THE MARIKINA CITY RESETTLEMENT PROGRAM: A MODEL
FOR COMMUNITY AND GOVERNMENT PARTNERSHIP FOR
Valentino G. Baac, Ph. D. 2 and Rosette C. Librea 3
Local Government Units (LGUs) in the Philippines are faced with a compounding
problem of resources especially for housing.
This case study showcases an innovation in public administration and governance
where the Marikina City government, in a very unique and effective interaction of politics,
administration and civil society, contributed to social and human development through its
resettlement program. The manifest balancing of good leadership and participative
governance resulted in the achievement of the City government's twin goals of
development and socio-economic progress.
Typical to any urbanizing City, the economic growth of Marikina City was planned
holistically taking into consideration the mushrooming of squatter colonies within its
jurisdiction. The City adopted its own formula for the resettlement of squatters vis-a-vis
the available resources of the City government for housing. Pursuant to the Urban
Development and Housing Act of 1992, the City assumed the challenge of being at the
forefront of providing socialized housing to the underprivileged and homeless 4 - the
social group living in unfavorable conditions in a developing and urbanizing city.
The "In-City Resettlement Program of Squatters" in Marikina City can be considered as
a best practice in community development and economic growth. The program is
integral to the urban renewal and development of the City. In order to achieve its policy
of providing land for the landless, the City enforced the containment of squatter dwellers
1 This study was presented at the 3 r Annual Conference of the Network of Asia Pacific Schools and
Institutes in Public Administration and Governance (NAPSIPAG) held at the University of Sydney, Sydney
Australia, 4-7 December 2006.
2 Graduated Ph.D. in Public Administration (Magna Cum Laude) and Masters in Public Administration
(Summa Cum Laude) from the Graduate School, The Royal and Pontifical University of Santo Tomas,
Manila, Philippines. He is also a graduate of Bachelor of Laws (LIB) from the University of the East, Manila,
Philippines; and, AB Philosophy (Cum Laude) from the Sacred Heart Seminary of Palo, Leyte. Currently, he
is a Consultant of the Development Academy of the Philippines; and the La Salle Institute of Governance.
He is a Professorial Lecturer at the Graduate Schools, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Sta. Mesa,
Manila, Philippines; and, University of the East, Recto, Manila, Philippines. He can be reached at
3 The co-author is currently the Manager, Program Management Office of the Government of the
Philippines-United Nations Development Program (GO-UNDP) Fostering Democratic Governance; and a
former Director of the Commission on Human Rights. She has a Masters degree in Public Management
(with honors) from the Development Academy of the Philippines; and, is currently writing her dissertation for
her Doctoral degree in Public Administration at the University of the Philippines National College for Public
Administration and Governance (UP-NCPAG). She can be reached at email@example.com.
4 CESR General Comment 4 (1991), stated that the right to housing includes the right to human dignity, the
principle of non-discrimination, the right to an adequate standard of living, the right to freedom to choose
one's residence, the right to freedom of association and expression and the right not to be subjected to
arbitrary interference with one's privacy, family, home or correspondence, pp 22-26.
within the city and the provision of 24 square meter lot to each squatter structural owner.
It was able to achieve the desired result of relocating 30,015 families of informal settlers 5
and liberating approximately 500 hectares of land, which the urban poor used to occupy.
The City government successfully linked up the use of all available resources human,
technical and financial both at the local and national level in order to provide decent
shelter to the underprivileged and homeless in a span of thirteen years from 1993-2006.
The number of relocated families represents about 40% of the 120,000 (1/3 of the
population) residing in about 114 depressed areas. 6
On account of the long-term benefits of the resettlement program, the leadership of the
City and the community development interventions of the Marikina Settlement Office
(MSO) proved to be effective. The mechanisms of consultation and dialogue for people
empowerment effectively worked except for a number of incidents resulting to the filing
of alleged human rights violation cases with the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).
The City Government recognized communities' right of empowerment through the
organization of Community Housing Associations (CHAs). The development of
relocation sites reflects good faith of the local government to provide housing to the
maximum of its available resources. Development of more innovative approaches for
achieving improved level of people empowerment and sustainability of the program are
major areas for future consideration.
Part I. Overview of the Case Study
A. Purpose of the Study
The study seeks to analyze the underpinnings of the Marikina City's Resettlement
Program to include the context under which it was implemented; the mix approaches
that were utilized; the results of the reform initiatives to the communities and to the city
as a whole; and, the successes and gains achieved by the program.
B. Outline of the reform initiatives
The proliferation of squatters and marginalized communities in the early 1990s and its
concomitant hazardous effects in the environment of the urbanizing city prompted the
local government of Marikina to undertake initiative on resettlement. The initiative was
attached to the urban renewal and resettlement program options under Republic Act No.
7279, otherwise known, as the Urban Development and Housing Act (UDHA 1992). An
in-city resettlement program was planned through the conversion of idle lands in the city
located at Sto. Nino, Malanday, Tumana, Balubad and Nangka. The LGU created the
Marikina Settlement Office (MSO) in February 1992 to administer the relocation
program. The MSO took charge of all aspects of program delivery and management.
The National Home Mortgage Financing Corporation (NHMFC) provided funding for land
acquisition. LGU allotted 10% of its budget for the implementation of the CMP in the city
to cover expenses of the MSO operations. Community Housing Associations (CHAs)
were organized and assigned tasks for the development and maintenance of
communities. Initially, a prototype community was put up by the MSO and latter rolled
out to the rest of the converted idle lands. In order to effect swift implementation of the
5 Marikina's Informal Settlers. Revised and Printed: 03 January 2006.
6 The Marikina Settlements Program Brochure. January 2006.
initiative, surveys of marginalized communities were undertaken and feedback
mechanism was installed. Project Officers of the MSO were hired from the resettled
communities to establish closer links for monitoring and feedback of community
concerns. Community resistance was encountered in the beginning but this was
managed gradually with the organization and involvement of the Community Housing
C. Outline of gains
The program relocated 30,015 household beneficiaries representing about 40% of the
total 120,000 people residing in 114 depressed areas of the city. Six (6) big relocation
sites and other government and private lands were developed through the CMP
Originatorship in adequate space of 24 sq. meter single housing structure and adequate
in-city relocation accessible to work and basic facilities. About 249 Community Housing
Associations were organized and given purposive participation. Progressive realization 7
of the right to housing yielded to the increasing number of communities responding to
the program and apparent improvement in infrastructural and basic services at
reasonable cost. A resettlement community provides legal security of tenure 8 for settlers
and other allied services such as livelihood programs and trainings, potable tap water
and electrical connections, solid waste disposal, health and sanitation, garbage
collection, telephone lines and other social services. Concreting or cementing of
pavements and alleys of resettlement areas is one infrastructural service which was also
progressively implemented in the various resettlement areas. Infrastructural services
such as water, electric and telephone lines were expedited with the participation of the
private sector. A local ordinance was issued by the city government exempting utility
companies of clearance requirements from the private landowners of resettlement sites
in consonance with the city's social goal on rehabilitating urban lands. 9
D. Outline of Lessons Learnt
The principal challenge of balancing good leadership and participative governance is a
major area of learning. The MSO is the institutional arrangement that sustained the
housing services. The city government demonstrated every effort to use all resources at
its disposal. 10 However, if the resettlement program is to be implemented again or
replicated in other areas, the formation of an inter-agency advisory group on urban
renewal and resettlement should be done first. In addition, the formation of core group
in targeted communities for resettlement should be considered at the very beginning to
ensure people's participation in decision-making. These two groups should have helped
manage to a greater extent, the community resistance that was encountered significantly
at the beginning of the resettlement program in Marikina City. The resettlement should
have been identified more as a city government program rather than the pure initiative of
7 See UNDP (2002) Rights-Based Development where the State is under obligation to take steps, to the
maximum of its available resources with a view to achieving progressively the full realization of the rights, p
8 CESCR Comment 4, Art. 11 (1) Sixth Session (1991), where legal security of tenure is described to be
tenure taking a variety of forms including rental (public and private) accommodation, cooperative housing,
lease, owner-occupation, emergency housing and informal settlements, including occupation of land or
property, p. 21 .
9 See MSO. Background on the Marikina Resettlement Program. 2006
10 Ibid, stating that available resources include national financial resources, loans and assistance
programmes, pp. 23-25.
the City Mayor, who unfortunately had to face a lot of criticisms about his perceived
"assertive style" of managing the resettlement. Moreover, the creation of the MSO
should have been legislated earlier through a city ordinance making it a city government-
housing arm rather than the City Mayor's implementing arm. The City Mayor and the
MSO, though highly commendable with their performance and strong determination in
implementing swiftly the resettlement program, could have avoided unnecessary
criticisms from their detractors, if there were mechanisms in place initially to ensure
more participative and broader representation in decision-making.
Part II. Profile of the institution/organization
A. Mission and key functions/services
Inspired with the vision to make "Marikina City squatter free," the city established the
Marikina Settlements Office (MSO) in February 1992. The Office was elevated into a
Department in 2001 through a city ordinance. Section 4, Chapter IV of the Marikina
Settlement Code of 2001 provides that the MSO is a policy-making and implementing
body of the socialized housing program of the City Government of Marikina. Over time,
the MSO has systematized its activities and processes particularly in gathering
information for purposes of planning and programming. It is engaged in physical survey,
mapping and household listing, conduct of census and occupancy checking, census
data evaluation, processing masterlist preparation, structural mapping, survey and
identification of mini-resettlement sites, model housing design and development,
government land disposition process, preparation of site development, community
relations operations, geographical information system for all resettlement sites,
demolition and relocation operations, re-blocking operations, clearing and cleaning of
sites, basic services coordination, regularized identification cards of community
residents, pre-qualification processing of community residence and assistance in
availing housing loan under the Community Mortgage Program.
The principal functions and services of the MSO include, among other things, the
provision of decent housing at affordable cost, clean and healthy environment, basic
services and employment opportunities, rehabilitation and development of blighted slum
areas and resettlement of program beneficiaries, provision of rational use and
development of urban land, provision of equitable land tenure system that shall
guarantee security of tenure and respect the rights of small property owners,
encouragement of more effective people participation, adoption of workable policies for
sustaining the program and institutionalization of the MSO services among the
underprivileged and homeless .
B. Mandate, Structure and Processes
As a Central Local Government Agency, the MSO is mandated to develop, regulate and
maintain the "Squatter Free" vision of the city. To discharge this mandate, it is endowed
with the power to formulate policy guidelines and implement an overall urban poor
development program, to identify and develop lands for conversion into housing projects,
to develop a comprehensive housing program grounded on sustainable and equitable
land distribution, effect efficient housing delivery and basic services. The MSO performs
its mandates through its three divisions namely: Administrative, Resettlement
management and Operations and Housing and Home site Management (Refer to
A systematic operations of the MSO involves processes of dismantling and prevention of
illegal structures, land survey assistance, community development services and other
specific assistance to include the clearing and cleaning of community sites; community
organizing and accreditation; complaints management and disputes settlement; disaster
preparedness assistance and response and prevention of illegal vendors. In addition to
the system of operation of MSO as described in earlier section, the MSO's structure
provides for the formulation and implementation of services that enhance the quality of
life of the urban poor in the different settlements. The MSO set up helps in engaging
resettlement communities in team building, values orientation, leadership development,
conflict management, formation of livelihood programs and leaders' congress and other
community services. Also, the set up allows effective resettlement operations to
facilitate land acquisition and development of new settlement sites, to implement land
improvement to include road and alley concreting, drainage construction/improvements
and other infrastructure development, building and structure such as the installation of
community billboards, street signages, angular frames, construction of multi-purpose
hall, day care centers, development of parks and playgrounds and other recreational
facilities in the resettlement areas.
Part III. Institutional/Organizational Issues and Constraints
A. Description of performance
Generally, the MSO has provided options for housing delivery from which urban poor 11
can choose from. 12 Following the upgrading of the MSO into a Department, program
delivery was enhanced. As of January 3, 2006, LGU Originatorship Project of the CMP
in Marikina City improved showing the following performance in terms of the status of
loans under LGU Originatorship and other cooperation programs with other agencies of
government and non-government organizations. Specifically, the MSO has facilitated
organization of 249 Community Housing Associations, which are now availing of the
CMP. 111 LGU Originated CMP projects with the following statuses: loans taken out
(49); for take out (5); for Loan LOG preparation and approval (2); for PCL Approval (2);
for PCL preparation/documentation (6); for MOA (12); and Potential CMP (35). Other
housing delivery projects were also implemented in government lands (12), public land
(1), NHA projects (12), direct purchase (13), NGO originated projects (14), donated land
(3), APD (65) and urban renewal and resettlement colony (17). But the lack of adequate
resources to fully implement the plans and programs of the MSO is a big constraint.
Infrastructural projects could not be implemented in all resettlement sites. Not all sites
have the concreting of alleys and pavements completed. Eleven (11) resettlement
communities are equipped with infrastructural services to include power and water
services and concreting of alleys. The rest of the other resettlement communities are in
different stages of infrastructure services delivery. Livelihood projects are inadequate to
support generation of sufficient savings among settlers. Internally, the MSO needs
U CESR General Comment (1991), where it is stated that State parties must give priority to those social
groups living in unfavorable conditions giving them particular considerations, p. 25.
2 See The Convention on Economic Social and Cultural Rights where the right to freedom to choose one's
residence is primordial.
resources for building capacities among its personnel. 13 Based on reports of the MSO,
the indicators it uses to gauge its performance include the number of marginalized
residents resettled, number of residents given jobs and alternative livelihood, number of
physical infrastructural services available in the community, number of community
housing associations and their community plans, number of housing loans taken out
through the Community Mortgage program and the improvements effected by the
associations through self help.
To date, the Marikina Resettlement Program has already received the following major
awards: Galing Pook Award, by the Asian Institute of Management in 1997; Gawad
Galing Pook Award for Innovation and Excellence in Local Governance in 1998 for
Squatter-Free Marikina Program jointly sponsored by the Department of Interior and
Local Government, Ford Foundation, Canadian International Development Agency and
Asian Institute of Management 14
B. User satisfaction ratings
There are no official reports showing satisfaction ratings of the communities. However,
the growth in the number of families and communities availing of the CMP and other
resettlement cooperation program with other government and private entities is
indicative of their favorable response. Indicators of dissatisfaction are the eleven (11)
cases, which were filed with the Commission on Human Rights. 15 (Appendix B). In
addition, interviews and testimonials were obtained from about 31 residents of six
resettlement sites such as Nangka, Tumana, Sto. Nino, and San Miguel Realty in
Fortune, Parang. Of the 31 respondents, 25 residents expressed satisfaction over their
transfer in the resettlement area who felt sense of security of tenure and contentment
with the services they avail in their respective communities such as water, light,
livelihood, clean and peaceful place. They also cited their lost of fear from being
demolished and evicted from their residence. Moreover, 15 residents cited various
suggestions to improve their resettlement areas to include more livelihood training and
job opportunities, facilitation of improvement of roads and alleys, educational assistance
and medical missions. They were asked also the question as to how they could help
improve their communities. Nineteen (19) of the interviewed residents gave different
suggestions on how they could help improve their communities. These include:
cooperation in waste segregation and maintenance of the cleanliness of their
communities to avoid flood and pollution. The same significant number of 19 residents
expressed that they need to comply with local ordinance and rules and regulations to
enhance the condition of their communities (Appendix C ).
Part IV. Description of specific reform initiatives
A. Unique and exceptional features of programs/initiatives
Following the city's vision of transforming Marikina "through discipline, good taste and
excellence," the relocation program was implemented consistent with the standard
13 See Charito Chiuco Tordicilla (1998). The Gatekeepers of Marikina: A Case of In-City Relocation and
Management of A Squatter Free Community. Ateneo School of Government.
Marikina Settlements Office. MSO Brochure. January 2006.
CESR (1991). General Comment 10 where item 3g stipulates that national human rights institutions are
tasked with the role of examining complaints alleging infringement of applicable rights, p. 66
features and processes under the CMP (Refer to Appendix D). Consistent with the
requirements of the CMP, the MSO conducts an initial assessment on the organizational
capacity of the community association, as well as, conduct seminars on community-
organizing among target beneficiaries, who are encouraged to organize themselves into
a community housing association (CHA) for purposes of acquiring land and owning their
own houses. The CHA followed the set of criteria (minimum monthly income, minimum
length of stay, and age limit) set by the local government based on UDHA provisions or
its own set of criteria. After the community is organized, the City of Marikina then initiates
the process for land acquisition.
In contrast with the program implementation in other cities like Bacolod, Mandaluyong,
Naga and Muntinlupa, the City of Marikina did not allocate budget for land acquisition . It
banked on the NHMFC to pay for the acquisition of private lands. It allocated 10% of the
city's budget to fund CMP operations in terms of mobilization and technical
requirements. One very unique feature of the housing program of Marikina City is the
hiring of some beneficiaries of the relocation program as project officers. Community
needs and demands are brought to the attention of the city government through these
project officers. They also help manage Community Housing Associations by
coordinating and working with the local barangay officials and association leaders in the
organization and monitoring of all activities in their designated areas. This mechanism
directly links community with the city government making the latter more prompt in
responding to community problems and concerns. The mechanism is non-traditional in
the sense that communities need not go through bureaucratic processes of bringing to
government's attention their concerns. The mechanism was conceived to ensure that
issues and problems are brought to the attention of the MSO and corresponding actions
are taken with dispatch. This practice has managed resistance and conflict in the
resettlement areas. The project officers were deployed in the areas the whole day and
reports back to the MSO to report issues and concerns. Best effort is exerted by the
project officers to resolve conflicts and problems in the community otherwise; they raised
them to the MSO for action the following day.
B. Specific policies and practices that were put in place 16
The program started with the enforcement of a controversial ordinance that no structures
could be built without securing permit from the City Hall. Illegal structures were closely
monitored through the help of the barangay officials. This action needs strong political
will, which the former City Mayor was able to display, which probably other LGUs could
emulate. All illegal structures especially in risky and dangerous areas are prohibited.
The former City Mayor did not compromise the implementation of this ordinance even if
this should mean lost of support from a number of electorate. A few months before
election time, he ordered the demolition of the Agus squatter shanties. This was
perceived to be a big surprise to many because election time was usually not the best
time for a Chief Executive to be involved in such a highly political act. 17
At all times, however, outright demolition without notice was enforced as a policy. A
demolition team was set up to enforce the ordinance. The strong enforcement of the
ordinance yielded to a fast clearing of squatter communities along the riverbanks,
16 See, Charito Chiuco Tordicilla (1998). The Gatekeepers of Marikina: A Case of In-City Relocation and
Management of A Squatter Free Community. Ateneo School of Government.
17 Ibid. p.5.
esteros and creeks, in private lands and areas identified for infrastructure development.
A re-zoning of land was likewise undertaken, which did not only allocate portions of
Marikina in resettling its squatters but also adopted a policy on the standard size of land
that can be owned in Marikina to 100 square meters. This is one control measure of the
city government to maintain the density of population in the city, as well as, stringent
parameter for selling of lots by future land developers. With the rapid population growth
of the city attributed to migration, the government needed to enforce stricter measure to
maximize efficient land use for residential areas, which make up 46% of the city's total
land area. Moreover, the standard size of lot for distribution to qualified beneficiaries is
limited to 24 square meters. The city government decided on this size, which is ideal
only for a single family, to discourage the resettled families' relatives from provinces to
migrate and live with them. 18 The relocation program also was tied up with the "clean
and green" policy, which included the reviving of the Marikina River and transforming it
into a Recreational Park.
C. How did the change management process unfold
The exercise of a strong but humane political will of the Mayor, which the city
government supported, marked the beginning of the program. A census of squatters
was done from 1992-1994. A listing of both renters and absentee homeowners was also
done, which sorted out informal settlers from professional squatters. As a result of the
survey, studies were made on two options: on-site development or off-site project
depending on the areas occupied by the squatters. Those who live along the river
banks, esteros, creeks and areas identified for the city's infrastructure development were
automatically considered for relocation. Others who occupied privately owned properties
were considered for on-site development after negotiations with owners. Negotiating with
private landowners was one big challenge. Holding of dialogue with squatter
communities was a prerequisite and they were made to choose among the six (6)
relocation sites. Those who decided to go back to their respective provinces were
handled by the (DSWD) workers who made arrangements for their evacuation and
transportation fare. Those who have long been suffering from the inconveniences of
floodwaters especially those living in the riverbanks were brought to a safer ground
where they were provided temporary shelter under the care of the city government while
their relocation houses were being constructed. 19
D. How was support mobilized
Generally, the Mayor used his authority to mobilize support. He presents his relocation
program and its benefits but he never consulted everything to the people. He
demonstrated such discipline to relocated communities by bringing a hammer whenever
he visited them and pulling out protruding nails he noticed in the houses. 20
The Mayor solicited the support of the city government for the enforcement of the
Ordinance that gave full force to the encroachment of new squatters in the city and in the
implementation of its provision requiring a permit from city hall before structures could be
built in the city. Private landowners were also enticed into agreeing to sell their lands
18 Ibid. p. 8.
19 CESR (1991) General Comment 4 explains the right not to be forcefully evicted without adequate
protection, p. 51 .
20 Ibid. p. 8.
through the representations done by the MSO and the Mayor. Hence, the organization
of community associations provided support to the program.
Part V. Results and Outcomes
A. Successes and Shortcomings
The city government sustained the management of a "squatter-free city". It has
effectively controlled the mushrooming of squatter colonies. The revival of the Marikina
River was transformed as a source of economic opportunities for the city government.
The city government demonstrated its improved capacity in responding to obligation on
housing rights under the UDHA. Realization of the right to housing shows progression.
The city sustained giving lands to landless urban poor of the city notwithstanding the
limited financial resources and inadequacy of lands of the city.
B. Evidence-based description of the gains
Nothing could surpass the security of tenure attained for the settlers, which guarantees
protection against forced eviction, harassment and other threats. 21 The program
experienced gains from relocation of 13,771 families as of 1998 and expanded coverage
of 30,015 families 22 as of January 3, 2006, involving the systematic transfer of squatters
from the original hazardous, flooded and risky places they used to occupy, to habitable
and healthy places where they have human security having legally acquired housing
structure under the CMP, 23 and allied services such as safe drinking water, energy for
cooking and lighting, refuse disposal, site drainage and livelihood opportunities. The
families now enjoy human security without threat of being demolished.
C. Observations and findings of independent groups
The impression of independent groups like the Philippines-CIDA Local Government
Support Program is successful except for some reported limitations and constraints. The
in-city resettlement feature of the program and the ability of the city government to link
marginalized communities with the government's Community Mortgage Program were
cited as viable indicators of success of the Marikina City Government. 24 On the part of
CHR, it is still in the process of examining reported incidents of demolition that may run
contrary to the provisions of UDHA and other international human rights conventions. 25
21 CESR (1991) General Comment 4 where item 8a specifies that security of tenure guarantees legal
protection against forced eviction, harassment and other threats, p. 23.
22 UNDP (2002) Rights-Based Development, p. 25 - 30.
23 CESR General Comment 4.
24 Local Government Support Program. Enhancing Shelter Provision at the Local Level . Service Delivery
with Impact: A Resource Book for Local Government pp.1 -1 05.
25 CESR (1991). General Comment 4 where forced eviction as defined does not apply to evictions carried
out by force in accordance with the law and in conformity with the provisions of the International Covenant
on Human Rights, p. 51 .
D. Extent to which program was institutionalized
The Marikina Settlement Code of 2001 institutionalized and sustained the resettlement
program from 1993 to date. The code institutionalized MSO as a policy and
implementing body, qualifications of beneficiaries and limitation of ownership of lands,
building constructions, prohibited business activities, provision of sanitary toilet, land
reclassification and conversion to include tax exemptions and requirements, areas
declared as danger zone, accreditation of community association and penal provisions.
Part VI. Lessons Learned
A. Common issues, challenges, constraints, and risks faced by executives / change
The most common issue encountered in the course of the implementation of the
relocation program was that of managing resistance to the said program. While the
exercise of authority by the Mayor proved to be very effective, there were perceived
excesses on the part of those executing the program. Also, there is a perception that
mending of differences along with the implementation of the relocation program could
have been facilitated were it not for the political differences between the Congressman
and the Mayor. Perennial constraints involving financial resources were experienced to
constitute most of the bottlenecks of the program. However, the support of the city
government and the MSO eased up the problems. As experienced by the Mayor and
the MSO, there is always that risk of being charged with human rights violation in
sensitive program such as resettlement and the only way to counteract that risk is to
uphold the rule of law.
One other challenge shaped up after the communities have been resettled and
organized. As inputted by the MSO Administrative Head, the city government had to
reinforce social reorientation of the communities, as the communities became more
demanding of services that are offered to them rather than undertaking their
responsibilities. As a result the city government runs the risk of prioritizing communities
for infrastructure services. Communities which have demonstrated cooperation of
improving their resettlement areas are prioritized for infrastructure services such as light,
water and concreting of alleys.
B. Methods and techniques to prevent or manage problems
The issues and problems encountered in the implementation of the program could have
been managed better if provisions and guidelines under the UDHA and CMP and the
role of LGUs were clearly understood by the communities. There were communities
which did not comprehend very well the link of the CMP with the city government. Some
of these communities thought that once their loans are taken out, the MSO did not have
anything to do with the communities anymore. At present, the city government is in the
stage of mobilizing "Presidents' Circle" of Resettled communities, to serve as avenue
where information could be better communicated. After sometime, the system of project
officers hired from the communities did not work well anymore. Some
miscommunications arose from the dual representations of the project officers, which
affected much some aspects of the operations of the MSO.
C. Policies, institutional arrangements, and practices that are likely to bring about the
desired results and outcomes
Policies on relocation program should be brought to a higher level. The human right to
adequate housing, which is derived from the right to an adequate standard of living, is of
central importance for the enjoyment of all economic, social and cultural rights. 26 This
basic policy should guide all change managers or reform managers in observing
maximum tolerance in the implementation of relocation as housing has a lot of
implications to the daily lives of the people.
The existence of a well-entrenched shelter financing system like that of the CMP is a
plus factor, but still housing should not be treated as a commodity, that of merely having
a roof over one's head. More often than not, the resistance of people to relocation stems
from a number of considerations. These are legal security of tenure, availability of
services, facilities and infrastructure, affordability, habitability, accessibility location and
cultural adequacy. On the basis of these considerations extensive genuine consultation
with, participation by all those affected, including the homeless, the inadequately housed
and their representatives, must be observed. Furthermore, steps should be complied
with to ensure coordination among government agencies at the national, regional and
local levels to include in seeing to it that partnership forged among them would redound
to the interest of the affected people.
The UDHA provisions on evictions should be seriously considered by LGUs, Marikina
City in this case. These are consistent with international guarantees where the
Philippines as a state party, should undertake substantive and procedural protection and
process in relation to forced evictions. These procedural protections include: a) an
opportunity for genuine consultation with those affected; b) adequate and reasonable
notice for all affected persons prior to the scheduled eviction; c) information on the
proposed evictions and where applicable, on the alternative purpose for which the land
or housing is to be used to be made available to those affected in reasonable time; d)
especially where groups of people are involved, government officials or their
representatives to be present during eviction; e) all persons carrying out the eviction to
be properly identified; f) eviction not to take place during bad weather or at night; g)
provision of legal remedies to those affected; and, h) provision of legal aid to persons
who are in need to seek redress from the courts. 27 In the case of Marikina City, it would
seem these guarantees where not observed despite the very clear provisions of UDHA.
In the area of sources of livelihood for relocated communities, there is a need to
strengthen the linkage of the city government with the business sector especially in
relocation sites. It was reported that the CMP implementation was delayed due to poor
turnout of savings on the part of the beneficiaries. As is usually the case in other
housing program, there is a need to perfect intervention of local government in this
respect. The latest program of the city government of Marikina in its survey of
unemployed labor force in Marikina and its training program is a big boost to the
inadequacy of source of livelihood for the urban poor.
26 See, UNHCHR. Compilation of General Comments Adopted by the Committee on Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights. UNCHR Treaty Body Database. June 2004. pp. 22 -24.
27 Ibid. pp. 50-53
D. How can resources be better mobilized and organized
The funds allocated by city government equivalent to 10% of its budget should be
revisited. The resettlement program has been there over a decade and should show
gradual progression considering the infrastructural facilities and services, which need
completion to cover all resettlement areas.
Lack of funds to adequately service resettlement communities will always be a problem.
The city government could pass an ordinance providing tax incentives to industrial
establishments in the city, which will provide resettlement improvement subsidies.
On the part of the NHMFC, the funds allocated for the countrywide implementation of the
CMP should have parallel augmentation to adequately provide for the facilitation of
speedy take out of loans of CMP beneficiaries.
E. How to sustain initiatives
The passage of the Marikina Settlement Code is more than enough measure to
institutionalize and sustain the program. A template program for each of the
resettlement area to be managed jointly by the MSO and the Community Association
should be adopted and institutionalized with funding support from the city government.
The template should primarily cover the education and training of the resettlement
community association on community problem solving and community planning and
management. The program should cover training of the project officers hired from the
communities on participative-leadership, management, conflict resolution and mediation.
Further the organization mechanics of the community associations should be
strengthened to ensure sustainability of community empowerment.
In addition, programmatic application of the standards on the right to housing as
exemplified in the UDHA and International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural
Rights should be observed in the annual planning of the city government on housing
F. Appropriate role/relationship of leaders and citizens
The mix of leadership of the city government, the support given by the City Council, the
duly constituted MSO and the organized Community Housing Associations all
contributed to an improved relationship in the city. But this did not happen overnight. It
took strong determination and guts for the Mayor to establish this cordial and productive
relationship to set in over time. As observed in and outside Marikina City, the Mayor
talks less and demonstrates by example his vision of the city. Performance and
credibility of the leadership were the dominant factors that made the roles of leaders and
citizens more understood in context. For a little over a decade, community resettlements
proved compatible with the development and growth of the city. The hiring of project
officers from the resettlement communities contributed to the bridging of gap between
the people and the leaders in Marikina City. Communication of the people and the city
government is direct and speedy as these project officers reported to MSO in the
morning, deployed in the communities during the day and reported back to MSO at the
end of the day to relay feedback on issues and concerns of resettlement communities.
But the effectiveness of this feedback system waned after sometime. The juridical
personality of the community associations having been enshrined not only under the
UDHA and CMP but also in the Marikina Settlement Code is a strong proof of power
relations between the city leadership and the people. Human Rights involve power
relations between those instrumentalities of government, which have the duty and
obligation to provide service and the people who, individually and collectively have the
entitlements and obligations to exercise their rights responsibly.
Such power relations between leaders and the people should provide a genuine
definition of the role of leaders as the enablers of development and the people as
contributors and subjects-objects of such development. As in the case of Marikina City,
such power relations is institutionalized and sustained through the rule of law and social
reorientation on the people's role in achieving the development vision of the city.
VII. Future directions
A. Plans and programs
The future plans and programs for resettlement are focused on physical development
cum social reorientation. In order to improve housing delivery in Marikina City especially
for the urban poor, the city government has adopted the following plans for 2006:
acquisition of new settlement site to accommodate more or less 810 unsettled
households affected by the road right of way and creek legal easement in line with its
minimal effect in on-site development approach; routine inspection and tight coordination
with local residents and leaders to thwart any new illegal construction of dwelling;
introduction and promotion of colored housing design scheme as part of the Home
Improvement Program; promotion of model low cost housing design from typical three
storey housing design with parking concept and distribution of blueprints to every
community association to give reference on the plan details and specifications;
continuing physical development with P 54 M cost of infrastructure projects to various
community sites; and completion of individual land title to more or less 14,000
households and recipients of the city housing program. Social reorientation underscores
empowerment of communities to participate and make available their respective
community action plans to match the housing services of the city government.
Based on the Justification Statement issued by the MSO, it would require the following
budgetary support from the city government:
Plans and Programs
1 . Land Acquisition & Development
P 62.0 M
2. Land Improvement; road
concreting, drainage and other
3. Building & Structures Outlay;
community billboards, signages,
children center, parklanes,
facelifting of houses, etc.
B. Institutional Strengthening
The MSO is now in the stage of revisiting its functions and services. After the term of
Mayor Bayani Fernando, there was realignment of functions and services among the city
government departments. Infrastructural services were transferred to the engineering
department, demolition to a separate Anti-Squatting Unit, livelihood to a Women's Circle.
MSO is consolidating its plans and services especially in the area of infrastructural
services and livelihood, which are the basic assistance of the MSO to the resettlement
communities. It has almost scrapped the "Project Officers Arrangements" and
considered the "Presidents' Circle" as a better alternative for dialogue and feedback.
C) Building Capacities
The capacity-building program of communities should be sought by the associations.
Social reorientation is of highest consideration. Empowerment and not dole out is the
order of the day.
Part VIM. Replicability of Practices
The "in-city" location of the resettlement program is one approach worth replicating. It is
a manifestation of the care and attention that socially disadvantaged group like squatters
should deserve as part of the family of the City of Marikina. They were not displaced.
Instead, they were given the opportunity to exercise their right to property while
regulating the right of the socially advantaged group to own more property. They
participated in decisions and policy-making that affected their lives and the lives of those
for whom they're responsible for.
Institutionalization through Marikina Settlement Code
The codification of the resettlement program into the Marikina Settlement Code is also a
replicable practice. The code institutionalized the program and the institutional
arrangement, which any administration could continue or sustain. The MSO as an
institutional arrangement fully supported administratively and financially by the city
government delivered the resettlement program alongside the vision and thrust of an
equally successful economy of the city characterized by urban renewal and a booming
business environment in the city.
Community Monitoring and Feedback System
The "project officer's system", which was scrapped in the latter stage, is a replicable
practice at the initial stage of a resettlement program. The city government was able to
penetrate the communities and was able to work on the information and feedback
learned from the project officers who were residents of the communities. The system
bridged the gap between the community and the city government.
Risk Management of Originatorship Scheme
The City Government assumed full responsibility and commitment under the
originatorship scheme of the CMP. The city matched the CMP funds with 10% of its city
budget to cover the cost of infrastructural services for the resettlement communities.
The city government enforced social reorientation in empowering and building the
capacities of resettlement communities. This is one replicable practice that made
communities more self-reliant in managing their affairs. During the latter stage of the
resettlement program, the city government changed its approach. Only those
community associations with proven commitment and capability to enhance the
improvement of the community are given priority by the city government's infrastructure
and livelihood projects. The shift was made due to the shaping up of the "dole-out"
mentality among resettled communities. Meaning, communities were encouraged to
exert its best effort at facilitating the take out of their loans under the CMP before such
other services could be availed. These services also come in the form of trainings and
Urban Poor network
The Presidents' Circle among resettlement communities is a replicable practice for
empowerment and responsible management of power relations with the city
government. This practice is still in the infant stage but with great potentials of evolving
as a good community level network that will help shape more purposive participation
mechanism in the city.
The strong political will and the vision orientation of the leader made the resettlement of
Marikina a great success. While the style of leadership of the former Mayor was
attacked at all fronts in and outside the Marikina City, the outcome of the program
vindicated him. As residents of Marikina City, we are witnesses to his "calibrated
consultation and strong leadership," which facilitated to a large extent, the effective
management of the development goals of the city vis-a-vis responding to the critical
situation of housing of the urban poor. This is replicable in areas governed by leaders
with high emotional quotient who could withstand pressures.
Assertion of Independence
The city government's competence in responsibly exercising its independence while
pursuing cooperation from national agencies was a remarkable practice. Such
independent thinking and disposition helped shun away the interventionist attitude of
most observers, especially at the time when the city leadership was at the helm of
managing the risks and limitations of the resettlement program, as well as, the conflicting
perceptions of supporters and critiques of the city government's leadership.
Compliance with Global Strategy on Shelter and Human Rights
This is one best practice in keeping with some parameters of housing rights advocated
under the Global strategy for shelter in year 2000 such as adequate privacy, adequate
space, adequate security, adequate lighting and ventilation, adequate basic
infrastructure, adequate location close to work and basic facilities, appropriate means -
all at a reasonable cost. 28 One good thing about the resettlement program in Marikina
City was its close link with urban renewal. In other traditional practices in the past,
government assigns resettlement sites in far away places causing undue dislocation of
families and households from their sources of livelihood and education for their children.
Relocating families within the city is one way of operationalizing one basic human rights
principle of "giving attention to vulnerable sectors of society". Hence, the progressive
planning and implementation of resettling communities in Marikina City is in keeping with
the state obligation to provide housing to the maximum of its available resources. Its
replication to be more successful should consider the enhancement of appropriate
procedural protection and due process which are essential aspects of human rights
pertinent to forced evictions. This procedural protection should be further enhanced in
Marikina City and other LGUs, through their incorporation in their Settlement Code.
These are: a) an opportunity for genuine consultation with those affected, b) adequate
and reasonable notice for all affected persons prior to the scheduled date of eviction, c)
information on the proposed eviction and where applicable on the alternative purpose for
which the land or housing is to be used, d) especially where groups of people are
involved, government officials or their representatives to be present during the eviction,
e) all persons carrying the eviction to be properly identified, f) evictions not to take place
in particularly bad weather or at night unless the affected persons consent otherwise, g)
provision of legal remedies, and h) provision, where possible, of legal aid to persons who
are in need of it to seek redress from the courts.
Acquiescence with Public Administration Concept
The twin goals of development and socio-economic progress guided well the practice of
public administration in the resettlement program of Marikina City. The city leadership
played effectively the interaction of politics, administration and civil society 29 in the
matter of responding to the housing problem in the city. The city leadership truly
demonstrated political representation and accountability over the concerns and interest
of the vulnerable and marginalized segments of the city. Hand-in-hand, the leadership
also practiced genuine administration with its consistent implementation of settlement
policies and code and the exercise of political power and observance of the rule of law in
the resettlement program. In consonance with empowering civil society, the leadership
also provided opportunities for the organization of communities for better representation
of their development demands and contributions. The interplay of politics, administration
and civil society surfaces when the need to bring about reforms and changes in society
becomes pronounced, as demonstrated in the case of the resettlement program of
28 CESR General Comment 4. 1991 p. 23.
29 B. Guy Peters and John Piere. Introduction: The Role of Public Administration in Governing . Handbook
of Public Administration. SAGE Publications. 2003. p 3.
OFFICE OF THE MAYOR
CITY SETTLEMENTS DEPARTMENT
• Develop, regulate and maintain squatter free
vision of the city
• Formulate policy guidelines and implement
• Develop and implement a comprehensive urban
poor housing progra
HOUSING & HOMESITE
• Maintain office records
• Plan & design practical &
• Develop & implement
• Maintain office
program for the poor
network and approaches
• Provide mechanism for
fixture, machines and
for housing delivery
• Develop & enforce
acquisition & land
• Formulate personnel
approved scheme for
• Facilitate conversion of
• Effect comprehensive
appropriate lands as
• Control proliferation of
• Effect sound
squatters, act as mediator
• Plan & implement compre-
and enforce laws
pertinent to urban and
hensive livelihood & skills
training program to comple-
ment housing services
Marikina Settlements Office Brochure. November 2005.
Demolition Cases Filed with the Commission on Human Rights 3
Place of Incident
Victory Hills Suddv. Parang
Victory Mill, Parang
Lower Paraiso, Marikina City
Tandang Sora St., Parang
Taken from the Data Base of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).
SAMPLE RESPONSES OF RESIDENTS INTERVIEWED 32
Community Satisfaction Rating Slip
1 . Kayo po ba ay
nagkaroon ng katiyakan o
security of tenure sa lupa
at pabahay dito sa inyong
(Did you experience
security of tenure in the
resettlement site of your
2. Ano po ang mga
• Tubig (Water)
• Haw (Electricity)
ninyo sa pagtira dito sa
• Malinis at tahimik (Clean & Peaceful)
(Which services are you
• Seguridad sa lupa at bahay (Security
getting while staying in the
to housing and land)
• Kolekta ng basura (Collection of
3. Kayo po ba ay
nasisiyahan sa pagtira
dito sa inyong komunidad
(Are you satisfied living in
3. Ano po ang inyong
mapabuti ang inyong
• Trabaho (Work/Livelihood)
• Educational assistance
(What are your
• Kongkretong daan (Concrete road)
suggestions for the
betterment of your
4. Ano po ang maaari
• Paghiwalay ng basura (Separation of
ninyong maitulong upang
umunlad ang inyong
• Kalinisan (Cleanliness)
• Pagsunod sa mga ordinansa at mga
(What are the things that
batas (To obey the local ordinances
you can help to improve
Data gathered during the interview conducted on 02-03 February 2006, with the beneficiaries of the
program from Nangka, Tumana, Sto. Nino, and San Miguel Realty in Fortune, Parang, Marikina City.
HOW CMP OPERATES
The CMP is a mortgage financing program. The program caters to organized
marginalized communities to purchase and develop a piece of land under the concept of
community ownership. Its funding has been institutionalized in the government system
through the comprehensive and Integrated Shelter and Finance Act (CISFA). The
program conceives an incremental approach in developing the sites and facilities of the
community and their respective homes depending on their affordability levels. 33
Mortgage payments are temporarily treated as rentals, and the title stays with the
community, until the beneficiaries have paid the full amount of the loan. Individual titles
are then given to them. In this program, residents of depressed areas are given the
opportunity to own a lot they occupy, or legally own an area they choose to resettle in.
They can also gradually improve this lot, the facilities available on it, and their own
homes based on their capacity to pay. There are steps in the CMP process. It starts with
a group of squatters applying for assistance from the local government or a Non -
Government Organization to acquire a piece of land, which could be the area they
currently occupy or intend to occupy as a relocation site. A key feature of this housing
program is the Originator. This may either be a local government or a non -government
organization that will assist the community association in setting up its organizational
systems for the housing project as well as provide technical assistance in the
preparation and submission of required documents.
i3 See, CESR Comment 4 (1991) where provision on affordability requires that the state parties should
establish housing subsidies for those unable to obtain affordable housing as well as form of housing finance,
Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. (1 991 ). General Comment 4.
Demolition Cases in Marikina. (2005). CHR Data Base.
Koffi Annan. UN Secretary General. (2004). Human Rights Dimension of Poverty. Office of the
United nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Local Government Support Program. (2005). Enhancing Shelter Provision at the Local Level .
Service Delivery with Impact: A Resource Book for Local Government pp.1 -1 05.
Marikina City Government. Socio-Economic Profile, 1990-1998.
http://www. marikina. gov. ph/pages\facts-and-figures\social-services\ff-social-housing.jsp
Marikina's Informal Settlers. (January 2006).
Marikina City "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marikina City.
Peters B. Guy and Piere John. (2003). Introduction: The Role of Public Administration in
Governing . Handbook of Public Administration. SAGE Publications, p 3.
Rebullida Ma. Lourdes G. D.P.A. (1998). Case Feature in the Local Government Originated
Community Mortgage Program - Processes and Cases in the Implementation of a
Socialized Housing Program. A Publication of the Philippine Business for Social
Progress. October 1998.
Squatter-Free Marikina: Marikina Settlements Office. (January 2006).
Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights. Fact Sheet No.21, The Human Right
to Adequate Housing.
Seminar Report on Urban Poor Community Upgrading LGU-lnitiated Approaches for Housing the
Social Economic Planning Office (SEPO). An Economic and Social Development Framework:
Five Pillars of Growth. September 2004.
The Rights-Based Development: A Training Manual. July 2002.
The Settlement Program. Marikina Settlements Office. January 2006.
Tordecilla, Charito Chiuco. (1998) The Gatekeepers of Marikina: A Case of In-City Relocation
and Management of a Squatter Free Community. Ateneo School of Government.
Turner Mark and David Hulme. (1997). Governance, Administration and Development: Making
the State Work. USA: Kumarian Press, Inc.