FIRST CRACK:PCUP to prepare Marawi villages infra

The Presidential Commission on Urban Poor has assumed the lead role in helping prepare the communities of Marawi City for government interventions as part of Task Force Bangon Marawi.

‘We will be doing the social preparations which means that we are tasked to engage the communities to enable us to come up with the baseline data that will guide government in putting up infrastructure on the ground,” said lawyer Noel Felongco, chairman of the PCUP.

The PCUP is in Davao City for a four-day workshop to review its mission and vision in its bid to strike a balance between environmental sustainability and urban communities.

The workshop also tackled for the first time a five-year urban poor development plan for the years 2018-2022 that will guide the commission in complementing the administration’s ‘Build, build, build’ development policy.

Felongco said a PCUP team led by Commissioner Romeo H. Jandugan and lawyer Ferdinand Iman (PCUP-Mindanao head) will be in Marawi City on April 10 to conduct an initial assessment of communities.

“We intend to identify the communities affected, their leaders and different stakeholders,’ said Atty. Iman, adding the PCUP will also be linking up with key local officials.

Felongco said the PCUP is mandated under Executive Order No. 69 to “undertake social preparation activities related to asset reform, human development and basic social services, employment and livelihood and other programs of the government.”

Under the framework, the PCUP has adopted as its vision, “Clean, green disaster-resilient, healthy, secure and economically progressive urban poor communities.”

“That can be shortened to Green, Green and Green,” said Felongco.

He said the PCUP is looking forward to the day when the word ‘poor’ is no longer to be equated with urban communities.

The PCUP, one of several agencies under Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco, was created in 1986 through Executive Order No. 82.

It was conceived primarily to coordinate the speedy implementation of government policies and programs for the poor.

It was also meant to set up a consultative mechanism which shall provide a forum for continuing dialogue between the government and the urban poor on the proper planning and evaluation of programs and projects affecting them.

Last month Felongco met with urban poor associations to thresh out issues related to land acquisition in Davao City. He also held a meeting with the PCUP-Mindanao staff headed by Ferdinand Iman, chief of operations, to review policies and directions.

He said the PCUP will play an active role in integrated environmental protection and solid waste management to pave the way for green technologies and urban gardening.

Felongco, a former undersecretary of the Department of Environment, said the PCUP will also work to ensure security of tenure for the country’s various urban poor communities.(JKL)nbsp;