FDA’s 20 years (1985-2005) have been marked by significant milestones and achievements, both for the institution and for the urban poor sector.
1. Empowering Communities
In all, FDA has organized and/or assisted more than 150 communities or almost 20,000 families in 9 Metromanila cities (Quezon City, Marikina City, Parañaque, Taguig, Pasig, Caloocan, Malabon, Las Piñas and Valenzuela) and in 6 provinces (Cavite, Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna, Occidental Mindoro and Quezon).
2. Assisting Urban Poor Families Find Land and Build Homes
10,261 families have been assisted in acquiring land and housing through Community Mortgage Program (CMP), and other schemes. FDA was one of the first NGOs to actively assist urban poor communities in land acquisition, especially through the CMP. FDA has also innovated other schemes in acquiring land for urban poor communities, e.g. direct negotiation and purchase from private landowners.
3. Building Coalitions for Sustained Action
7 urban poor federations in Cavite, Pasig, Quezon City and Bulacan, with a total of 91 people’s organizations of more than 10,000 members, have also been formed through FDA efforts. These include the National Alliance of Urban Poor Organizations for Urban Land Reform (PAKSA-LUPA), Alyansa ng mga Maralitang Tagalunsod ng Pasig (ALAMAT), Alyansa ng mga Maralita sa Novaliches (ALMANOVA), Pinagkaisang Kapulungan ng mga Samahan Para sa Kalsada sa Sapang Palay (PAKSA-KA) Alyansa ng mga Mamamayang Nagkakaisa sa GMA Cavite (ALMANAGMA), Alyansa ng mga Maralita sa Sapang Palay (ALMASAPA), and Kapulungan ng Maralita ng Tatalon (KAMTAN).
4. Increasing the Capacities of Urban Poor Leaders
Some 10,000 urban poor leaders have been reached by FDA’s capacity building activities, such as orientations, trainings, dialogues, seminars on urban poor issues, leadership and organizational/project management skills, community organizing, etc.
5. Contributing to Public Policy and Good Governance
Through its advocacies, FDA has contributed to the passage of local and national laws promoting urban poor rights to land, housing, social services and participation. These include the Urban Development and Housing Act (UDHA) of 1992, the creation of the Social Housing Finance Corporation, a Quezon City ordinance creating the Local Housing Board, institutionalization of the express lane facility of NHMFC to fast track loan processing for CMP Projects, creation of a technical working group under HUDCC to oversee CMP implementation and monitoring, and the creation of Transfer Tax Exemption Ordinance for Socialized Housing in Quezon City.
6. Developing and Forming Community Organizers
FDA has also developed a training program on community organizing complete with modules and training tools, based on its community organizing approach refined through years of practice ended in 1994 (1987-1994) after training 41 community organizers. The training modules remain for the use of FDA and other organizations.
7. Increasing Economic Opportunities
Through its social credit program, FDA has set up 340 micro- enterprises.
8. Giving birth to KASAGANA-KA
So successful has FDA’s social credit program been that in 2002, it become an independent institution, KASAGANA-KA Development Center or KMI. KASAGANA-KA is now a microfinance institution with 9,100 members (as of April 2006).
9. Founding Member of PhilSSA
FDA also contributed to the establishment of the Partnership of Philippine Support Service Agencies (PhilSSA). The vision in the early 90s was the creation of a network that would bring together service NGOs and facilitate communication and sharing among them. The network would also serve as a venue for strategic direction-setting and stock taking to enable civil society groups to achieve greater impact. FDA, through Ma. Anna Ignacio, worked to make this dream a reality and in 1990, PhilSSA was born. PhilSSA has since gained prominence for its social development leadership, harnessing its members for strategic and important development initiatives.
10. Advocating Urban Poor Issues
Through a wide range of partnerships counting donor institutions, line agencies, local government units, NGOs, religious and local groups, FDA has also undertaken successful advocacies and projects that have furthered the movement for urban poor rights in the country. In particular, FDA has been a leader in the successful campaign for the passage of the landmark Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992, which enabled the urban poor to participate in acquiring security of land tenure and housing.
11. Pushing for Humane Resettlement and Delivery of Basic Services for Urban Poor Communities
FDA has also undertaken projects for the successful resettlement of hundreds of urban poor and the provision of such services to urban poor communities as sanitation and water facilities, drainage, daycare centers, health services, low-cost rice outlets, family planning centers, streetlights, and others.
12. Contributing to the Experience and Depth of Prominent National Leaders
FDA has also been a breeding ground for leaders and prime movers in and out of government. Akbayan Representative Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel, one-time National Housing Authority Head Mean Ignacio, former Sectoral Representative Hernani B. Panganiban, urban poor leader and now Special Assistant to the NAPC Secretary Apolonia “Ka Poneng” Tolentino, were either trained or served as staff members of FDA at one time or another.