CSO Land and Housing Forum Held

On October 9, 2023, a milestone event took place in General Santos City as the City Housing and Land Management Office (CHLMO) hosted its inaugural Civil Society Organization (CSO) Land and Housing Forum. This gathering of passionate stakeholders marked a pivotal moment in the city’s commitment to addressing the housing needs of its most vulnerable residents.

Diverse Participation and Collaborative Spirit

The forum, held at the warm and inviting Yolach’s Venue and Catering Services in Barangay Mabuhay, saw attendees from various backgrounds. These included representatives from non-government organizations (NGOs), peoples’ organizations (POs), mobilizers, project facilitators, and affordable housing developers. These dedicated individuals and groups have collaborated closely with local and national government bodies to provide essential security and improve the quality of life for thousands of homeless and disadvantaged citizens in General Santos City.

A standout participant in the CSO Land and Housing Forum was the KPS Foundation, a local non-profit organization with a resolute commitment to empowering communities through sustainable development initiatives. The KPS Foundation was represented by delegates from its various projects and programs, including homeowners’ associations (HOAs) associated with different LANDS and CMP projects.

Participants during the CSO Land and Housing Forum

Unity for a Common Cause

In his opening remarks, Karl M. Queipo, an administrative officer at CHLMO, emphasized the critical importance of fostering coordination and collaboration among all stakeholders in the development and implementation of sustainable housing solutions. He highlighted the need for inputs from government shelter agencies, NGOs, and the communities themselves to ensure the efficient and effective utilization of available resources.

Queipo stated, “The ultimate goal is to provide every resident with access to a safe and affordable place to call home. Furthermore, we recognize the vital role of civil society organizations (CSOs) in the development of a comprehensive risk-sensitive shelter plan. This plan serves as a framework for coordinated and effective action, aiming to enhance access to safe, affordable, and adequate housing for all.”

Addressing the Housing Backlog

One pressing issue brought to the forefront during the CSO Land and Housing Forum was the significant housing backlog that General Santos City is contending with. The government estimates that approximately 6.5 million housing units are needed nationwide to accommodate low-income families, with a substantial portion of this demand, approximately 48,000 units, attributed to General Santos City. The causes of this backlog are multifaceted, including rapid urbanization, persistent poverty, and a scarcity of affordable housing options.

Karl M. Queipo, General Santos CHLMO Administrative Officer during his Opening Remarks
Reading of DHSUD’s Message of Support by Dir. Girafil Cabalquinto represented by Jayharie Mantil – Division Chief HRERD, DHSUD 12

The Power of Partnership

The CSO Land and Housing Forum also shone a spotlight on the commendable efforts of homeowners’ associations (HOAs) working closely with local government units. These partnerships have given rise to transformative developmental projects, often commencing with generous donations of community spaces. These initiatives not only enhance residents’ living conditions but also cultivate a sense of community pride and shared responsibility.

The CSO Land and Housing Forum served as a valuable platform for stakeholders to exchange experiences, glean insights from one another’s best practices, and establish new partnerships to further their shared goal of ensuring that every resident has a safe and decent place to live.

A Commitment to Progress

The KPS Foundation is fully dedicated to playing its part in supporting the city’s housing initiatives. Through its various programs and projects, the foundation is actively working to empower communities, improve access to affordable housing, and promote sustainable development.

The CSO Land and Housing Forum signifies a substantial stride in General Santos City’s efforts to address the critical issue of housing accessibility and affordability. Through collaborative efforts, the city and its dedicated stakeholders are tirelessly striving to ensure that every resident can enjoy the fundamental human right of secure and adequate housing. This event symbolizes the unity and determination needed to create a brighter future for all of General Santos City’s residents.

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