4.18.03 Case Study – A Synchronized Urban Poor cum CLUP Dataset

Mon, 11/26/2007 - 18:02
Ormoc Situation Today
The underlying reasons for the existence of informal settlements are poverty, population growth, urbanization, land scarcity and environmental hazards. In informal settlements most of the houses have been built by the families who occupy them. Infrastructure and services are lacking, and the house materials are of a temporary nature. Some informal settlements illegally occupy land that is often in a hazardous location. The inhabitants usually work in the informal sectors and their incomes are low.

The general solution adopted to low-income informal settlements by most of the ‘formal’ stakeholders in the Philippines is the relocation of the dwellers to new homes in subsidized housing areas usually located far from their areas of work or livehood. However, the pace of such transformation activities may accompany negative effects in the form of unaffordable rents and extended commuting. As a result, the relocated families tend to return to their former areas to find a source of income. Consequently, other solutions have to be sought in order to address these effects.

Urban development and wealth is created by the inhabitants of the area through economic, cultural and social activities. Stable conditions that support property rights imply the prediction of risks in order to mitigate them, thus promoting sustainable development. Besides land, inhabitants of urban areas need public services like water and sewerage, transportation, power etc., and social services for health, education and cultural activities. Local authorities need to be able to provide suitable conditions for these services and guarantee the necessary coordination among the different activities. In order to do this, local (and central) authorities require access to information about the land, its use, and the actors using the land in the area.

While studying the prepared CLUPs in the pilot municipalities/cities, it was found that the housing sector of the CLUP does not fully recognize the need to focus on the situation for the urban poor, and the requisite actions to halt the proliferation of informal settlements, and to improve the situation for informal settlers. The housing sector component of the CLUP normally contains the usual government policies and some pilot projects, but there is hardly any analysis and substantial proposals for alleviating the housing situation. Comprehensive overviews are not found and the Plans are not able to present any documentation on the low-income informal settlements, which should be a minimum requirement. While the municipality / city is in charge of providing services and implementing programs and projects for poverty alleviation, such actions are not found in the CLUP.

An ongoing project involving HLURB, HUDCC and Quezon City will hopefully result in more detailed guidelines on how to map informal settlements which will be added to the GIS Cookbook in the future.

In the Ormoc City CLUP, there is also very minimal information about informal settlements. Currently there is a specific unit within the Social Welfare Department called the Urban Poor Unit with a staff of four persons. This Unit coordinates with the National Housing Authority which is the agency responsible for providing housing for informal settlers through its various housing programs. However, this is not reflected in the city’s CLUP. Three years ago the Unit made an inventory and the output was a table showing the number of underprivileged families by Barangay. The information about the informal settlers was provided by Barangay officials. The Mayor has requested for a new survey.

(Picture of data from Urban Poor Unit)

The proposal presents a simple system based on the current ‘computer appreciation level’ in Ormoc City. The system can be developed into a more sophisticated one in the future, such as a network corporate solution.

1 Two Excel spreadsheets will be sufficient to start with. One that shows the distribution of informal settler families by Barangays with the following indicators
2 The data in combination with the Demography Basic Information can be used as a base for analysis such as:
‘Show me what Barangays have the most concentration of informal settlers families in relation to total population (and the Barangay land area)’
(Map with Barangay boundaries with an overlay of informal settlers families per total Barangay population density)
Note that the common denominator for 'Population' must be synchronized in the CLUP data. Should it be 'Household' (one household can house more than one family), 'Family' (one family consists of six persons on an average) or 'Persons?’

3 If the settlers are occupying extensive land areas, the following table will illustrate the key indicators:
4 During the field inventory staff from Urban Poor Unit brings a handheld GPS and takes readings of the ‘corners’ of the informal settlement area. Depending on staff skills and experience, the process of recording location by GPS will be done using the same methodology as given in Chapter 4.19.01???, or a more sophisticated recording can be made.
5 The GPS recordings are handed over to the planning unit. The planning staff will translate the GPS readings into locations on the digital map of Ormoc City.
Distribution of Responsibilities
The Urban Poor Unit under the Social Welfare Department will be the prime user of the Municipal informal settlers GIS and consequently will be the ‘caretaker’ or custodian of the table objects of the Excel spreadsheets.

The Planning Unit, which has the overall responsibility of spatial data in Ormoc City, will be in charge of keeping the map layers up to date.

Hardware Requirements
An up to date computer, an A3 printer and a GPS are needed for the GIS. The GPS can be borrowed from the Planning Department and it is also recommended that the Planning Department help the Urban Poor Unit with printouts of the informal settlers maps.

MS Office with Excel is needed to manage the table object database. The Planning Unit will need GIS software such as ArcView and Arc Reader to provide the GIS to the Urban Poor Unit. A freeware browser mention can be used by the Urban Poor Unit in the beginning and later on ArcIMS can be used. The initial cost will be?????,. The software however can be used to serve all other municipal offices.

Basic training in Windows and MS Office is needed (2-3 days?). Likewise, there should be training on how to browse and print information from the GIS (1 day), including training on how to use a GPS (half day). The Planning Unit has skills in all operations needed to manage the GIS.

The data is secure, provided that regular backups are done.

Other advantages for a digital archiving include ease of update, reproduction and analysis.

The Urban Poor Unit will have a comprehensive and transparent documentation of its tasks and will be able to analyze, monitor, project and present the essentials. If the data is properly encoded in the system, it can answer questions such as:

  1. ‘Show which Barangays had the largest growth of informal settlement areas between 2000 and 2005’;
  2. ‘Show (on a map) which informal settlements are occupying private land’.

The Planning Unit will have a good picture of what’s going on in the municipality/city with regard to expansion of informal settlements, which is very useful information for the next revision of the CLUP.

Similar GIS applications can be made for the Housing Improvement Programs that are introduced to prevent illegal settlements.

04.18.03_UrbanPoor.pdf369.07 KB
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