The Philippine Alliance
LinkBuild is part of an alliance of five non-government organizations (NGOs), called the Philippine Alliance, with the collective mission of supporting the creation of safe, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable settlements for the urban poor.
This vision was started in the late 1990s by a Vincentian priest, the late Fr. Norberto Carcellar, who worked and lived in the slums around the Payatas dumpsite, where he initiated various socio-economic programs to uplift the living conditions of the Payatas slumdwellers. These included the initiation of a community savings program collectively managed by the slumdwellers themselves primarily for the purpose of securing land and decent housing. Fr. Carcellar’s initiative, through linking with other Vincentian parishes across the country, caught like wildfire and rapidly transformed into a movement of slumdwellers and informal settlers which was formally registered in 1998, as the Homeless People’s Federation Philippines, Inc. or HPFPI.
To institutionalize intermediary support for the initiatives of the HPFPI, Fr. Carcellar formed an NGO called the Philippine Action for Community-led Shelter Initiatives, Inc. or PACSII, in 2001. Given the success of HPFPI communities’ initiatives in mobilizing savings, they eventually ventured into acquiring land for housing using their savings. PACSII also leveraged more funding, in the form of grants, to support the Federation’s community-driven land and housing initiatives in the succeeding years, which was put towards mostly land and some housing-related and community upgrading initiatives. From 2007 - 2010, these initiatives rapidly grew, largely fuelled by the grants that PACSII was able to leverage from international partners. These funds were also used to support federation strengthening, community building, as well as land, housing, and upgrading initiatives. Capital grants were intended to be used as revolving funds, where, combined with community savings, the fund could be accessed as loans for community-driven initiatives.
To better cope with the growth of these initiatives, PACSII started devolving its housing-related support functions by creating new specialized entities. The first of these was the Technical Assistance for People and Environment, Inc. (TAMPEI), created in 2010, intended to serve as the technical support arm in the areas of planning and design, mapping and data gathering, technological research, and the provision of other technical support. TAMPEI was and still is mostly composed of young architects and engineers, drawn to the mission of PACSII and the Federation, after being engaged as student volunteers in partnership engagements between PACSII-HPFPI and various universities across the country.
In 2014, LinkBuild Inc. was formed to undertake the socialized housing program delivery function, and in 2015, a microfinance NGO called the CORE-ACS Microfinance, Inc. (CAMFI), was formed to serve as the in-house end-user finance facility, primarily for the housing and livelihood financing needs of HPFPI communities.
Fighting for the urban poor’s right to space, decent housing, and sustainable communities, the five organizations - PACSII, HPFPI, TAMPEI, LinkBuild, and CAMFI, work together as partners under an umbrella which we now call the Philippine Alliance.
The Philippine Alliance institutions work together on projects to provide all the requirements for an integrated and holistic community and settlement development. HPFPI and PACSII’s functions are to organize, mobilize and empower the communities and help them be organizationally and economically prepared to achieve their aspirations of having decent, adequate, and affordable housing, and sustainable and secure settlements. TAMPEI’s function is to support the communities in the technical aspects of community-driven planning and design through participatory community workshops; after which LinkBuild develops systems and tools for effective and participatory project management and supports the actual implementation of community-driven housing projects. Finally, CAMFI provides accessible and affordable alternative finance to HPFPI communities, both for housing and livelihood development.