Delos Reyes M.R., Gamboa M.A.M., Rivera R.R.B. (2020) The Philippines’ National Urban Policy for Achieving Sustainable, Resilient, Greener and Smarter Cities. In: Kundu D., Sietchiping R., Kinyanjui M. (eds) Developing National Urban Policies. Springer, Singapore.


In the Philippines, there is a continuing challenge for national urban policymakers and decisionmakers to strike the right and effective balance between preparing a policy that applies across levels of the government, on the one hand, and providing details about what interventions and investments are to be made by local governments, on the other.

In addition, and more importantly, the current National Urban Development and Housing Framework (NUDHF) recognises the right of the people to the city, by emphasising in its policy statements and strategies the concept of inclusive urban development—a development that leaves no one behind and the development that is felt by ordinary people without waiting for the promise of “trickle-down” to work. However, rapid urbanisation poses a major challenge to both national and local governments alike as they continue to grapple with the increasingly daunting task of managing and addressing urban issues and challenges. The framework underscores people’s authority to deal with the urban issues and challenges by bringing back a planning process which is people-centred.

A clear implementing structure and mechanism is the first step towards making the framework effectively work, not just for the country’s urban areas, but also for rural and rural–urban areas, as well. The development of national urban policy in the Philippines is crucial for achieving sustainable, smarter and greener cities.