through collaborative planning and implementation, sharing of knowledge and expertise, establishing linkages with relevant stakeholders, and mobilizing resources. The declaration of commitment was signed by DHSUD Undersecretary Henry Yap and UN-Habitat Philippine Country Programme Manager Christopher Rollo.
Rallying behind DHSUD and UN-Habitat are partners from various urban sectors who expressed their support for PhUF and how they can contribute to advancing the six urban agendas. They were Aileen Serrano of the Commission on Population and Development for urban demography; Undersecretary Atty. Lord Villanueva of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, and Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez of the League of Cities of the Philippines for urban governance; Assistant Professor Carmeli Marie Chaves of the UP School of Urban and Regional Planning and Atty. Apolonio Anota of the Philippine Institute of Environmental Planners for land use and urban planning; Regional Executive Director Jacqueline Caancan of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – NCR for urban environment; Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon of the National Economic Development Authority for urban economy; and Noel Carino of the Chamber of Real Estate and Builders’ Association, Jonathan Caro of the National Real Estate Associations, Inc., Paulo Giovanni Olivares of the Organization of Socialized and Economic Housing Developers of the Philippines, Inc., and Arch. Leonardo Dayao, Jr. of the Subdivision and Housing Developers Association, Inc.