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Philippine Vice President Binay to open Asia-Pacific Housing Forum

Organized by Habitat for Humanity International, the three-day event in Manila which will open Wednesday is expected to draw some 700 delegates from the region

 

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Manila, 1 October 2013 – Philippine Vice President Jejomar Binay will address some 700 delegates from 36 countries at the fourth Asia-Pacific Housing Forum. He is expected to lead calls for greater cooperation among policy makers, business and NGO leaders to tackle poverty housing in the region. The biennial Forum from 2nd to 4th October will be held at the Dusit Thani Manila. Organized by Habitat for Humanity International, the event is a leading platform for advocating affordable housing solutions and decent shelter for the poor.

Speaking ahead of the event, Rick Hathaway, Vice President for Asia-Pacific, Habitat for Humanity International, said: “Our Forum has gained considerable traction over the years. Like a ‘Davos of poverty housing’, it is an incubator for leading minds to offer creative solutions to address housing issues in Asia-Pacific. One in eight still lives in a slum in the region; so there is tremendous scope for collaboration between governments, businesses and civil society to improve the situation.”

He added: “The traditional approach to tackling poverty housing by simply building more homes is one dimensional and limiting. Solving the problem requires addressing affordability of housing finance, climate change and disaster resiliency, land rights inequality, infrastructure planning, basic services provision, sustainable livelihoods, and adoption of green solutions. These are touch points that will be up for discussion at the event.”

Also confirmed to speak at the Forum are Alicia Bala, Deputy Secretary, ASEAN; Senator Loren Legarda, member of Philippine Senate; Henry Cisneros, former US Housing Secretary and Founder/Chairman, CityView; Nestor Espenilla, Deputy Governor, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas; Vikram Gandhi, Founder/CEO, VSG Capital Advisors; Kevin Lim, CEO, First Finance; Fernando Zobel de Ayala, President and Chief Operating Officer, Ayala Corporation; Marja Hoek Smit, Director, International Housing Finance Program, Wharton School; Jaime Aristotle Alip, Founder and Managing Director, Center for Agriculture and Rural Development-Mutually Reinforcing Institutions; Sohail Hasnie, Principal Energy Specialist, SE Asia Department, Asian Development Bank; Liu Thai Ker, former CEO, Housing Development Board Singapore and Advisory Board Chairman, Center for Liveable Cities; Hassan Ahmad, CEO, Mercy Relief; Al Panico, Head of Operations (Asia-Pacific), International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies; Yoshinobu Fukusawa, Asia-Pacific Regional Director, UN-Habitat; Richard Northcote, Head of Communications, Public Affairs and Sustainability, Bayer MaterialScience; and Efren Peñaflorida, 2009 CNN Hero of the Year.

The Forum, themed ‘Housing as a foundation for breaking the poverty cycle,’ features five discussion tracks, focusing on affordable housing finance, disaster resilience and climate change, shared value and corporate social responsibility leadership, housing policy and advocacy, and sustainable housing solutions.

The event also features several workshops to raise capacity of those working in the non-profit sector focused on housing and related issues. They include a one-day workshop by Wharton School on housing finance, a workshop on the Eco-Town Framework by the Philippine Climate Change Commission, and demonstration/discussion workshops by the Asian Development Bank on energy efficiency technologies and sustainable energy.

The Forum is supported by sponsors including Aditya Birla Group, Ayala Corporation, Ayala Land, Bayer MaterialScience, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, CEMEX, Citi, Energy Development Corporation, Philippine Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, PT Caturkarsa Megatunggal and Move.org. The media partners of the event are ABS-CBN News Channel, AsianNGO, Channel NewsAsia, Philippine Daily Inquirer, and Rappler Inc.

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