March 6, 2019

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) signed an agreement creating a multi-agency group to address concerns of urban poor communities in the country.

Signed in the presence of the NEDA Board’s Social Development Committee – Cabinet Level on February 28, the agreement states that the Multi-Agency Technical Assistance and Team Advisory Group (MATATAG) will identify investment projects for said communities.

“The group is rightly called MATATAG as it will help Filipinos achieve their long-term vision for themselves. Investing in human development will allow people to feel secure knowing that they are able to meet the needs of their families and their children’s future,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said.

The group was formed after the Asian Development Bank selected the Philippines as one of the three developing member countries (including Indonesia and Bangladesh) to receive research and knowledge support under a regional technical assistance (RETA) project titled “Advancing Inclusive and Resilient Urban Development Targeted at the Urban Poor”.

The RETA aims to enhance capacities of governments to design and implement investment projects that strengthen the resilience of the urban poor. Financing for the project will come from the Urban Climate Change Resilience Trust Fund under the Urban Financing Partnership Facility being administered by the ADB.

An amount of USD 5,000,000 will cover the three mentioned countries.

Among others, the project will include a country study to identify investment opportunities for the urban poor, as well as a program for improving skills on using climate change and disaster risk information that will benefit urban poor communities.

MATATAG will be responsible for coordinating, monitoring, and providing strategic direction on the implementation of the ADB RETA.

“We are grateful for ADB’s solid support in achieving our mid-term and long-term development goals. This project will greatly help equip the government in achieving inclusive growth through effective and sustainable urban and rural development,” Pernia said.

The group will be chaired by NEDA and co-chaired by HUDCC. Its members include the Department of the Interior and Local Government; Department of Environment and Natural Resources; Department of Public Works and Highways; Department of Social Welfare and Development; National Anti-Poverty Commission; Climate Change Commission; Office of Civil Defense; and the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor.