The day after visiting Disiplina Village Bignay in Valenzuela City, the Ministry of Human Settlements and Development, the Housing Arm of the BARMM, reviewed and reflected on the partnership with the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Philippines on August 2-3, 2022, at the Bayleaf Intramuros, Muralla Cor Victoria, Intramuros, Manila, to identify ways in further strengthening areas for collaboration.

To formally extend the partnership, the MHSD inked Memorandum of Understanding with the CRS, fortifying collaborative activities until 2023.

Led by Minister Hamid Aminoddin D. Barra, the participants, comprised of the ministry’s top management, identified good practices on resettlement sites throughout the workshops, especially in organizing a Homeowners Association (HOA), as well as deepened knowledge on implementing and maintaining a resettlement site in urban areas.

With resource speaker Engr. Ariel Sadural, CRS Technical Advisor II, participants reflected on the key socio-cultural, political and economic processes observed at Disiplina Village Bignay, to be contextualized for the Ministry’s own Housing Projects.

Arnaldo Arcadio, CRS Homes and Communities Program Manager, led the interactive reflection sessions on the MHSD-CRS partnership, where he set guidelines for the planning activities and facilitated the partnership scoreboard in which participants assessed their respective agency’s contribution.

The MHSD and CRS were grouped based on agency to score their roles on the partnership, their responsibility, strengths, how to build upon those strengths, and what they value in each other as partners, which ended with a general overall rating of 4.75 over 5.

The second day of the activity revisited the shared values of the MHSD-CRS partnership, detailing achievements and what could be improved upon from the first year’s activities, followed by theformulation of the Implementation Plan for Year 2, which included further details on the Social Mobilization Process, the Housing Construction Management Manual and the Mainstreaming Housing Standardization towards Diversity (MHSD) timeline of activities.

The activity formally closed with messages from Maria Conception Nobleza, CRS Philippines Head of Programming, Director General Esmael W. Ebrahim, Minister Barra and Program Manager Arcadio, where they expressed their deep gratitude, commitment and high expectations for the upcoming collaborative activities between the agencies.