Adamson University, through the Integrated Community Extension Services Office (ICES), plays host to Kumusta Na? 1st Congress of Lived Experiences of Northville and Southville Residents on September 18-19, 2008 at the School’s OZ-AVR. The congress is the first ever grand consultation of leaders of the families displaced by the North and South Railway project vis-a-vis officials of the government agencies concerned, such as the National Housing Authority (NHA) and the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC). Forty leaders, three governors, twenty-one municipal mayors, and eleven Assistant Secretaries and Undersecretaries are expected to attend this two-day dialogue. Guest of Honor is His Excellency Noli “Kabayan” de Castro, Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines and Chairman of the HUDCC.
Fr. Nonong Fajardo, C.M., ICES Director and a long familiar figure in the railway slum dwellers’ relocation process, otherwise known to them as “Fr. Riles,” is orchestrating this important gathering. Adamson University administrators, faculty, employees and students have been organized to serve as facilitators of the congress. Their rich experience in academe and in social development work in various relocation sites will be applied in the discussions and dialogues as they help the representatives of the relocated families manage their own lives with or without government assistance.
Hosting the congress is another of Adamson University’s social responsibility initiatives, formally institutionalized last year with the establishment of the Vincentian Center for Social Responsibility, Inc. (VCSR) which has been partnering with Home Owners Associations, People’s Organizations, LGUs, NHA, and HUDCC in various housing areas for poor communities.