Rebuilding for a better urban future

The official blog of UN-Habitat's response to Typhoon Haiyan

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Philippine Bamboo Tapped for Innovative Resilient Housing

A warehouse for prefabricating bamboo wall panels. All photos

A warehouse for prefabricating bamboo wall panels. Photos by Tomoko Matsushita.

Four representatives from Samahang Urban ng Maralitang Mamamayan (SUMAMA, Local Association of Urban Poor Communities) – Home Owners Association Inc. (HOAI) in Estancia travelled to Iloilo City with the UN-Habitat team on 10 July to see a model typhoon-resistant shelter built from bamboo.

The Hilti Foundation, a European charitable foundation specializing in housing, has been studying and testing the bamboo design since 2012. UN-Habitat will be working in partnership with the Hilti Foundation in Estancia to provide single-story houses built with a bamboo truss roof and reinforced bamboo wall panels covered with cement plaster.

After visiting the bamboo model house and a brief introduction of the Hilti Foundation and its local counterpart, the Homeless People’s Federation of the Philippines, the SUMAMA HOAI group toured the on-site workshop and warehouse where workers were assembling reinforced bamboo panels in various configurations for walls with windows or doors.

Two-story model of bamboo house by Hilti Foundation in Iloilo.

Two-story model of bamboo house by Hilti Foundation in Iloilo

Interior view of hefty bamboo roof truss

Interior view of hefty bamboo roof truss


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Shelter Assessment Begins in Iloilo and Capiz

UN-Habitat technical team inspecting existing house and site conditions in Pontevedra, Capiz. Photo by Beryl Jane Dela Cruz.

UN-Habitat technical team inspecting existing house and site conditions in Pontevedra, Capiz. Photos by Beryl Jane Dela Cruz.

Since 18 June, UN-Habitat has been conducting technical surveys in potential beneficiary communities of the Post-Yolanda Support for Safer Homes and Settlements Project across Western Visayas.

The team of shelter experts, architects, and community mobilizers visited residential lots acquired under the Community Mortgage Program to inspect the current conditions of the damaged houses, gather information on land tenure, and assess the state of sanitation. The assessment uses  a tool kit detailing the damage and reconstruction requirements of each house.

UN-Habitat technical team verifying the location of the houses on the map with community members. Photo by Beryl Jane Dela Cruz.

UN-Habitat technical team verifying the location of the houses on the map with community members. Photo by Beryl Jane Dela Cruz.

To further determine a beneficiary’s eligibility, UN-Habitat evaluated each household’s capacity to recover from typhoon impacts. UN-Habitat closely collaborated with leaders and members of home owners’ associations in validating data gathered from the household profiling done in April 2014.

Funded by the Government of Japan, the shelter project is also a partnership with the Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC) and the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC).

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Estancia pledges support to UN-Habitat shelter recovery project

UN Habitat, together with its partner, Hilti Foundation, recently held a meeting with the town administrators of Estancia to discuss the Post-Yolanda Support for Safer Homes and Settlement Project, which identified a potential beneficiary community in Poblacion Zone 1 of the municipality.

Project Manager, Mr. Robert Deutsch, introduced UN Habitat’s plan of constructing typhoon-resistant houses for over 600 families in various parts of Western Visayas that were devastated by Yolanda. He also added that the project would also cover the training of local skilled workers on building robust shelters and the repair and improvement of key community infrastructures.  

Ms. Nerissa Piamonte discussed the integration of Hilti Foundation’s bamboo shelter model into the core house design. The organization strongly advocates the optimization of locally available and sustainable construction materials.

Standing in for Mayor Rene Cordero, the executive administrators, Ms. Ninfa Nacionales and Ms. Lina Acosta, expressed their gratitude to UN Habitat and Hilti Foundation, and assured that the municipal government will provide technical assistance wherever possible. Also present was Municipal Planning & Development Coordinator, Mr. Eugene Tentativa, Ms. Maria Socorro D. Ignacio (UN Habitat), and Ms. Ruby Rose Robas (Hilti Foundation).

Other potential beneficiary sites that were identified so far, in consultation with the Social Housing Finance Corporation, include Brgys. Guba, Ilawod, and Tacas in Pontevedra; Brgys. Bato, Baybay, Punta Tabuc, Tiza in Roxas City; and Brgy. Tanza Norte of Panay.


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UN-Habitat and partners support post-disaster recovery efforts in Ormoc

Ormoc, a first class and independent component city in the Province of Leyte, was hit by the Typhoon Haiyan last year causing widespread wind-induced damages including 26,549 partially damaged and 14,132 totally damaged houses.  This accounted for 3% of the total of damaged houses at the national level.


UN-Habitat has partnered with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the City Government of Ormoc to implement the project on “Strengthening Resiliency and Safety in Urban Informal Settlements in three Metro Manila Cities, and their partner Local Government Units in the Visayas”. The project will be implemented through a twinning arrangement, supporting a total six local government units in Metro Manila and Eastern Visayas. The cities from Metro Manila include the highly urbanized cities of Pasay, Mandaluyong and Quezon City, while the cities from Eastern Visayas include the three humanitarian hubs for the Haiyan response namely the Municipality of Guiuan, Ormoc City, and Tacloban City.

The project aims to reduce violence, increase safety and resilience, and improve the quality of life of urban communities in Ormoc. UN-Habitat is supporting the city in conducting a baseline survey and mapping of informal settlement families (ISF) and in conducting awareness-raising on ISF rights and access to basic services, among others.   The City Planning and Development Office, Barangay Affairs Office, and the City Social Work and Development Office are directly involved in project implementation.


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IN THE NEWS: Tacloban’s rehabilitation and recovery plan “Investing in people”

IMG_8406Laids Cea, UN-Habitat’s regional coordinator of the Cities and Climate Change Initiative, recently met with a group of journalists to discuss Tacloban’s rehabilitation and recovery plan and its push to develop a “resilient, vibrant, and livable” Tacloban.

See the full article on the Manila Standard Today: Tacloban P3-b plan: Investing in people

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INFOGRAPHIC: Six months after Typhoon Haiyan

The Philippines Shelter Cluster launched an infographic breaking down past progress and existing needs six months after Typhoon Haiyan.

Shelter_Cluster_Haiyan_Infographic 6 months FINAL

View the full size here

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More Haiyan-hit municipalities prepare recovery and rehabilitation plans


Photo by: Amy Gagalac/UNDP

Nine of 12 municipalities in Eastern Samar that were badly hit by Typhoon Haiyan prepared their initial plans for recovery and rehabilitation through orientation-workshops with technical support of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) under a joint programme with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

At the orientation workshop held in Borongan City in Eastern Samar from 18 – 20 February, most of the 12 municipalities were represented by their Municipal Planning and Development Coordinators (MPDCs) Officers, Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Managmement, Social Welfare Development, and Health Officers. The Provincial Government of Eastern Samar was represented by different heads of offices of the province, with the Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDO). Participating municipalities were the following: Hernani, Giporlos, Mercedes, Salcedo, Balangkayan, Gen. MacArthur, Llorente, Maydolong and Guiuan. Other badly damaged municipalities are Lawaan, Balangiga and Quinapondan.


Photo by: Amy Gagalac/UNDP

The contents of the recovery and rehabilitation planning were contextualized around four key result areas (KRAS): 1) social, 2) environment, 3) infrastructure and 4) land use, with good governance as the overarching principle. The KRAs are consistent with the rationalized local planning principles advocated by the Department of the Interior on Local Government on multi-sectoral, inclusive and participative local planning, including the associated RPS processes involved in recovery and rehabilitation planning.

The orientation workshop on recovery and rehabilitation planning generated initial outputs such as: 1) sectoral goals; 2) success indicators to achieve the goals; 3) programs/projects/policies; 4) key activities, and 5) timelines for implementation.

Guiuan, which had already undergone several of the activities in the planning process, worked further on updating and refining their outputs. The municipality also shared with other participants their experiences in rehabilitation planning.

The workshop served as initial UN-Habitat and UNDP support for recovery and rehabilitation planning for Eastern Samar.


See related article: A step towards recovery for Guiuan and Second planning charette held for Tacloban’s Recovery and Rehabilitation plan