"It is time for us to go to the people rather than ask the people, especially the poor, to come to us."
Arlene Christy D. Lusterio
Arlene Lusterio is a licensed architect and environmental planner. She is one of the founders of TAO-Pilipinas and has been its Executive Director since 2001. While running a technical assistance NGO, she has also done consultancy work as a specialist on People’s Planning and Social Housing for the Department of Interior and Local Government and for Asia Foundation. She serves as board member for Partnership of Philippine Support and Service Agencies (PHILSSA) and as co-convenor for Philippine-Misereor Partnership Inc. (PMPI). Arlene is also a principal at the planning and design consultancy firm PROS Architects and Planners Inc.
Geraldine R. Matabang
Core Operations Head for Internal Affairs
Geraldine Matabang is a licensed architect and environmental planner. She has Master of Arts in Urban & Regional Planning and Bachelor of Science in Architecture degrees from the University of the Philippines.She joined TAO-Pilipinas first as a member of its Board of Trustees in 2001 and worked full-time to head the Young Professionals Program from 2005 to 2010. She is currently its Core Operations Head for Internal Affairs and formerly the Education and Training Program Director where she oversaw its capability building programs for social housing projects, designed participatory shelter planning modules and facilitated trainings for government, civil society and community-based organizations. Ge has published manuals and monographs about community planning, disaster-resilient design and humanitarian shelter assistance.
Angelus Maria P. Sales
Core Operations Head for External Affairs
Angelus Maria Sales is a licensed architect whose field of interest lies in historic preservation. Angel has a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from the University of the Philippines College of Architecture and a Graduate Diploma in Archaeology from the University of the Philippines Archaeological Studies Program (UP ASP). She initially joined TAO-Pilipinas in 2005 as a staff for the Research and Publications Program and worked on the regular publication of TAO Shelter magazine, project documentation, and a research project on heritage conservation. She has authored and published two manuals on house construction for social housing. She moved to lead the Young Professionals Program by 2013. She is currently the Core Operations Head for External Affairs of TAO-Pilipinas.
Cecilia Del P. Rosario
Operations Support Head, Human Resources, and Procurement
Cecilia Del Rosario is a graduate of BS Behavioral Science at Miriam College Quezon City with local and overseas experience in human resources and office administration, purchasing and contracts management. Cecil worked in the United Arab Emirates from 2006 to 2014, first as an accounts assistant for Coral Oriental Dubai Hotel, then as a cost engineering assistant for global engineering firm Foster Wheeler Ltd. in Dubai, and as the shipment coordinator for the manufacturing supplier New Jersey Industrial Supplies in Sharjah. Returning from abroad to start a family, she joined TAO-Pilipinas in 2015 as the finance and procurement officer for its post-disaster shelter assistance and construction projects in Eastern Samar. Cecil now heads the administrative and finance unit of TAO-Pilipinas, supervising human resource and operational support management, as well as projects procurement.
Ma. Lorena P. Hernandez
Project Team Leader for Masagana and Tandang Sora
Lorena Hernandez is a licensed civil engineer. She graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila. In 2015, Lorena started working for TAO-Pilipinas as Human Settlements and Environment program staff wherein she monitored TAO’s post-Haiyan shelter assistance projects in Guiuan and Salcedo in Eastern Samar. She also trained TAO project partners in using Kobo Toolbox application for data collection and monitoring. She is now the project team leader for technical assistance to two community partners of TAO, supervising the construction of core houses and leading a project that utilized renewable energy technology in community facilities.
Theresse R. Julia
Project Team Leader for Lupang Arenda and PPVHOA
Theresse Julia is a licensed architect. She graduated from the University of the Philippines Diliman in 2016 with a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture. Theresse started out volunteering at TAO-Pilipinas as a member of the student organization UP Task Force Arki and then applied as an intern after graduation. She became a full-time staff for the Research and Publication Program in 2017, working on project documentation and producing information, education and communication (IEC) materials for TAO’s community partners. She is now the project team leader for Lupang Arenda and PPVHOA. She also leads in other project engagements. Her fields of interest are in urban planning, urban design and community architecture.
Gladys Faith H. Cortez
Finance Officer and Accountant
Gladys Faith Cortez is a certified public accountant (CPA) practicing in the fields of public and corporate accounting. Gladys graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Accountancy in 2012 from the Philippine School of Business Administration in Quezon City. She delved into development work and spent nearly four years as finance officer and administrative assistant of Philippine Misereor Partnership, Inc. (PMPI) where she supervised the budget for the PMPI’s Project Pagbangon, its region wide post-Yolanda rehabilitation project in Eastern Samar. She joined TAO-Pilipinas in late 2018 as an accountant and finance officer.
Dessica Marie P. Salvador
Project Staff for Masagana and Tandang Sora
Dessica Salvador joined TAO-Pilipinas as an apprentice in 2015 while still a student at the Technological Institute of the Philippines where she completed her Bachelor’s degree in Architecture in 2019. As a student-intern, Dessica assisted in CAD production and created community planning workshop tools and scaled models of TAO’s various shelter unit designs. She is now a full-time staff assisting in two project areas. Dessica has special interest in the arts, joining several art contests and was a student paper cartoonist in secondary school. Her research interest is in sustainable architecture. Her undergraduate thesis focused on the integration of urban farming-based livelihood in the development of a low-income community in Quezon City.
Jazel C. Virtusio
Jazel Virtusio has had extensive experience in secretarial/clerical work, providing administrative and project support for various organizations. She has worked with NGOs such as Community Organizations of the Philippine Enterprise, People’s Task Force for Bases Clean-up, Urban Poor Associates, and Animation Council of the Philippines. Before joining TAO-Pilipinas, she was a project assistant at the Ateneo School of Government. She initially worked part-time at TAO-Pilipinas doing secretariat duties in the conduct of training courses and as community development officer in Angat project area. She is now the Finance Assistant providing support to our Finance Officer. Jazel is an undergraduate of BS in Computer Engineering at Adamson University and BS in Computer Management at National College of Business and Arts Manila. She has particular interests in reforestation, recycling and solid waste management.
Janice C. Distal
Administrative Assistant/Liaison Staff
Janice Distal has a Bachelor in Business Teacher Education degree from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines which she completed in 2005. Janice has since worked in various companies in the manufacturing and trading and food industries, acquiring vast experience in inventory and purchasing, accounting and administrative support. She joined TAO-Pilipinas in 2019 as an office administrative assistant, performing clerical duties to ensure orderly operations, facilitate communication, and monitor and document information.