The Kaantabay sa Kauswagan Program: A Close Look at a “Secure Tenure” Poverty Reduction Program in Naga City, Philippines

Fitzwilliam College

Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Land Economy 2003/2004


Certification ............................................................................................................. Acknowledgements .................................................................................................. Abstract .................................................................................................................... Abbreviations and Acronyms ................................................................................... List of Tables and Figures ........................................................................................ Chapter 1 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 2 2.1 2.2 2.3 3 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 4 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 5 5.1 INTRODUCTION ....................................................................................... Program Background ................................................................................... The Global Campaign for Secure Tenure .................................................... Research Questions ....................................................................................... Structure of the Research .............................................................................

iii iv v vi vii Page 1 1 2 3 5

THEORETICAL AND CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK .......................... 6 Key concepts behind the Kaantabay program ............................................. 6 Theoretical Foundations ............................................................................... 8 Conceptual Framework ................................................................................ 11 THE KAANTABAY SA KAUSWAGAN PROGRAM: A PROFILE .............. The Setting ................................................................................................... The Local Housing Market .......................................................................... The Kaantabay sa Kauswagan Program ...................................................... Program Mechanics ...................................................................................... Summary ...................................................................................................... ANALYSIS .................................................................................................. Market Failure: The Case for Government Intervention .............................. Beyond Welfare Economics: Empowerment of the Urban Poor ................. Managing Urban Development: Bridging the Ideal and the Real ................ Summary ...................................................................................................... 12 13 13 16 18 30 37 37 40 41 43

SYNTHESIS ................................................................................................ 45 Evaluation Research Questions and Methodology ....................................... 45

APPENDIX .............................................................................................................. 47 REFERENCES ......................................................................................................... 50



18 July 2004

I, Wilfredo B. Prilles, Jr., certify that the attached dissertation is my own original work, and that it does not exceed the permitted length.

Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge



In bringing this nine-month project to reality, I am greatly indebted to the Ford Foundation for the opportunity to experience Cambridge and be part of a great academic institution under its International Fellowship Program (IFP). I am also grateful for the help extended by the following individuals and group: • Dr. John McCombie, my supervisor, for his wise counsel and kind consideration of my particular circumstance • Mr. Barry Moore, Dr. Peter Tyler, Dr. Nicola Morrison and Dr. Shailaja Fennell for their invaluable insights on policy evaluation, housing and development • Mr. D.C. Nathan Sergio and Mr. Rolando Campillos, former and present head of the Naga Urban Poor Affairs Office, respectively, for sharing key data and understanding about the Kaantabay program, and • The Central Cambridge Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses who helped ease the burden of being away from my loved ones. Of course, everything would not have been possible without my wife Lynn; our children Ezekiel, Jack Ryan, Sofia Loraine, Hilary Joan and Patricia Anne; my mother-inlaw, Corazon Reoveros; and my parents, Wilfredo, Sr. and Helen Prilles. Their abiding faith, boundless understanding and untold sacrifices enabled me to live a dream. To them, this work is lovingly dedicated.



The city of Naga in the Philippines has been implementing a social housing program called “Kaantabay sa Kauswagan” since 1989. Focusing on providing affordable homelots to urban poor residents of the city, the program exhibits key elements of the Global Campaign for Secure Tenure launched by UN-HABITAT to attain the Millennium Development Goal of bringing 100 million residents out of slum conditions worldwide by 2020. Arguing that the program is ripe for policy evaluation, the study takes a close look by profiling the Kaantabay program and subjecting it to institutional analysis that takes account of its economic, social and political dimensions. The profile shows a local authority that succeeded in mobilizing community resources to multiply its own; in implementing creative approaches to land acquisition through tripartism; and in addressing social exclusion by empowering the urban poor sector. The economic analysis explored textbook justifications for the city government’s intervention in the local housing market riddled with externalities and distributional failures. A multi-level social analysis informed traditional sociological perspectives by demonstrating a parallel empowerment of the urban poor alongside state-centered power dynamics involving the political elite. The political analysis affirmed the mediating role of elected political leaders in managing urban development that requires them to balance competing interest among stakeholders. Additionally, it demonstrates that commitment to the public good, guided by the Smithian concept of “enlightened self-interest” can be politically beneficial. On the basis of a richer, more textured characterisation of the program using a multi-dimensional analytical framework, it proposes a methodology and list of possible research questions for formal evaluation of the Kaantabay program.




Asian Coalition of Housing Rights Asian Development Bank Assisted self-help Bureau of Local Government Finance Cost-Benefit Analysis Cost-Benefits Balance Sheet Central Business District Cost-Effectiveness Analysis Community Mortgage Program Commission on Audit Community Organization of the Philippines Enterprise Chamber of the Real Estate and Builder’s Association Focus group discussion Federation of International Surveyors Global Campaign for Secure Tenure Government Financial Institution Good urban governance Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council Liberty Commercial Center Millennium Development Goals Naga City People’s Council National Economic Development Authority Non-government organizations National Housing Authority Philippine Peso Private Financial Institution People’s organizations Technology of Participation United Kingdom United Nations United Nations Centre for Housing Settlements United Nations Human Settlement Program Urban Poor Affairs Office United States Urban Shelter and Community Infrastructure Project Value for Money World Bank



Table 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Page Housing Industry Profile, Philippines .......................................................... 14 Program Objectives, Kaantabay sa Kauswagan .......................................... 17 Completed and Ongoing Projects, Kaantabay sa Kauswagan Program .................................................................................... 32 Operating Budget and Funding Sources, 1994-2000 .................................... 34 Comparative Land Acquisition Approaches, Kaantabay sa Kauswagan Program ..................................................................................... 35

Figure 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Page Conceptual Framework of the Case Study.................................................... 11 Location Map and Key Statistics on Naga ................................................... 12 The Naga Governance Framework .............................................................. 18 Kaantabay’s Role in Local Housing Efforts of the City Government................................................................................................... 20 The Economics of the Kaantabay Program ................................................. 38




On October 1, 2000, the eve of World Habitat Day, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) held the African launch of the Global Campaign for Secure Tenure in Durban, South Africa. This global advocacy, a key thrust of the human settlements arm of the UN system, seeks to address poverty and homelessness and has now been adopted in a number of countries worldwide. One of the invited guests to keynote the launch is the former city mayor of Naga, a small city in central Philippines, around 7,000 miles away from South Africa. On the surface, the choice of Mayor Jesse M. Robredo seems to reinforce the internationality of the event; but there is logic to it as well. Under Robredo’s leadership, Naga had been implementing a secure tenure program called “Kaantabay sa Kauswagan” (literally, partners in development) for more than a decade, apparently with a good measure of success.


Conceptually, the program (hereinafter referred to as Kaantabay) is a form of

social housing. At its core is securing tenurial rights for urban poor beneficiaries. This is accomplished by acquiring the landholding they are occupying through various innovative schemes, with the city government playing a critical facilitative and mediating role. When negotiations are completed, the beneficiaries are then able to amortize their homelots under very affordable terms through community mortgage. When the landholding is fully paid up, property rights to individual homelots are transferred to beneficiaries, thereby facilitating asset building by the poor.


But Kaantabay is more than just a simple social housing initiative by the local state. As an urban poverty program, it addresses the difficult challenges being faced by local authorities and urban managers, particularly in developing countries. Anna

Kajumulo Tibaijuka, UN-HABITAT executive director, described some of these challenges: Lack of access to land, and fear of eviction, epitomise a more pervasive exclusion from mainstream social, economic and civic opportunities, especially for women. Precarious conditions generate poverty as people have no future in which to invest. As their numbers keep mounting, the prospects for our collective sustainable urban development look bleak. (UN-HABITAT 2003a, 6) Crafted in response to a petition for government assistance by nine urban poor organizations during a visit to Naga by then President Corazon Aquino late in 1987, the Kaantabay program appears to have gone a long way in meeting the challenges described by Tibaijuka. In 1994, it won the Gantimpalang Panlingkod Pook (Galing Pook) award as one of the country’s 20 most outstanding local government programs. In 1996, the UN Centre for Housing Settlements (UNCHS, now UN-HABITAT) cited it as one of the world’s 40 best practices during the second City Summit in Istanbul, Turkey. It also received a similar recognition from the UK-based Building and Social Housing Foundation (BSHF).


The Global Campaign for Secure Tenure (GCST) is one of two parallel advocacies

being pursued by UN-HABITAT, the other focusing on good urban governance (GUG). The campaign seeks to implement the Habitat Agenda adopted during the Istanbul City Summit in 1996, where “affordable shelter for all” became an overarching goal. In 2000, it became part of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) adopted by the UN General


Assembly. Item 11 of the 18 targets comprising the MDG aims to bring out 100 million residents out of slum conditions by 2020 (Tebbal and Ray 2001). It is a relatively modest target, representing only 10% of the estimated 1 billion population worldwide that live in slums and shanty towns. And unless the campaign bears fruit, the number is only expected to go higher as two-thirds of the global population shall be living in cities by 2050, when the MDG is supposed to have been long attained. The magnitude of the problem has clear economic implications. The current shelter strategy, which has viewed slums in a kinder, more positive light, is an offshoot of failed housing policies of the ‘60s and ‘70s, particularly resource-intensive publicly provided housing. Securing tenurial right for the burgeoning urban poor population is a key

element of this strategy, owing to its catalytic effect. According to UN-HABITAT, secure tenure “invariably leads to other processes and issues vital to sustainable shelter delivery and upgrading. Countless examples reveal that when people are given security of tenure, they tend to invest in the improvement of their homes and neighbourhoods (Cobbett 2001).” Of course, this assisted self-help (ASH) approach that taps into community resources is a pragmatic strategy as well, given the widening gap between growing demand on one hand, and the budgetary constraints facing both governments as well as international development institutions worldwide on the other.


The emerging experience arising from the campaign’s implementation worldwide,

particularly in Latin America, India and Africa, have spelled out key principles and concepts that go beyond the ambit of basic shelter provision. They include housing rights for all; security of tenure as essential for city stability, human dignity and urban development; gender equity; partnership; negotiated resettlements instead of forced 3

evictions; transparent and open land markets to fight corruption and reduce speculation; and land availability to meet the needs of urban poor (Tebbal and Ray 2001). These key principles and concepts already go beyond UN-HABITAT’s definition of security of tenure, well into the realm of sustainable urban development and good governance. Essentially, they represent a bridging of its two parallel global campaigns, which is what the Naga experience is all about. In view of the foregoing, a case can be made for subjecting the Kaantabay program to formal policy evaluation. By predating the GCST by around 10 years, it can provide a useful benchmark for the effectiveness and efficiency of the global advocacy. By

addressing as well the GUG norms as envisioned under UN-HABITAT’s parallel global campaign, it can contribute to ongoing research on good governance in an urban context, especially for developing countries. By embodying the essential features of a poverty reduction program as conceptualized by international development agencies, particularly the World Bank, it can inform and enrich the growing body of literature on poverty. But before embarking on such exercise, a close look at the “secure tenure” program is needed to lay down the groundwork for a more robust, systematic evaluation. This study therefore seeks to examine the program by seeking answers to the following questions: a) How does the “Kaantabay sa Kauswagan” program work? What has it accomplished? b) What conditions impelled the need to introduce the program in Naga City? c) In what ways does it operationalize the “secure tenure” campaign of UNHABITAT?


The investigation will use the case study method in answering the research

questions. Case study is a method used to study an individual or an institution in a unique setting or situation in as intense and as detailed a manner as possible (Salkind 1997, 211). 4

Chapter 2 begins by providing a theoretical perspective to the study. It looks at the nature of poverty and “secure tenure” which form the interrelated foundational concepts behind the Kaantabay program. Based on relevant theories underpinning these concepts, it builds a theoretical and conceptual framework that will guide the analytical part of the study. Chapter 3 addresses the first research question. It looks at secondary data from the city government, particularly documentation developed by the Urban Poor Affairs Office (UPAO) to build a program profile. These will be supplemented by background

information on Naga drawn from existing city profiles, indicators and datasets on Naga available from websites of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank. Using data from the program profile, Chapter 4 tackles the second and third research questions by analyzing its economic, social and political dimensions in the context of the framework laid out in Chapter 2. An economic analysis of the local housing market examines the justification for government intervention through the program. A

socio-political analysis looks at how the program has managed to pursue a successful “secure tenure” campaign at the local level. Chapter 5 synthesizes highlights of the study, with the end view of specifying possible research questions that can form part of a formal evaluation of the Kaantabay program.




This chapter develops a theoretical framework that will be used in analyzing the Kaantabay program, anchored on theories underpinning the interrelated foundational concepts of poverty and “secure tenure.”


Poverty Poverty is usually associated with economic well-being, a function of lowness of

income. According to a World Bank economist, “poverty can be said to exist in a given society when one or more persons do not attain a level of economic well-being deemed to constitute a reasonable minimum by the standards of that society (Ravallion 1994).” In the last two decades however, mainly as a result of Sen’s works on the subject, poverty has come to be viewed as a multi-dimensional phenomenon of deprivation and vulnerability. In characterizing urban poverty, the World Bank website on “Urban

Development” identifies five dimensions of deprivation: income poverty; health poverty; education poverty; personal and tenure insecurity; and disempowerment. In urban areas, these types of deprivation often tend to feed off each other, resulting in cumulative deprivation where one dimension of poverty is often the cause or contributor to another (World Bank n.d.). Moser’s (1998) vulnerability framework is also a useful analytical tool. Vulnerability is defined as “a dynamic concept of susceptibility to risks of falling into poverty.” It is closely linked with asset ownership, on the pretext that the more assets people have, the less vulnerable they are, and the greater the erosion of people’s assets, the greater their insecurity. Like deprivation, vulnerability is associated with five types of


assets: labour; human capital (health, education, skills and ability to work); productive assets (of which housing is the most important); household relations; and social capital. Finally, social exclusion is another important notion in the discussion of poverty. It is associated with depriving somebody from any right previously granted, or normally granted, to those recognized as full members of a given community or society (World Bank 2001, 22). Its relevance to poverty arises from shifting the concept away from merely focusing on the issues of income inequality and material exclusion dominant in the Anglo-Saxon view to incorporate the social and cultural dimension of the exclusionary processes emphasized by the French corporatist model. It is even contended that “social exclusion is broader than poverty in considering issues of social participation and rights realization, as well as processes.” In explaining the advantage of bringing in social exclusion as a complementary concept, the same technical note argues: Beyond being “goods-centered”, the analysis of social exclusion is “peoplecentered” and “institutions-centered”. It also contains both an objective and subjective dimension, to the degree that it considers both the objective conditions of people’s lives and their perceptions of being connected or disconnected from wider spheres of social, political and cultural life….The value added by a social exclusion perspective lies in the emphasis on dynamic processes where both institutions and agents are involved. (World Bank 2001, 23) 2.1.2 Secure tenure Secure tenure is still an evolving concept, owing to different situations that vary between countries and regions. UN-HABITAT’s definition is primarily concerned with the protection of an individual against involuntary removal from land or residential property. Security of tenure describes an agreement between an individual or group to land and residential property which is governed and regulated by a legal and administrative framework. Security derives from the fact that the right of access to and use of the land and property is underwritten by a known set of


rules, and that this right is justiciable. Tenure can be effected in a variety of ways, depending on constitutional and legal frameworks, social norms, cultural values and, to some extent, individual preference. (UN-HABITAT n.d.) Notwithstanding international variation, UN-HABITAT has generalized those necessary for the goal of “affordable shelter for all” as a continuum of tenure types: from the weakest (perceived tenure security) to the strongest (freehold titles/deeds). A relatively more expansive definition advanced by the Federation of International Surveyors (FIG) comprises of three elements, two of which have economic dimensions: protection against eviction; the possibility of selling, and transferring rights through inheritance; and the possibility of having a mortgage and access to credit under certain conditions (UN-HABITAT 2003a, 7-8).


Capabilities theory The individual is central to Sen’s (1999) theory; he argues that development

becomes meaningful only if it guarantees an individual’s attainment of certain freedoms or capabilities, including economic, social and political. To Sen, political freedoms,

economic facilities, social opportunities, transparency guarantees and protective security are the key instrumental freedoms that tend to contribute to the general capability of a person to live more freely (Sen 1999, 38-40). The capabilities theory recognizes the multi-dimensionality of poverty. While conceding that shortage of income is a major cause, Sen contends that poverty actually arises from the inability of certain functionings by an individual that collectively limits his capabilities. Thus, as well as unemployment (resulting to income poverty), lack of access to education, health care, and political rights (forms of non-income poverty) inhibits an individual to function fully well—and hence, dimensions of capability deprivation.


Consequently, economic growth, in Sen’s conception, is seen only as a means to, not as an end of, development—insofar as it contributes to an individual’s attainment of freedoms. 2.2.2 Market failure Market failure provides the fundamental rationale for government intervention in markets (Stiglitz 2000, 77). Theoretically, a perfectly competitive market freely decides what, how and for whom to produce in the most efficient way, as if guided by what Adam Smith called an “invisible hand” (Begg, Fischer and Dornbusch 2003, 8-9). But in the real world, market failures exist, preventing market systems from achieving allocative and productive efficiency. Whitehead (2003) said this applies to housing, which suffers from significant market failures, particularly at the bottom end. Among others, this is ascribed to direct, interactive and intergenerational externalities that lead to underinvestment in both new development and improvement of existing stocks. These externalities are compounded by lack of information and information asymmetry that put consumers at disadvantage. Further, the housing market is characterized by continual disequilibrium which results to distributional issues that mostly affects the poor. Stiglitz (2000) points out that income distributional issues provide an impetus for government intervention in the market. In particular, barriers to capital or asset-building by the poor are central to De Soto’s (2000) controversial thesis that the absence of legally integrated property systems that can convert their “dead capital” is the main reason why capitalism has triumphed in the West and failed elsewhere. 2.2.3 Political economy In the real world as well, policymaking does not exist in a vacuum.


Acocella (1998) ascribes this to the following realities: (1) The economic system is not composed of anonymous agents but rather of classes or groups of individuals with shared characteristics or needs. These individuals tend organize and act jointly to ensure that their preferences prevail over those of other groups. (2) Policymakers are equally not anonymous representatives of the public interest but can in fact be divided into politicians and bureaucrats who are faced with agency problems. The study of political economy employs the concepts of power, class and institutions (which traditionally belong to the realm of other social sciences) in approaching economic problems. While the approach lacks a clear and unifying

conceptual structure, it offers valuable insights for a more realistic treatment of economic policy problems (Acocella 1998, 204). For instance, the interest group theory advanced by the public choice school holds that government actions are a reflection of the pressure exerted by interest groups that exist in society, both in terms of general policy attitudes or more specific interventions. Healy’s communicative planning theory underscores the political aspect of the planning process, where mediation and facilitation between competing interests among stakeholders become as important as the rational-technical-scientific dimension of it (Rydin 1998, 12). In the urban political economy, Knox (1984) speaks of community power structures and the role of the local state. While there is no properly developed and generally accepted theory of the behaviour and objectives of local government, or the “local state,” the dominant managerialist view holds that focusing on the activities and ideologies of professional decision-makers can contribute a lot to the understanding of urban sociospatial processes.



As pointed out in Chapter 1, the Kaantabay program is quite unique in the sense

that it is a social housing program with strong poverty and governance dimensions. As such, there is a need to assess it from a multi-dimensional perspective, factoring in the economic, social and political elements in the analysis. Viewed at another level, the program represents the interplay between three local institutions: the housing market, the local state and a segment of the local civil society (i.e. the urban poor). The situation therefore lends to institutional analysis as the most

appropriate analytical approach, similar to the framework used by O’Sullivan and Gibb (2003). It is envisioned that the combination and triangulation of these perspectives will contribute to a richer and more textured scrutiny of the program. Figure 1 illustrates how the study is sequenced to bring these elements together.
CHAPTER 2 Theoretical Frame Foundational concepts and theories CHAPTER 4 Analysis CHAPTER 5 Synthesis

CHAPTER 3 Program Profile Local & National Context Program Profile

Economic Policy evaluation research questions






Fig 1. Conceptual Framework of the Case Study




This chapter profiles the Kaantabay sa Kauswagan program. It begins by looking at the local context, as well as the local and national housing markets. Using secondary data from the city government supplemented by other background information on Naga, it details the program mechanics, including the governance framework upon which Kaantabay was anchored, as well as its physical, social and financial aspects.

Naga in a nutshell
Population (2000) Number of households Per capita gross city product (1998) Average annual family income Poverty incidence 140,325 25,986 US$1,953 US$4,620 29%

Fig. 2. Location map and key statistics on Naga



Naga City, with a population of around 140,000, is centrally located in Bicol, a

region comprising the southernmost portion of Luzon island in the Philippines. It is about 200 miles southeast of Manila, the country's capital (Fig. 2). As a city, Naga is one of the Philippines' oldest. Originally called Ciudad de Nueva Caceres, it was one of the five original cities created by royal Spanish decree in the late 16th century. It is seat of the 400-year old Archdiocese of Nueva Caceres that oversees the predominantly catholic region famous for the beautifully shaped but fiery Mayon volcano. Over the years, Naga has grown to become the religious, educational and business centre of Bicol, one of the country's 15 administrative regions. Today, it has developed a reputation for being a centre for innovations in local governance. In 1998, Naga received the Dubai International Award for having one of the Top 10 Best Practices worldwide in its unique participatory planning practices. In December 1999, the Asiaweek

newsmagazine cited it one of four most improved cities in Asia. And early this year, three UN entities recognized its outstanding achievements in two areas: as one of the WomenFriendly Cities of Asia-Pacific by UN-HABITAT and the United Nations Fund for Women (UNIFEM); and Public Service Award for being a local e-government by the United Nations Online Public Administration and Finance (UNPAN).1


The housing market in Naga mirrors that of the Philippines, which is a

combination of both informal and formal housing delivery. 2.2.1 Formal, informal housing


More information on Naga City is available from the website of the city government at


Government data shows that up to 40% of the total household population rely on informal housing mechanisms to meet their shelter needs (HUDCC n.d.). Independent estimates by the Global Urban Observatory place the number of slum dwellers a shade higher at 44% (UN-HABITAT 2003b, 88). This indicates the presence of considerable informal settlements, characterized by congestion and very poor living conditions, throughout most urban areas of the country. Of the 40%, the bottom 12% relies exclusively on informal housing, which is financed either through self-help or through informal credit. The rest are able to access some type of formal financing from existing government programs for low-income households to augment whatever they can raise informally. Table 1. HOUSING INDUSTRY PROFILE, PHILIPPINES
Variable Type of dwelling Demand Supply Interest rate Socialized Housing (P180,000 and below) Row houses, single detached units, walk-up buildings, etc. Growing at 5% yearly 61,000 units yearly 9% Low-Cost or Economic (P180,000-P500,000) Town houses, condos, single detached units, etc. Growing at 2% yearly 47,000 units yearly 12-16% Open Housing (P500,000-P5,000,000) Office residential units, resorts, leisure properties n.a. 4,000 units yearly Market

n.a. – Not available Sources: HUDCC website (; CREBA

In the formal housing market, which serves the relatively better-off segment of the population, there are generally three types of housing products: socialized, middle-class and high end. Their respective attributes are presented in Table 1. 2.2.2 Housing policy Housing policy is coordinated by the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDDC), the country’s highest policymaking entity on shelter that works under the Office of the President. HUDCC is a government-dominated body with some private sector and civil society representation.


Over the last three years under the Arroyo administration, a pronounced shift in housing policy was noted which explicitly gives priority attention to shelter needs of the bottom 40%. This is enunciated under the 2001-04 Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan whose policy directions state: The government's housing efforts will be mainly directed at the bottom 40 percent of households because of their inability to access the formal housing markets. This will mean providing these households with affordable socialized housing through efficient production of housing units for ownership or rental and sustainable housing finance. Intervention in the housing markets shall aim to improve the efficiency of that market, with the private sector taking the lead in the production and financing of housing units. Where necessary and to the extent that the government’s fiscal position may warrant, efficiently targeted subsidies will be utilized to make those units affordable. (NEDA n.d.) 2.2.3 Housing supply and demand In the formal sector, housing is delivered by private sector developers, which have organized themselves through the Chamber of the Real Estate and Builder’s Association (CREBA). For the informal sector, the government is engaged in direct shelter production through the National Housing Authority (NHA). Its activities focus on slum upgrading, squatter relocation, development of sites and services and construction of core housing units. From 1998-2000, around 112,000 housing packages against a target of 130,000 were delivered annually through formal housing. This contributed to further worsening of the housing backlog, estimated to reach 1.1 million for the 2001-04 planning period. This is apart from 2.2 million units required by new households, bringing total housing need to 3.3 million or an average of 1.1 million every year (HUDCC n.d.). Locally, official data show that in 1995, Naga's housing backlog stood at 6,400 and was projected to increase to 7,400 by 2000 without strong government intervention. The backlog is mainly a function of access to formal financing. Mortgage financing is largely


untapped, covering only 8% of total dwellings in the city, and underdeveloped, indicated by a low 8% mortgage-to-credit ratio (ADB 2001, 215-220). 2.2.4 Consumer profile Compared to the rest of the country, income of city residents compare favourably. In 1998, average household income stood at US$4,620 per annum, 42% higher than the Philippine average and 126% higher than the average Bicol household. Shelter-related expenditures take up 21% of the household income. The bulk is spent on food (44%). Travel, utilities, health, education and other smaller expense items account for the rest. In terms of tenure, there is a marked difference between housing and homelot ownership. While 72% of households own their housing unit, only 44% actually own their respective homelots. The difference is not as pronounced among renters, as only 18% rents their housing unit as against 23% who rent their homelots. More than half of the total housing stock (52%) was built by the households themselves, often with help from friends and relatives. Only around 27% were purchased from the formal housing market, again indicating its limited extent in addressing shelter needs. About 18% were built by hired contractors or skilled workers, usually in close coordination with the homeowner. And of the homeowning segment, more than 90% have used own resources in building their homes, again indicating very limited access to formal financing.


Beginnings The Kaantabay sa Kauswagan program came to life on May 15, 1989 when the

city government organized its Urban Poor Affairs Office (UPAO), an agency dedicated to squarely addressing the needs of its growing urban poor population. 16

The agency was created by the administration of Mayor Jesse M. Robredo after nine urban poor organizations brought their plight to the national government’s attention during a visit to Naga by then President Corazon Aquino late in 1987. By initiating the program, Naga became the first Philippine city to recognize the urgency of addressing the urban poor phenomenon at the local level. By organizing UPAO, it also became one of the first local governments in the Philippines to establish a dedicated office for urban poor concerns. In this undertaking, a non-government organization called Community Organization of the Philippines Enterprise (COPE) Foundation helped the city government operationalize its UPAO. 2.3.2 Goals and objectives The program seeks to achieve three overarching goals: 1. Normalization and/or regularization. By addressing tenurial issues relative

to homelots for the urban poor of Naga, the program seeks to give their communities a sense of permanence and legitimacy, either on-site or off-site. 2. Poverty reduction. By helping the urban poor of Naga build capital, the

program seeks to promote their socioeconomic empowerment. Table 2. PROGRAM OBJECTIVES, KAANTABAY SA KAUSWAGAN
Short term 1. To provide permanent solutions to all land tenurial problems involving the urban poor; 2. To uplift the living condition of urban poor residents in the city; 3. To eradicate arbitrary ejection and minimize incidence of eviction/demolition; and 4. To explore alternative modes of land acquisition.
Source: Urban Poor Affairs Office, Naga City

Long term 1. To empower the urban poor sector in Naga City by providing homelots, basic infrastructure and services, as well as livelihood opportunities to all in need; 2. To strengthen the urban poor sector and heighten their participation in local governance; and 3. To integrate the urban poor in the mainstream of development and make them more productive members of society.



Urban upgrading. To complement the tenurial aspect, the program also

seeks to facilitate upgrading of blighted communities by providing them basic infrastructure and facilities, thereby restoring decency, ease and comfort to daily life. Attainment of these goals is predicated on the time-bound objectives presented in Table 2.


The existence of many non-government (NGOs) and people’s organizations (POs)

in Naga has ensured that all major city programs are founded on partnerships and participation. 2.4.1 Conceptual framework: Partnerships and participation Unlike other local authorities who were reluctant in working with NGOs and POs, the city government seriously implemented provisions of the 1991 Local Government promoting partnerships with these organizations. After the Code was passed, Naga was among the first to pursue the mandate on NGO accreditation. During its first run in 1993, close to 80 applied with the city council and were duly accredited. Four years later, it took the concept a step further. A landmark

legislation mandated the city government to initiate the establishment of of a



where the federation of these NGOs and POs into Fig. 3. The Naga Governance Framework 18

the Naga City People’s Council (NCPC) was encouraged. This institutionalized a system of self-regulation among their ranks. The emphasis on partnerships and participation is evident in the governance framework developed by the Robredo administration (Fig. 3). In this framework, three elements form the foundation of GUG: • Progressive perspective. This component lies at the apex of the triangle, being a function of leadership which the local administration must provide. Among others, a progressive perspective seeks to build prosperity for the community at large, tempered by an enlightened perception of the poor. • Functional partnerships. These are vehicles that enable the local authority to tap community resources for priority undertakings, in the process multiplying its capacity and enabling it to overcome resource constraints that usually hamper government. • Participation. These are mechanisms ensure long-term sustainability by

generating broad-based stakeholdership and community ownership by both organized groups and individuals over local undertakings. 2.4.2 Physical aspect: Land acquisition and area upgrading The Kaantabay program focuses on the urban poor sector’s two main problems: (1) the absence of security of land tenure, and (2) the lack of basic infrastructure and facilities in their communities. In response, the program focuses on two main physical components: land acquisition and area upgrading. By addressing both, the program becomes more comprehensive in its approach to the urban poor problem by responding to needs of both the individual household and their community. Land acquisition Land acquisition is the heart of the Kaantabay program. It facilitates the granting of tenurial rights over a homelot to an urban poor household, culminating in the issuance


of a property title once payment is completed. In the process, it can directly contribute to poverty reduction by actualizing capital building for the poorer segments of society. Figure 4 shows how the program’s focus on the homelot is a strategic choice that forms the basis for organizing housing efforts by the state. On-site vs. off-site. There are two categories of land acquisition projects under the program: on-site and off-site. Basically focusing on existing urban poor communities, on-site projects include the following activities: a) Negotiation with landowners; b) Purchase of property through one or a combination of modes of land acquisition; c) Screening and selection of qualified beneficiaries; d) Subdivision and disposition of homelots to individual beneficiaries; and e) Community upgrading. Off-site projects, on the other hand, focus on the establishment and development of relocation sites to serve as "safety nets" for extreme cases of eviction and demolition. It

Fig. 4. Kaantabay’s role in local housing efforts of the city government. It complements other social housing initiatives by both the national government and NGOs, i.e. the Core Shelter, Gawad Kalinga and Habitat for Humanity programs.


essentially involves: a) Site identification and negotiation with landowners; b) Purchase of property through one or a combination of modes of land acquisition; and c) Site development, including provision of basic and ancillary infrastructure facilities and services Coverage, project and homelot profile. Tables 3 to 5 at the end of the chapter provide additional program details at the project, strategic and financial level. Table 3 describes the 41 projects being implemented under the program, showing the extent of its coverage. As of October 31, 2001, the program has covered a total of 6,940 urban poor households, representing 27 percent of the total. The figure is roughly 500 families shy of the 7,400 low-income Naga households who live below poverty line. In terms of direct benefit, 67 percent of the 6,940 households are on their way to acquiring their property titles, having benefited from 27 completed projects under the program. Negotiations are ongoing for 14 more projects that will cover the remaining 33 percent. Thus, for roughly 2 out of every 3 urban poor households in Naga, agreement has been reached between the landowner, the urban poor association and the city government; the tenurial status of the occupants is already secured; and they are in the process of amortizing their homelots. The table also shows that to date, the program has disposed a total of 62.6 hectares under the 27 projects, with another 29.6 in the pipeline. In all, its portfolio covers a total of 92.2 hectares in disposable lands, which translates to an average homelot size of 93 sq meters per household, excluding provision for roads, pathways and open areas for each project. Across projects, homelot size ranges from a generous 150 sq meters in rural

settlements formerly owned by the national government which were subsumed under the program, to around 70-80 sq meters in urban poor communities ringing the periphery of the city’s Central Business District (CBD).


Aside from detailing program funding, Table 4 profiles the average urban poor project across the 27 completed projects under Kaantabay. Over the seven-year period, a typical completed project would cost around P3.3 million (£33,0002) or P467,646.06 (£4,676.46) annually. Homelot affordability can be measured by reducing project cost to the level of each beneficiary household. This is derived by getting the average number of household beneficiaries per project from the table (172, the ratio of 4,635 families across 27 completed projects), and spreading the total project cost among beneficiaries. Thus, each homelot would cost the average urban household a total of P19,032.11 (£190.32) over seven years, or P2,718.87 (£27.19) annually. This translates to a monthly amortization of P227 (£2.27, roughly a local labourer’s minimum daily wage) or around P7.55 (roughly 8 pence) daily, which is very affordable even for a low-income household. Land acquisition modes. The program derives its strength from the innovative land acquisition modes implemented both for on-site and off-site projects. These approaches helped overcome resource limitations by reducing cost and mobilizing community and external financing, thereby multiplying the city’s capability to do more with the same level of resources. Table 5 lists down and compares these approaches. Illustrative projects where these approaches were applied are described in an appendix on page 48. Area upgrading Area upgrading seeks to give the program a face by facilitating community improvement and basic service delivery. Implemented in conjunction with the land

acquisition component, this has also covered all 41 urban poor communities being assisted by the city government under the program. From 1998-2000, around 10% of the city’s

An exchange rate of £1=P100 is used here to facilitate conversion. It is based on the actual rate for the first half of 2004 that ranged between 98 and 107 pesos to a British pound. (Historical data on exchange rates among global currencies can be secured from


Infrastructure Fund (placed at roughly P40 million [£400,000] annually) were spent on urban renewal projects. From time to time, they are augmented by funding allotments from the national government. Urban renewal projects take various forms. They include construction or repair of drainage lines; provision of public faucets and shallow wells; installation of street lights; and concreting of pathways to improve access to and services within an urban poor community. Moreover, additional basic services are made available to the relocated urban dwellers in off-site development projects. Education at the preschool, elementary and secondary levels is provided through day care centres, and public elementary and high schools. Health is accessible from the community health centre. Transportation services are made possible through provision of access road, the opening of new routes passing through the relocation sites, and public utility vehicles loaned out to local cooperatives. Electric power service is supplied to individual households through Casureco II, the local power retailer. Water service is progressively being supplied by the Metro Naga Water District (which has been expanding its coverage area) and through communal water systems for far-flung areas outside the network. Livelihood development is facilitated by the extension of capital assistance through Metro Peso, the city government's microfinance arm, to local cooperatives and individual borrowers. 2.4.3 Social aspect: Community organizing and tripartism At the operational level, the promotion of partnerships and participation is embodied in two program thrusts: community organizing and tripartism. Community organizing Putting together a group of potential urban poor beneficiaries is a critical requirement under the Kaantabay program. A policy of dealing only with urban poor


organizations, not individuals, compels interested applicants to take the initiative in organizing themselves. In implementing the program, the non-government sector has played a key role in social preparation and community organizing. The city government recognizes that these areas lie outside its core competence. The partnership between City Hall and the COPE Foundation therefore made sense. As a result of COPE’s efforts, from the original nine urban poor organizations in 1989 when Kaantabay begun, there are now close to 80 urban poor associations in the city. Tripartism The program's effectiveness stems from a tripartite approach to urban poor problem resolution, involving the a) city government and other national government agencies; b) urban poor associations, aided by NGOs and POs; and c) private landowners. This mechanism enables the involved parties to sit down and cooperate in solving their disputes. By adopting a pro-poor bias, the city government gives the program strength and credibility. This bias is particularly manifested in its treatment of urban poor associations as "partner-beneficiaries" which compels them to actively participate in every step of the process. Meanwhile, national government agencies extend operational and financial

support to the program's land acquisition thrust. Urban poor associations, on the other hand, signify their support and commitment to the program through their willingness to negotiate get organized and raise equity if necessary, including money for land acquisition and labour for urban upgrading projects.


Finally, landowners show their cooperation through willingness to explore more peaceful means of settling tenurial disputes as an alternative to ejection of urban poor occupants and demolition of their makeshift shelters. Other forms of community participation In addition, community participation in the program is also indicated by the following: • Equity build-up. Members of urban poor associations in Naga continue to remit their amortization and equity share in the Kaantabay Trust Fund, which helps the city in meeting commitments to landowners. • Strong community support for local tax collection. Notwithstanding the negative impact of the Asian currency crisis in 1997, the ensuing economic downturn under the administration of former President Joseph Estrada, as well as the diminishing share in national allotments from the central government, the city continues to cope well because of high tax collection efficiency. Over the last decade, receipts from property and business taxes have been increasing steadily, enabling the city to achieve a collection efficiency ranging from 87115% and a very satisfactory rating from the Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF) of the national government. The willingness of local residents to remit tax money to the local treasury is an indication of strong support for the city’s directions, including the Kaantabay program. 2.4.4 Financial aspect: Cost recovery and project equity Sound financial policies supportive of the program’s conceptual framework have keyed Kaantabay’s sustainability over the past decade, especially the last seven years. The turning point came in 1994, when the first of major land acquisition projects began to get on-stream.


These include (1) the “no-doleout” policy that discourages freeloading and mendicancy and seeks to collect of all recoverable expenses by the city government under the program, and (2) the project equity policy that operationalizes participation at the project financing level. Together, they have elicited meaningful beneficiary involvement from the onset of a particular land acquisition project until government has collected its recoverable expenses. Program funding Table 4 presents the program’s seven-year operating budget and fund sources since land acquisition projects took off in 1994, totalling P104.5 million (£1.045 million). Current sources. Funding for Kaantabay is provided mainly by the city

government through its annual operating budget, augmented by short- and long-term borrowings, grants from national shelter agencies and other program partners, equity contribution by urban poor association members and one-time counterpart investments by the private sector involved on a project basis. Of the total, around 20% is funded out of the annual city budget, mainly for operation and maintenance of UPAO and part of land development costs. Around half (51%) comes from short- and long-term borrowings guaranteed by the city government, which finances land acquisition through community mortgage arrangements. Grants from national shelter agencies and other program partners account for around 12%, covering the bulk of land development. The remaining 17% is allocated for cost of money, which is to be covered by the program’s internal cash generation. From time to time, the program also receives donations and counterpart funding from various program partners on project basis. In 1994, it received a US$1,000 donation from the Asian Coalition of Housing Rights (ACHR). The following year, the Pacol Site Development Project was given a P11.6 million (£116,000) grant by the NHA. In 1998,


the Liberty Commercial Center (LCC) Group of Companies spent an estimated P4.5 million (£45,000) for land acquisition of what is now the Metroville Housing Project. Future sources. By virtue of City Ordinance No. 98-033, otherwise known as the Kaantabay sa Kauswagan Ordinance of 1998, the city is mandated to allocate 10% of its annual budget, net of personal services, for the program and its various activities. This legislation is a concrete step taken by the Robredo administration to help ensure long-term sustainability. In addition, Naga has been identified as one of the four priority Philippine cities covered by the US$2.13-million World Bank-funded Urban Shelter and Community Infrastructure Project (USCIP). The project, which seeks to test the feasibility of

implementing local government-led urban upgrading initiatives, will benefit 4 of the 41 communities covered by the Kaantabay program. Cost recovery Variants of community mortgage being pursued under Kaantabay ensure cost recovery over time, anchored on the principle of shared pain and gain among program beneficiaries. This principle affirms the dignity of even the poorest sectors of society; by giving beneficiaries the opportunity to pay for their homelots under affordable amortization schemes, they not only build capital but also acquire it the proper way. Thus, the program’s cost recovery mechanism enables them to become real “homeowners,” not just plain "squatters" or "slum dwellers". Cost items. Essentially, the program has four major cost items: land acquisition, land development, operations and cost of money. Land acquisition covers payments for the cost of land for on-site and off-site development. Land development represents

expenses incurred in land preparation and development, specifically for off-site relocation areas, and area upgrading for on-site projects. Operating expenses represent the cost of


operating and maintaining the UPAO. Cost of money covers interest expenses incurred in financing land acquisition, based on the project cost net of beneficiaries equity assumed at the 10% minimum. Interest rate is set at 9% per annum compounded annually. Of these, only land acquisition, land development and cost of money are considered recoverable expenses under the program. Over the last seven years, they amounted to P88.4 million (£884,000) or roughly 84.5% of the total program cost. On an annual basis, this translates to P12.6 million (£126,000) in recoverable expenses. Collection efficiency. Before the economic downturn caused by the Asian

economic crisis in and the crisis-ridden Estrada administration, the program was doing quite well. In 1998, a special audit team of the Commission on Audit (COA) Regional Office conducted a two-month “Value for Money Audit” study. One of the salient

findings presented to city officials during an exit conference in December 1998 established the program's collection efficiency rate at 73%. Over the last two years however, payments have started to fall behind. UPAO’s collection status report as of December 2000 placed accrued collections at 30% of the total, with accounts payable reaching 35%. This impelled a management review that resulted to the adoption and implementation of a number of contingency measures, including an amnesty program implemented beginning July 2001 that condoned all penalties and surcharges to encourage updating of payments and a work-for-pay program (the Bayadnihan) directed at non-paying low-income households. The program is also considering proposals for restructuring of current amortization schedules that would extend term beyond the current 7-year maximum. Project equity Another strategy is the build-up of project equity from target beneficiaries, especially for on-site development projects. While negotiation is taking place and there is


already assurance that the owner would sell his property, the city government starts collecting money. When the negotiation has been finalized and a contract executed, the city government, in consultation with the community association, sets certain percentage of the land acquisition cost as project equity. This equity ranges from 10 to 50 percent of the acquisition cost, depending on the agreement reached between the parties. The Kaantabay Trust Fund A support mechanism to the “no-doleout” and project equity policies, the Kaantabay Trust Fund for Socialized Housing and Resettlement was set up in November 17, 1993 by virtue of Ordinance No. 93-096, as amended. The city administration has often used this trust fund to encourage beneficiaries to amortize regularly so that the city can continue the program and assist other urban poor families to also have homelots of their own. To illustrate: grants from outside source, like the P11.6 million (£116,000) from the NHA, is being recovered by the city and placed in the Trust Fund, which in turn can be used to establish another housing project. Thus, in a worst-case scenario where internal cash generation of the program is unable to cover for interest expense, the trust fund can bridge the gap. At its peak, trust fund balance reached as high as P5 million (£50,000). On October 31, 2001, it had a retained balance of P4.08 million (£40,800). The amount represents 43% of the P9.5 million (£95,000) project equity being eyed for eight ongoing projects under negotiation with an estimated acquisition cost of P94.8 million (£948,000). Enhancing affordability Key to the continued sustainability of the Kaantabay program is the continuing affordability of homelots without sacrificing financial viability. This requires a balancing act between fiscal discipline and the government’s social responsibility in uplifting the


poorest constituents of the city. This has yielded a mixture of cost-reduction and incomeenhancement strategies in program implementation. Savings in land acquisition. Land acquisition stands out as priority area for cost reduction, being the biggest cost item in program implementation. Apart from substantial cost savings through proactive land banking and utilization of idle government lots, the city also leveraged its reputation in negotiating lower acquisition cost for both on-site and off-site development projects. As a result, the 27 completed projects were acquired at prices 30% lower than prevailing market values, as indicated by property values of adjoining lots. It is eyeing to bring savings up to between 40-50% in the 14 ongoing projects, taking advantage of the prevailing buyers’ market in the property sector of the local economy. The Bayadnihan program. This new work-for-pay program enables urban poor beneficiaries to settle their lot amortizations, whether current or past due, through participation in the implementation or maintenance of the city’s infrastructure projects or by rendering frontline services. Allowable work that beneficiaries or their family members can take on include construction of local infrastructure projects; maintenance of existing public infrastructure such as buildings, drainage systems, water supply systems, electrical installations, city streets and sports facilities; cleaning and beautification of public facilities such as city streets, parks, plazas, playgrounds and street islands; garbage collection and disposal, and other frontline services as may be determined by the city mayor.


The Kaantabay sa Kauswagan program demonstrates that notwithstanding

resource constraints, a local authority can equalize opportunities for the poorest sector of the population in a developing economy. 30

At the conceptual level, the program addresses shelter problems brought about by rapid urbanization in these areas by adopting a "partner-beneficiary" perspective in dealing with clients. This approach sees the urban poor both as a program partner and beneficiary, compelling them to actively participate in every step of problem resolution. To maximize scarce resources, it adopts the strategy of focus that delimits program coverage only to the urban poor sector in Naga and the homelot as core of the assistance package for each household. In the process, it fashioned innovative approaches to land acquisition, community development and project financing which enabled it to achieve near universal coverage. It also overcame resource limitations that handicap national and local government authorities. Functional partnerships and a tripartite mechanism for resolving tenurial issues form the backbone of program implementation. Through functional partnerships and participation, the program has tapped the power of pooled community resources. The end result is a local government that is able to do more with less. Complementing it is a tripartite mechanism which enabled government, private landowners and urban poor associations to work together in finding mutually acceptable solutions, even to long-standing decades-old tenurial issues. Management and financial strategies—particularly mechanisms of cost recovery and the collection of project equity from beneficiaries—are expected to sustain Kaantabay’s long-term viability, on top of other steps that promote program institutionalization, community ownership, and participation.


Table 3. COMPLETED AND ONGOING PROJECTS Kaantabay sa Kauswagan Program
PROJECT NAME AREA NO. FAMILIES (In Has.) OFF-SITE PROJECTS 4.00 551 4.95 591 5.84 219 2.00 65 1.67 137 1.13 12.42 2.00 1.30 1.70 1.00 2.00 10.01 2.00 0.60 81 714 87 223 184 98 52 433 50 62 3,547 52 10 63 52 78 23 428 CMP Negotiated Purchase CMP City Property CMP Negotiated Purchase Self-Help CMP MODE OF ACQUISITION Negotiated Purchase Negotiated Purchase Government Lots Government Lots Negotiated Purchase of foreclosed property Negotiated Purchase Negotiated Purchase Negotiated Purchase Land Sharing Leveraged Land Sharing Plus Land Swapping Government Lots Government Lots Government Lots Community-Initiated Purchase ACQUISITION COST (In Philippine Pesos) 11,000,000.00 7,425,000.00 N/A N/A 711,474.00 1,325,324.00 1,826,340.00 20,000.00 3,900,000.00 N/A 1,881,557.20 36,000.00 150,000.00 432,000.00 3,000,000.00 31,707,695.20 753,000.00 590,000.00 N/A N/A N/A 471,750.00 11,668,512.00

1. Abella Resettlement Project, Barangays Abella & Sta. Cruz 2. Calauag Resettlement Project 3. Cararayan P-1 Resettlement Project 4. Cararayan P-2 Resettlement Project 5. Del Rosario Resettlement Project 6. Isla Resettlement Project, Barangay Peñafrancia 7. Pacol Resettlement Project, Phase I 8. Panicuason Barangay Site 9. Sabang Puro (SPUKOI), Barangay Sabang 10. Sabang Resettlement Project (Metroville) 11. San Felipe Resettlement Project 12. San Isidro Barangay Site 13. San Rafael Resettlement Project, Barangay Cararayan 14. BLISS-Cararayan Project, Barangay Cararayan 15. Happy Homes Resettlement Project, Barangay Balatas SUBTOTAL COMPLETED OFF-SITE PROJECTS

52.61 ON-SITE PROJECTS 1. Acacia Homeowners Association, Barangay Abella 0.30 2. Good Neighbors Homeowners Association, Barangay Igualdad 0.12 3. Igualdad Z-5 Homeowners Association 0.48 4. Greenland Urban Poor Homeowners Association, Barangay Concepcion 0.87 Pequeña 5. Lerma Urban Poor Association 0.30 6. Lerma Z-2 Homeowners Association 0.14 7. Peñafrancia Service Coop. (Mitra) 5.50


AREA NO. FAMILIES (In Has.) 8. Pook Mangga Homeowners Association, Barangay Sta. Cruz 0.06 6 9. Tabuco Tenants Association 0.69 134 10. Calsada Neighborhood Association, Barangay Mabolo 0.39 56 11. Triangulo Urban Poor Homeowners Association, Inc. 0.96 139 12. Quinale Urban Poor Association, Inc., Barangay Tabuco 0.19 47 SUBTOTAL COMPLETED ON-SITE PROJECTS 9.99 1,088 TOTAL COMPLETED PROJECTS 62.60 4,635 ONGOING PROJECTS 1. Canda Neighborhood Association, Inc., Barangay Concepcion Pequeña 1.15 128 2. San Antonio Urban Poor Association, Inc., Barangay Concepcion 1.37 118 Pequeña 3. Azucena Homeowners Association, Inc., Barangay Calauag 0.34 35 4. Capilihan Homeowners Association, Inc., Barangay Calauag 1.79 110 5. Doña Clara Homeowners Association, Inc., Barangay Con. Pequeña 5.93 447 6. Queborac Relocation Site, Barangay Bagumbayan Sur 7.00 542 7. Villa Fulgentes Urban Kabisig Association, Inc., Barangay Sabang 0.85 103 8. San Andres Estate Neighborhood Association, Inc., Barangay 4.00 203 Peñafrancia 9. Concepcion Grande Z 5 Homeowners Association 0.75 76 10. Bagumbayan Sur/Norte Urban Poor Association, Barangays 0.74 23 Bagumbayan Sur & Norte 11. Central Business District II Residents Project, Barangays Triangulo & 0.70 169 Lerma 12. Tapas Urban Poor Association, Inc., Barangay Balatas 4.78 274 13. Tabuco-Ng Hua Urban Poor Association, Inc., Barangay Tabuco 0.06 47 14. SPUKOI-Phase II, Barangay Sabang 0.10 30 SUBTOTAL ONGOING PROJECTS 29.55 2,305 GRAND TOTAL COMPLETED AND ONGOING PROJECTS 92.15 6,940
Source: Urban Poor Affairs Office, Naga City


MODE OF ACQUISITION Negotiated Purchase Negotiated Purchase Negotiated Purchase Negotiated Purchase Negotiated Purchase

ACQUISITION COST (In Philippine Pesos) 261,000.00 3,650,500.00 1,936,000.00 2,016,000.00 1,240,850.00 22,587,612.00 54,295,307.20 5,725,500.00 5,460,800.00 3,713,000.00 5,313,600.00 32,336,518.47 17,500,000.00 8,510,000.00 24,000,000.00 14,924,000.00 7,379,000.00 7,000,000.00 TBD* TBD TBD 131,862,418.47 186,157,725.67

Under Negotiation Under Negotiation Under Negotiation On-going On-going On-going Under Negotiation Under Negotiation Under Negotiation Under Negotiation Under Negotiation Eminent Domain Under Negotiation Under Negotiation


In Philippine Pesos
PARTICULARS Land Acquisition On-site Off-site Land Development Cost UNIT COST 7-YEAR PERIOD 54,295,307.20 22,587,612.00 31,707,695.20 16,498,119.00 2,356,874.14 ANNUAL 7,756,472.46 FUNDING SOURCES • Beneficiaries’ equity (Minimum of 10%) • Short- and long-term borrowings • Grant from National Housing Authority (70%) • City Infrastructure Fund • Annual UPAO budget • Grants from donor agencies

Operating Cost Personal Services Salaries Wages Other Personnel Benefits Maintenance & Other Operating Expenses Travelling Expenses Communication Services Gasoline and Oil, Spare Parts and Repairs Supplies and Materials Other Expenses Capital Outlay Cost of Money TOTALS Average Cost per Project Average Cost per Household Average Monthly Cost per Household
Source: Urban Poor Affairs Office, Naga City

10,889,256.00 671,964.00 316,800.00 566,844.00 1,771,000.00 30,000.00 35,000.00 98,000.00 60,000.00 30,000.00 3,500,000.00 17,591,679.53 104,545,361.73 3,273,522.43 19,032.11



500,000.00 2,513,097.08 14,935,051.68 467,646.06 2,718.87 226.57

Program’s internal cash generation


1. Conventional community mortgage (CMP) • A government financial institution (GFI) acquires title to an urban poor community • Property is subdivided among urban poor households • Members of urban poor community amortizes their respective homelots to GFI, usually through an originator • Local authority, instead of the GFI, provides bulk of financing requirement • Urban poor community provides a significant amount of equity


Does not need big amount of local resources, as this is provided through a national program

Viability of national program can be affected by poor project implementation elsewhere

On-site development projects near CBDs, where property values are higher

2. Self-help community mortgage

3. Land sharing

4. Leveraged land sharing plus

• Owner agrees to share landholding occupied by urban poor community by selling portion of the property • Owner gets choice portion (usually frontage) of the property • Shared portion is subdivided among urban poor households who amortize it under either straight CMP or the self-help variant • Instead of sharing landholding under straight land sharing, property owner acquires an adjoining property and develops it into a relocation area • Owner gets control over main landholding • Adjoining property is subdivided among urban poor households who amortize it under either straight CMP or the self-help variant

Can be attractive to private financial institutions (PFIs) and international development agencies, especially if local authority has good credit standing Can spark urban renewal in a blighted area due to combined public and private investment

• Might require significant amount of local government resources • Can affect quality of other public services if not managed well • May not accommodate all members of community. Requires alternative relocation sites for excess households • Might require local government to provide infrastructure support as enticement

CMP projects abandoned by GFIs where the beneficiary community can raise significant equity

Sizable occupied properties with high development potentials

Can spark urban renewal in a blighted area due to combined public and private investment


5. Land swapping • Owner agrees to swap landholding occupied by urban poor community with another of roughly equal size or value, preferably without occupants • Swapped property is subdivided among urban poor households who amortize it under either straight CMP or the self-help variant • In this variant of the self-help community mortgage, the urban poor community puts up at least half of the total project cost • Property is subdivided among households who amortize the balance • Essentially the acquisition of raw landholdings, especially outside the urban area, at significantly lower cost • These landholdings are earmarked for development into low-cost housing or resettlement areas Involves the use of unutilized/underutilized properties of the national government or the local authority for housing


Does not need big amount of local resources, as replacement landholding is usually secured from land banking portfolio of the local authority Does not need big amount of local resources, as community puts up high level of equity Brings down significantly the cost of land for housing projects

• Dependent on availability of acceptable replacement property • Becomes costly if local authority did not engage in proactive land banking


On-site development projects involving small to medium-sized properties in peripheries of the CBD

6. Communityinitiated purchase 7. Proactive land banking

On-site development projects involving in relatively well-off urban poor community Might need a significant amount of resources for the short term Local authorities with surplus income

8. Idle government lots

The least costly option for off-site development projects

9. Livelihood housing

A new concept which involves the provision for communal farming and fishing, including support services, on top of the traditional homelots for beneficiaries • The last option to push on-site development • Involves the expropriation of privately-owned landholdings by the local authority, invoking the power of eminent domain

10. Eminent domain

A higher level of social housing that integrates livelihood into the basic off-site development project Can provide final solution to long-standing housing issues

Still untested

• Local authorities who own idle landholdings • Local authorities with good track record and working relations with national agencies Local authorities who own idle lands, particularly in rural areas • Local authorities with eminent domain powers • On-site development projects where negotiations have reached a dead end

Usually a lengthy process since it has to go through court proceedings. There is also the risk of losing the case, leaving government and the community empty-handed

Source: Urban Poor Affairs Office, Naga City




This chapter looks at the economic, social and political dimension of the Kaantabay sa Kauswagan program, guided by the two other research questions: What conditions impelled the need to introduce the program in Naga City? In what ways does it operationalize the “secure tenure” campaign of UN-HABITAT?


Two recently published research works that touched on the Kaantabay program

offer similar accounts to the one described in Chapter 3: problems associated with urbanization in the late 1980s have cropped up, affecting the urban poor. The program was fashioned when a new administration that took over proved to be more responsive to their concerns. Tumbaga and Sabado (2003) devoted an entire chapter to the program as part of its case study on Naga. The case study is meant to exemplify a Philippine local authority that is pursuing a program of “growth with equity” through its own initiatives and resources, and mostly without support from the national government. Together with case studies on two other local governments, their work sought to understand local governance amidst demands of local growth and national policies related to local industrialization. Kawanaka (2002), on the other hand, examined local power dynamics to illustrate the role of the state and institutions in local politics. By looking at these institutions, not through conventional sociocultural perspectives but within the framework of the state and urbanization, he explained the political machine as an elite-centered institution for maximizing the elite’s control—the predominant elite in this case being the elected political leader. In a chapter describing the political machine, the program was


categorized as one of its components aimed at gaining the support and loyalty of the poor using state resources under the mayor’s disposal. These studies, together with other documents on the program, will be examined in the succeeding sections. This section explores the economics of the Kaantabay program, which is lacking thus far. Figure 5 shows the local housing supply and demand in Naga City. With the formal housing market accounting for 27% of the total housing stock of roughly 26,000, the supply curve OS1 intersects the demand curve AD at the breakeven point X, which roughly corresponds to a unit price of P300,000 (£3,000). The amount is well within the price range for low-cost or economic housing package shown in Table 1. It will be noted

that while private developers theoretically lose money in producing units that cost below

Fig. 5. The economics of the Kaantabay program. State intervention in the housing market addresses distributional issues and promotes allocative efficiency.


the equilibrium point X, they nevertheless continue building them.

These units

(corresponding to the supply curve XS1) fall within the socialized housing category whose cost of provision is partially subsidized by government. But it is the failure of the formal housing market to address the need of a greater majority of the local society (represented by the area bounded by S1S2DC) that provides the justification for government intervention in housing provision through Kaantabay. Locally, this market failure stems from the information asymmetries, intergenerational externality and distributional issues described by Whitehead. The situation is also

exacerbated by the private capital markets’ unwillingness to extend loans to the urban poor, who are characterized as high-risk borrowers, furthering their exclusion. Moreover, the graph demonstrates allocative efficiency as another value-added of the program. By expanding housing services towards universal coverage, the shift in supply curve from OS1 to OS2 in effect causes a downward shift of the breakeven point from X to Y. As a result, all housing units produced by private developers will break even at the very least, enabling government to realign subsidies wholly towards the informal sector.


The advantage of using multi-dimensional analysis in investigating complex

programs such as Kaantabay can be seen when one considers its social aspect to enrich the economic analysis presented above. Take for instance Kawanaka’s reduction of the program merely as an element of the city mayor’s political machine, using state-centered institutions as a key independent variable in the analysis. The approach might be an improvement over the traditional sociocultural framework used in analyzing power relations in the Philippine context, and


probably empirically valid in its own right. But when one uses other socially-oriented frameworks to inform the analysis, its limitations become obvious. Under Sen’s capabilities theory and Moser’s vulnerability framework, for example, the Kaantabay program would easily qualify as a key urban poverty intervention as it addresses the personal and tenure insecurity dimension of deprivation and the productive assets dimension of vulnerability. Beyond the economic potential in freeing “dead capital” as De Soto proposed by facilitating the acquisition of land titles by the urban poor, their empowerment is another benefit brought about by the program. Thus, even without the need to raise incomes as required under conventional anti-poverty interventions, Kaantabay is able to address social exclusion through community organizing of the urban poor (in the process creating their own interest group) and compelling them to actively participate in problem resolution.3 In presenting four case studies of gains made by urban poor groups in the Philippines, Racelis (2003) placed the Naga City Urban Poor Federation at the top end of a continuum of their relations with the state, characterised as ranging from “begging” and “requesting” to “demanding” and “negotiating.” Of the Empowerment Ordinance and the Naga City People’s Council, she wrote This non-partisan body was composed of NGOs, POs, and private sector groups, who could propose legislation and carry out additional duties. Soon Council-designated NGOs were sitting on boards, councils, committees, task forces and other special bodies of the city government. The Ordinance also provided for representation in the city legislature of elected nonagricultural labour, women and urban poor. (Racelis 2003, 15) To be sure, the program suffers from its own weaknesses, including issues on longterm financial sustainability, replicability and political dynamics as Tumbaga and Sabado
ADB’s draft poverty assessment for the Philippines made the same point. It said that “looking at poverty in terms of capability deprivation can lead to programs that address the very poor…without having to directly increase their incomes, such as improving social service provision.”


have noted. But viewed another way, they saw Kaantabay as “an exemplary way by which a local government could manage the social costs inflicted on the urban poor by urban growth and development.” (Tumbaga and Sabado 2003, 350)


The political dynamics associated with the program fits well the managerialist

perspective of Knox’s urban political economy as well as Healy’s communicative planning theory that underscores mediation between competing interests among stakeholders. Knox postulates that looking at activities and ideologies of professional decisionmakers, in this case the city’s elected leaders led by the city mayor, contributes to a better understanding of sociospatial processes, including the development of policy. Applied to Healy’s framework, decision making takes place amidst competing demands and therefore requires a balancing act on the part of the political leadership. A classic case, which Tumbaga and Sabado documented well, is the conflict between Robredo and a group of 221 urban poor households who refused relocation and were thus displaced when the city government implemented the “leveraged land sharing plus” project. (See the appendix.) In this instant case, the entry of the LCC mall

development forced the city to prioritize economic growth at the expense of equity insofar as the affected households are concerned. “That the city government was perceived by urban poor groups to have taken the side of the landowners/developers was an ironic twist as the city government prided itself for being ‘pro-poor,’ or at least being impartial in its role as mediator.” (Tumbaga and Sabado 2003, 304-305) The city government, however, believed their actions and decisions were justified in the search for the most beneficial arrangement for the city. Succeeding events,


including favourable decisions by local courts and national agencies, as well as general public support for the city government’s position, appeared to have confirmed this. These controversies notwithstanding, the Robredo administration has on the balance demonstrated a commitment to the public good, guided by the principle of bridging the ideal and the real. For instance, the land acquisition approaches it prided itself as having implemented under the Kaantabay program are conceptually nothing new. In fact, Presidential Decree No. 1517 issued by President Marcos in the 1970s authorized the state to use most of the very same techniques listed in Table 5. The only difference is that while the national government has failed to pursue them, Naga actually did under the program. Of course, at one level, Kawanaka is correct in saying that holding elective position in the Philippine context means having to survive regularly held elections, compelling power holders to set up and maintain systems for distributing benefits, i.e. the political machine, in order to win. But in the same vein, Racelis pointed out that “genuine participatory governance is good politics and good politics gets good politicians reelected.” James Jacob, a former city councilor-turned-congressman and close Robredo ally, is more straightforward: “The whole Kaantabay sa Kauswagan program was motivated by politics. As a politician, you can ensure your survival by buying votes, or you can improve your performance as a public servant. By helping the urban poor, we are also helping ourselves as politicians” (Tumbaga and Sabado 2003, 339).4 In other words, paraphrasing Adam Smith, it is all a matter of enlightened self-interest. The 2003 World Development Report echoes this, pointing out that For cities and towns to realize the promises of a better life…they need stronger institutions to provide wide access to assets and to balance interests that ensure the provision of public goods. Such institutions are central to an
Over the five local elections held in Naga since 1992, Robredo’s slate had swept all contested seats—from mayor, vice mayor and the 10 city councilors—including the most recent one last May 10, 2004. In 1998, then Councilor Jacob himself earned a seat in the national legislature, representing the Metro Naga district.


urban governance that is inclusive of all residents, responsive to their needs, and conducive to careful management of natural resources and wastes. (World Bank 2003)


The foregoing analysis of the economic, social and political dimensions enables a

richer, more textured characterization of the Kaantabay program. The economics of the city government’s intervention in the local housing market—anchored on market failure and attendant distributional issues that exclude a greater majority from accessing housing services—is not only shown to be consistent with existing literature on the subject; it also validated the necessary precondition for such intervention as voiced out by the affected urban poor sector. A multi-level social analysis that brought together complementary frameworks of deprivation, vulnerability and social exclusion bolsters the contention that the program is not merely a tool of the local political elite’s effort to stay in power. On the contrary, it was demonstrated to have both empowered the urban poor, thereby addressing social exclusion, and strengthened their security of tenure and access to productive assets as envisioned under the UN-HABITAT’s global advocacy. Finally, analysis of the political dynamics attending the program has affirmed the implicit mediation function of state agents on top of their traditional leadership roles, requiring a balancing act especially by those holding political power. A commitment towards the public good, anchored on the Smithian concept of enlightened self-interest, is also shown to be politically beneficial.




The preceding four chapters have outlined the case for a formal evaluation of Naga City’s Kaantabay sa Kauswagan program. Chapter 1 put forward three arguments why a robust, systematic evaluation of a local “secure-tenure” poverty program is warranted, i.e. it can benchmark implementation of UN-HABITAT’s global secure tenure advocacy, and it can enrich and inform the research agenda on poverty and good urban governance. Chapter 2 developed a tridimensional theoretical framework that was used in analyzing the program from economic, social and political perspectives. Chapter 3 profiled the Kaantabay program, including the local context, conceptual framework as well as the physical, social and financial aspects of its operation. Using data from Chapters 2 and 3, the preceding chapter then provided a richer, more textured characterization of the program by analyzing its economic, social and political dimensions. This concluding chapter brings all the previous elements together in proposing some guidelines for a formal policy evaluation of the Kaantabay program.


Building on and expanding the multi-dimensional analytical framework used in

this case study, the proposed evaluation research should make use of both quantitative and qualitative research methods, using both primary and secondary data. In evaluating the program, the following research questions need to be answered: a) Do benefits arising from the Kaantabay program outweigh its costs? Does it represent value for money (VFM)?


These are the two key research questions for a conventional evaluation that looks at the efficiency and effectiveness dimensions of policy. The number of urban poor households given tenurial rights under the program will be used as main indicator of policy effectiveness. Program benefits can be measured at two levels: (1) in terms of the total market value of assets built up by urban poor beneficiaries as recorded by the City Assessor, i.e. the value of landholdings whose property rights will be transferred to said beneficiaries, and (2) independent valuation by banks in the open market. The two nationally-funded CMP programs during the early part of program implementation can serve as the counterfactual, i.e. what would have happened in a “policy-off” scenario, which will help establish the Kaantabay’s gross and net additionality. Program cost will include a more detailed economic accounting of all direct and indirect city government funds in support of Kaantabay, grants from national and foreign sources, and equity contribution by beneficiaries. Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) and Cost-Effectiveness Analysis (CEA) will be used as main analytical tools, supplemented by the Cost-Benefits Balance Sheet (CBBS) if warranted. b) Has the program made a difference in the social/economic/political lives of urban poor beneficiaries? If so, in what ways and to what extent? It will be noted that most information available thus far have come from leaders and key players in the interaction between the housing market, the state, the urban poor sector and other stakeholders. For a meaningful evaluation, it is important to reach out to individual beneficiaries of the 41 Kaantabay projects. This requires the conduct of a survey covering representative samples drawn from both on-site and off-site projects. Respondents will be selected through stratified random sampling to ensure equitable


representation among geographical regions of the city (i.e. urban vs. suburban area), as well as type of land acquisition project (on-site vs. off-site). c) How do other stakeholders perceive the program? A comprehensive evaluation also needs to factor in perspectives of landowners, the business sector, professionals as well as ordinary non-urban poor residents of the city. A survey similar to the one described above will generate this information. d) What improvements can be made in managing the program, especially in regard to strategic and operational issues? This will be the main question that will be asked during a focus group discussion (FGD) that will integrate the policy evaluation research. Information derived from the preceding activities will be presented to provide the context for a special meeting of the City Housing and Urban Development Board, which sets policy for Kaantabay. The use participative facilitation techniques—such as the Technology of Participation (ToP) —will assist documentation and analysis of the FGD, whose results will form part of the research findings, conclusions and recommendations. These guidelines are by no means exhaustive, nor do they represent the final option available to a policy evaluator. But they can inform and jumpstart the formal evaluation of the Kaantabay program as proposed at the outset.


APPENDIX Naga’s Creative Approaches to Land Acquisition

Self-Help Community Mortgage. In 1993, funding constraints forced the
National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation (NHMFC) to back out of its commitment to the Naga city government to finance acquisition of a 5.5-hectare property owned by the Archdiocese of Caceres. This came at a especially hard time as for the first time since the 1930s, the Church has finally agreed to sell the property to occupants. But with NHMFC out of the THE subdivision plan of the Mitra property. Through a city-backed picture, the deal appears community mortgage, a tenurial dispute that dates back to the 1930’s was solved with finality. to be off again. To save the situation, the city government purchased the property directly from the Church, backed by loan from the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) supported by bridge financing from a local commercial bank. Banking on its reputation and goodwill, the city got the property at roughly 25 percent of the market value. This enabled the city to resell it to the 428 families at virtually the same price as acquisition cost. Amortization of the property by
THE land sharing scheme for the Naga Centrum landholding. Previously, SPUKOI members were occupying the rightmost portion of the property. A bridge (heavy black lines) built by the city now connects it to the other side of Naga River.


occupants is now almost complete, save for a handful of families left. •

Land Sharing. A 3.85-hectare lot in Barangay Sabang owned by the Naga
Centrum Corporation (NCC) was for years the subject of litigation. Meanwhile, an urban poor community that became known as Sabang Puro Urban Kabisig Organization, Inc. (SPUKOI) came to live and occupied the property. After a local court finally ruled in favor of the NCC, the SPUKOI community was threatened with forcible ejection. With the city’s intervention, a “win-win” sharing arrangement was hammered out. NCC allowed a 1.3-hectare portion for sale and occupancy by the community, provided they transfer from the front end to the back and the city build a bridge into the property. The bridge, now known as the Tabuco-Sabang Bridge, is already in place. This increased property values in the vicinity and allowed the owners optimum use of the property.

Leveraged Land Sharing Plus. A
variant of straight land sharing, this involves the purchase of an adjoining property by a landowner where urban poor occupants of his main property can be relocated. Leveraging its corporate powers, the city government convinced the THE LCC Central Mall is the centerpiece of the city’s South LCC Group of Riverfront area redevelopment. Urban renewal is being made Companies—a mall possible through the transfer of informal settlers ringing the operator in the Bicol former Superland Complex to the Metroville Housing Project lying just beside the 10-hectare LCC property. region—to purchase, redevelop and put up a shopping mall at the dilapidated Superland Commercial Complex in Barangay Sabang. But the presence of around 200 urban poor families ringing the Superland Complex is impeding the project. To solve the situation, the city convinced LCC to buy an adjoining lot and with assistance from the city, develop a low-cost housing project for the affected families. This ensured minimal displacement for most of the informal settlers. Today, around 120 of the 200 have already transferred to what is now the Metroville Housing Project; the rest to another city property in Barangay San Felipe. The LCC


Central Mall has risen out of the ashes of the dilapidated Superland and is now doing good business, in the process sparking urban renewal in the South Riverfront area of Naga. •

Land swapping. This
involves the exchange of an urban poor-occupied property with another of roughly equal value, preferably without occupants. The occupants then amortize the cost of their individual homelots to the new owner. An example is a 9,800-sq. (dark violet) was swapped with the squatter-free property in Barangay Balatas (dark green), facilitating homelot meter urban poor-occupied acquisition by informal settlers. interior lot owned by the Archdiocese of Caceres in Barangay San Felipe which was swapped with a roadside 9,000-sq. meter property acquired by the City Government from a private landowner in Barangay Balatas.
THE urban poor occupied property in Barangay San Felipe

Proactive land banking. Essentially forward-thinking in action, the city early on foresaw in the late 1980’s that property values will be rising rapidly in view of its planned developments. At the time, it therefore acquired and earmarked more than 30 hectares for development as resettlement areas. The strategy paid off handsomely, as property values—in areas where the city used direct purchase—have zoomed up by as much as ten times.



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