Various versions of 4Ps were presented at the 25th annual gathering of urban and environment planners last November 8-9, 2016 at the Dusit Thani Hotel, Makati City.
Planning and development thought leaders agree that inclusive and sustainable development rests on a strong-willed and empowered local leadership. Such effective local governance gives premium to its purpose, people, and process before considering its purse and resists the lure of power, perks, personalities, and pera (money).
Speaking before the 25th Philippine Institute of Environment Planners (PIEP) National Convention audience, experts from different disciplines shared a common observation on Philippine urban development and governance: policies and politics do not provide sufficient support for efficient practice. Salient in the discussion was empowering local governments, which are the principal movers of development.
Former senator and Urban Development and Housing Act (UDHA) author Jose Lina Jr. pointed out that local government units are not given enough resources to carry out the responsibilities that have been devolved to them. The problem is aggravated by the prevalent sachet-sized policy making in the country, the term coined by Mr. Vincent Lazatin of Transparency and Accountability Network. He went on to discuss how the context is worsened by 4Ps—power, perks, personalities, and pera (money)—that have become the priority of most government leaders. Architect-urban planner Felino Palafox, Jr., also said that “most of our planning is unfortunately for short-term and opportunistic.” For long, development has been delayed and plagued by poor governance, weak institutions, and corruption.
However, leadership styles similar to that of Mayor Jason Gonzales of Lambunao, Iloilo present hope. He suggested counter-4Ps for development, in the order of purpose, people, process, and purse. Participation is encouraged, and priorities are based on values instead of resources. The populace’s involvement in the planning process empowers them and instigates a sense of accountability and a motivation for sustaining the development process. In this sense, “urbanization [becomes] a catalyst for inclusive development,” as mentioned by Atty. Linda Hornilla of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB).
Over 300 licensed environment planners, planning officers from local government units, and representatives from non-government organizations (NGOs), among others, convened at the two-day forum to tackle a different version of the 4Ps—politics, policy, and planning in the Philippines. The 25th PIEP National Convention was co-presented by PUBLiCUS Asia, Inc. Other event sponsors were PLDT SME Nation, Smart, San Miguel Corporation, Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, Home Guaranty Corporation, Palafox, Boysen, Pag-IBIG Fund, Aviso Valuation & Advisory, Geodata Systems Technologies, Inc., De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, Assure, Lugar, Mallonga Consulting Services, Inc., Centaurus Philippines Environmental and Management Consultancy, Inc., and UP Planning and Development Research Foundation, Inc. The PIEP also tapped academic institutions, namely the UP School of Urban and Regional Planning, Miriam College, Imus Institute, and UP Los Baños Department of Community and Environmental Resource Planning. An educational tour was also arranged for the participants on November 10, in coordination with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, Ayala Land, Inc., and Bonifacio Global City.
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