Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Who can access the technical services of TAO-Pilipinas?

We are working towards sustainable human settlement development that is inclusive, people-centered, environment-friendly, and promotes equitable distribution of and access to resources. Therefore, we are looking for possible partners that share the same vision from the following sectors:

  • Organized poor and vulnerable target communities;
  • Non-government organizations;
  • Local government units;
  • National government agencies; and
  • Other related stakeholders

Who are the organized poor communities?

Organized poor communities refer to a group of people living together in an area as neighbors/community. The group must have an agreed name, a legal identity, members, and officials. They must show the following documents as proof of organization:

  • Proof of registration in SEC, HLURB, or CDA, showing location/address of the community, Articles of Incorporation and By-laws
  • List of officers and members
  • Socio-Economic Profile
If we do not qualify as an “organized poor community”, can we still access the services of TAO-Pilipinas?

Being an organized community indicates that the group of people have come together to achieve a common goal. Therefore, communities that are currently in the process of registering in Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or as a Homeowners Association (HOA) in the Housing Land Use and Regulatory Board or as a Cooperative under the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) can be considered on a case by case basis.

What professional/consultancy services does TAO-Pilipinas offer?

We extend the following professional/consultancy services:

Pre-Design Services

The Pre-Design Services cover a broad line of architectural services ranging from initial problem identification to activities that would allow TAO-Pilipinas to initially conceptualize an array of solutions together with the community.

The Pre-Design Services offered to poor and vulnerable target communities include architectural- and planning-related consultations, pre-feasibility studies, feasibility studies, site selection and analysis, site utilization and land-use studies, architectural research, architectural programming, space planning, and community action planning.

Site Development Planning

The site development planning covers the layout of buildings within the site, road networks, pavement finish and open spaces, location of community facilities and proposed vegetation or landscaping. It also includes the layout of utility lines such as water, power, drainage and sewerage system.

Site and Physical Planning Services including Master Development Planning, Subdivision Planning and Urban Design

Physical planning refers to the orderly arrangement of spaces including buildings and other structures within a piece of land or property, the road network, open spaces and land uses. Plans may be presented as different stages of planning: Framework and Conceptual Master Development Plan, Preliminary Master Development Plan, and Detailed Master Development Plan. This also covers the preparation of Deed of Restrictions and Design Standards and Guidelines. The subdivision plan and urban design is also part of physical planning.

Detailed Architectural and Engineering Design Services (DAEDS)

TAO-Pilipinas designs socialized housing projects and post-disaster infrastructures. We partner with specialist engineering consultants to render the Detailed Architectural and Engineering Design Services.

Comprehensive Development Planning Services

Comprehensive development planning (CDP) services are based on the concept of expanded physical planning services to include other activities necessary for the proper handling of the numerous components considered in the formulation, implementation and realization of a master development plan (MDP). CDP covers the range of all services from primary data gathering through the formulation of the MDP and the parallel preparation of the environmental impact assessment / statement (EIA/S).

CDP calls for the detailed study of physical, social, economic and administrative components and as such requires the expertise and knowledge of specialist consultants. TAO-Pilipinas extends comprehensive development planning services with its internal pool of licensed environmental planning professionals and partner specialist consultants.

In the conduct of CDP, bottom-up and top-down approaches are merged to meet half-way engaging both decision-makers in local government and stakeholders in target communities.

For the complete list of interventions and assistance we have implemented, please see the TAO-Pilipinas’ completed projects.

What is a “People’s Plan”?

Republic Act 11201 , otherwise known as the “Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development Act”, define People’s Plan as a plan created by the beneficiary-association that includes a site development plan in accordance to their respective local government unit’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) along with their community health, sanitation, and security plans. Establishment and improvement of intangible components like self-help housing cooperative, livelihood, self-help development, capability building, and a provision for the implementation of socialized housing units that promote and protect the welfare of the vulnerable groups (i.e. elderly, persons with disability, and children) are also integrated in the People’s Plan.

What do interested stakeholders need to prepare when consulting with TAO-Pilipinas?

We require the interested stakeholders to do a thorough research for their identified site. They should have at least the following documents for each of the interventions being consulted:

For land survey

The community should have an agreement between the land owner and the community that the owner is willing to sell the subject land to the community. The community MUST first visit and inspect the said site and determine that the title is CLEAN, before deciding to buy and survey the land.

For verification/boundary/relocation survey

It refers to the survey of the property boundary based on the technical description found in the title. This survey determines whether the existing monuments that define the boundary of the property are correctly located on the ground.

  • certified true copy of title of the land
  • authority to survey issued by land owner
For subdivision/segregation survey

It refers to the survey of the land divided into smaller parcels according to specifications set by the client.

  • certified true copy of title of the land
  • authority to survey issued by land owner
  • number of occupants
  • preferred lot size
  • community approved subdivision scheme
For conceptual development plan of occupied but unowned land

It is a set of plans showing the approximate possible layout of a community – the road network, houses, community facilities and open spaces; possible direction of development, quality of development, phasing of development taking into consideration the needs, economic capacity of the community and resources available.

  • title or technical description of the land
  • master list of benefitting occupants (those who will be given a slot)
  • affordability level per family (how much can a household pay to purchase the land and for how long?) can be defined according to the:
    • capacity to pay based on income survey as a percentage of income
    • willingness to pay based on personal valuation of the house and land to be acquired and other budget considerations for the family
  • preferred lot area
  • community facilities needed
  • vicinity map showing information on surrounding areas (land use, access to public transportation, and existing buildings/facilities such as nearest schools, churches, daycare centers, health centers, market, grocery store, hardwares, pharmacy, transportation terminal)
For house design
  • subdivision plan with identified lots for houses to be planned
  • number of occupants per house
  • number of floors
  • affordability level
  • preferred materials for the house

How much does TAO-Pilipinas charge for the services?

If you are ready with the needed documents and information and decided about what you need, contact us directly. If you are a qualified urban poor community, we will be glad to make payment arrangements affordable to you.

We assist organized poor communities at socialized rates. We do not provide free services for the poor. Additionally, we do not believe in dole out services and instead, value the contribution of the community financially or otherwise to the development of the project.

What are the available publications of TAO-Pilipinas?

Over the years, TAO-Pilipinas had been able to publish books, magazines, monographs, guidebooks, and pamphlets related to the practical experiences in designing for and with the people as well as the valuable lessons learned from TAO’s previous projects. The pamphlets, monographs, and guidebooks are especially helpful for application of alternative building materials, construction of permanent shelters, and conduct of capacity building activities in solid waste management and community planning for medium-rise housing.

For a complete list of publications and updated prices, follow this link.

Project Areas
What are the current project areas of TAO-Pilipinas?

Presently, we have community partners in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Rizal, and Samar.

Can TAO-Pilipinas work on locations outside of the mentioned project areas?

Yes, however, we do not work in conflict areas or in areas with security issues/threats.

How does TAO-Pilipinas select the partner communities?

We accommodate legitimate requests for assistance from organized communities for their people’s plan formulation and other technical needs. Partner community selection criteria may be set for specific projects.

The partner community should be an organized poor community and must have completed the requirements mentioned in this section.

YP Formation
What are the requirements for YP Internship Program?

We require our interns to be at least 4th to 5th year students of architecture, engineering, planning or other similar fields; or accountancy. Before undergoing an interview, we ask them to submit the following documents to

  • curriculum vitae
  • one-page personal statement containing their objectives for the internship, why they chose our organization, and how the internship will help them in achieving their career goals
  • Two recommendation letters from professors (if studying), or from employers (past or present)
  • Sample written essay (e.g. academic paper, journal articles, blog entry, etc.)
  • Portfolio of work if architecture or interior design student
How long is the YP Internship Program?

We require our interns to do at least three months of internship. The working hours and days may be flexible depending on their schedule but we require at least four hours in a day to be spent working at our office. Work at home for interns is rarely allowed.

Do you accept foreign interns?

Yes, we accept foreign interns but they must have a good command of the English language and have a technical background, preferably architecture or civil engineering. Foreign interns have the same set of requirements with locals who want to join our internship program. A one-time facilitation fee of 200 USD must be paid upon the commencement of the internship. Transportation, food, and lodging while in the Philippines are all shouldered by our foreign interns.

Do you accept on-the-job trainees (OJTs)?

Yes, we accept OJTs for architecture, engineering, and planning students. Requirements for OJTs are the same as that of the interns.

How do we volunteer for TAO activities?

There are several ways to volunteer for TAO activities. You can volunteer as an individual by responding to call for volunteers released by TAO-Pilipinas. You can also signify your intention to volunteer by emailing the Young Professionals Program ( and state the kind of volunteer service you can render and your schedule. If you would like to be contacted for future volunteer or job opportunities, you may sign up to our Volunteer Pool.

Academic institutions or student organizations that have activities in line with our projects may also partner with us. You may get in touch with our Young Professionals Formation Program thru In your email, state your specific project activities and objectives and how you plan to partner up with our organization.