December 4, 2022

The city council has approved on first reading a proposed ordinance creating the Urban Poor Association (UPA) in every barangay in the city.
Councilor Lilia Fariñas, author of the proposal and chairperson of the city council committee on social services, women, and urban poor, said the creation of an UPA in every barangay will enable the city government to address further the needs of the marginalized sector in a collective manner.
The ordinance further seeks to categorically identify residents in every barangay who belong to the urban poor sector.
The City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) will be tasked to identify qualified residents and organize them into an urban poor association in their respective barangays.
The most affected individuals during the Covid-19 pandemic have been identified through the Social Amelioration Program guidelines on the provision of emergency financial subsidy. These SAP beneficiaries have already been determined and can easily be identified through the CSWDO’s database.
However, Fariñas argued there are still those who were missed out and might qualify as urban poor, thus the need to organize every barangay’s UPA.
“There is an urgent need for the city government to give a clear definition of what an urban poor is in order to qualify constituents who may fall into this sectoral class,” Fariñas added.
Every UPA will serve as a venue for its members in voicing out concerns. Every concern will be recorded and serve as basis for the formulation of legislation either by the barangay or the city for policymaking.
The UPAs shall also conduct an inventory on the skills, capabilities, and qualifications of the members for the possible creation of livelihood and referral for employment.
A president for every UPA shall be elected after having its members qualified by the barangay and the CSWDO. The UPA president will represent the association in the Federation of Urban Poor Associations of Baguio (FUPAB). Other officers such as the secretary, treasurer, public relations officer, two sergeants-at-arms will also be elected.
All elected UPA presidents in every barangay shall convene as the FUPAB and elect among themselves an overall FUPAB president and other officers.
The FUPAB, being the mother federation, shall collate the major problems raised by the UPA of every barangay and shall endeavor to bring these concerns to the sangguniang panlungsod and/or the appropriate authorities/agencies for resolution.
The city mayor will be the honorary chairperson of the FUPAB with the chairperson of the city council committee on social services, women, and urban poor as the co-chairperson.
The proposed ordinance was referred to the committee on social services, women, and urban poor for further study. – Jordan G. Habbiling