The fourth of a biennial conference organized by Habitat for Humanity, the Asia Pacific Housing Forum recently held in Manila gathered almost 200 stakeholders from Asia and the Pacific engaged in seeking solutions to poverty housing issues. With the theme “Housing as a foundation for breaking the poverty cycle in Asia-Pacific”, the conference provided for a series of plenary sessions and discussion tracks from October 2 to 4, 2013 in the Dusit Thani Hotel, Makati.
The OML Center’s Scientific Director, Dr. Rodel Lasco, was one of the plenary speakers during an interactive session on “Beyond Handouts: Nurturing Shared Value and CSR Leadership”. The session discussed the ways by which the private sector help foster innovation toward building healthier, more inclusive communities that have access to and create opportunities for themselves. Dr. Lasco shared the initiative by the Lopez Group of Companies in the form of the OML Center aimed towards for generating science-based solutions to climate-related risks and disasters and the importance of science in providing sustainable housing solutions in the country.
Energy Development Corporation, through Senior Vice President for Environment and External Relations Agnes de Jesus, shared the company’s CSR – Binhi, a reforestation program using indigenous species, in a session on Nurturing shared value and CSR leadership in addressing poverty housing issues. This track session looked at the role of private sector in solving poverty housing issues such as health, education, access to clean water, sanitation, sustainable energy and adequate housing. Beyond the company’s reforestation efforts, SVP de Jesus shared EDC’s experience in providing livelihood opportunities, education, housing and emergency response trainings in communities living within the company’s areas of operation.
OML Center staff Perlyn Pulhin, Rafaela Jane Delfino, Luigi Toda and Alyssa Patricia Manzano and EDC staff Anne Christine Rojo and Allan Bacerna also attended the three-day forum.
The current challenges on poverty and housing is expected to be exacerbated by climate change and population increase. The forum featured a discussion track on building resilience to disasters and climate change which focused on effective disaster response policy measures and private sector involvement, the roles of volunteers, and opportunities for more coordinated response from the three key groups in future disasters. The sessions also discussed ways on how to address the potential impacts of climate change on housing.