ILOILO CITY - Iloilo City's "Participatory Housing and Urban Development" has been named as one of the runners-up in the 2021-2022 World Resources Institute (WRI) Ross Center Prize for Cities, a global award that celebrates and highlights transformative urban change.
"We are one of the five cities all over the world that received that award. We are the only city in the Philippines and in Southeast Asia to receive that award," said Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Trenas in a press conference on Monday.
The city was screened from among the 260 applications from 155 cities in 65 countries worldwide.
"We have a program where we worked together with the homeless to acquire properties for them and build houses with them. We started this even in my first (term) as mayor and we continue to do that," the mayor added.
Iloilo City was represented by Sonia Cadornigara, regional coordinator of the Homeless People's Federation Philippines, Inc. (HPFPI) - Western Visayas, and the main proponent of the initiative during the awarding ceremony held in New York on Feb. 1, 2023 with a prize of USD25,000.
In an earlier interview, Cadornigara said the initiative "showcases the collaboration of urban poor communities under the Iloilo City Urban Poor Network and the city government to respond to issues of informal settlers that scaled up citywide."
She added that the network is composed of the HPFPI, Iloilo Federation of Community Association, and the Iloilo City Urban Poor Federation partners with the city government in all development processes affecting the homeless and those in need of basic services, including the livelihood component.
Trenas said the HPFPI has helped develop two out of the 15.2 hectares relocation site of the city government in Barangay San Isidro in Jaro district. (PNA)