Ragene Andrea Palma, EnP 

About me

Call me Jean. I’m an environmental planner. That’s synonymous with “urban and regional planner,” “town and country planner,” and “city planner,” it just depends on the context or perspective of what area of planning we’re talking about. I studied in UP-SURP and I’m currently with the World Bank Group. Past work include city economic development under the UN-HABITAT and post-disaster recovery and rehabilitation under USAID Rebuild.

What does a planner do?

Glad you’re interested. A whole range of things. But the bottomline is making the human and environment relationship harmonious, where both of them will have respect for each other, and will stay together lovingly. I’d like to share a library of journals and books on the topic, but anyway, how we achieve that bottomline is by aligning many things and putting them in place, like policies, land uses, and social development, and looking into the near and far future to make everything work. They’re just like notes, producing lone sounds when pressed individually, but it’s a whole beautiful melody when put together, and terribly painful to hear when a single note gets out of place. If you want to know the scope of what we do in the Philippines, the law pertaining to our profession is RA 10587.

Why blog?

Sharing is caring. I learn a lot of things because I read and I go out of my way to study and attend lectures. I get to go to places and work with so many people, and each place tells so many stories and lessons. I’d like to share that to those who do not have the opportunity. I’m interested in how other people would react if they knew about all  these things.

I’m thankful at how so many of you drop by my blog–to study, to ask questions, to print the review series, and all. Here’s a recap of the past two years, so far. When I started this little project, I would never have thought it would reach so many people around the world.



Others also still give me the questioning stare when I say I’m an urban planner. It’s about time people get to know what it means, beyond buildings and cityscapes.

Jean Work
Working on the Planned City Extension and Local Economic Development of Zamboanga City. Photo courtesy of R. Falcasantos (2016).

Why plan?

It’s the way to preserve what we have, and the road to a better life for everyone. I love the earth. You should too. It’s our home. Without it, we’ve got nothing. Anything we’ve got–food, shelter, our loved ones–wouldn’t be here if there were no land to stand on, and no resources to use. I believe in people too. By nature, we care. And we have the capacity to improve and to contribute to development.

Specifically, in planning

As I said, planning is a whole range of things. It’s multi-disciplinary, and ranges from technical math and design to people-centered actions to legal aspects. As a planner, I’m knowledgeable on the basics of each, but we’ve all got our fortes. I lean more on the socio-economic and environmental sectors. Local economic development, disaster risk reduction management (DRRM), rehabilitation and recovery, and community development are things I’ve worked on. I’m also very interested in global cities and placemaking.


Talking about livable cities in the YSEALI Urban Planning and Smart Growth Workshop, 16-21 May 2017, Singapore.

Outside my blog

I really like writing, so sometimes, when I have a point that I strongly feel has to be taken seriously, I go beyond the comfort zone of this blog and try to reach more people through journalistic articles:

The Philippine Daily Inquirer (Opinion) (Business / Features / Property) | Rappler (1, 2) and Rappler X  | The Nature of Cities (1, 2; Roundtable 1) | Climate Tracker

Let’s talk.

I’d love to learn from you too. Comment below, and let’s keep those ideas coming.


25 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi Jean, I’ve read with interest your blog posts. Your articles on planning are highly readable, and you have the talent for effective communication.

    I also enjoyed reading your EnP Board Review Series.

    Oh yes, I also consulted for U.N. Habitat Philippines (2015), where I was Legal Advisor for ASUD, particularly for PCE Silay, Iloilo and CDO.

    I am a real estate lawyer, a REALTOR, etc. with passion for planning.
    I’m glad I came across your blog.


    1. Hello, Sir Eli. Thank you for the very kind words, especially on the board series. I’m glad to know we’re ASUD colleagues, though for different cities. I hope to get to work with you in the future. 🙂


      1. Hi mam Jean, ako si boboy i just wanted to say Thank you for the EnP Reviewer Materials you posted in MissUrbanite…it really really help me. again thank you i hope marami ka pang mainspire at matulungan to become 1 of Us.


  2. Hi Ms. Jean, im planning to apply for EnP licensure exam this year. But my concern is that i just graduated march of 2012. May chance ba na ma approve ung file ko kung sakali?, given the experience that i have right now.


  3. Good day! I am Merva Arapo of DENR-Environmental Management Bureau, we will have Green Bloggers Forum on June 7,2016. We noticed your blog and we would like to invite you to our a “Blog Talk” a green bloggers forum. Please send us your email add, and we will be glad to send you the invitation and other detail to your email. Thanks


  4. Hi, mam jean! I’ve followed ur blogs thru ur post on fb. .mam,i’m planning to take the exam next year, starting to download and read some of the reviewer that sir david gave to us. .but as i saw that there are plenty of laws , i dont knw where and how to start. . But mam jean after i read ur blogs right now, am so much interested to follow ur review series for me to start on. . . thanks so much, mam jean!👍


  5. Hi Ma’am Jean,
    I came across “Air Quality in the Philippines 2008 – 2015” in slideshare and was wondering if I can possibly have a copy of it? I would like to use some information in there for my graduate thesis and be able to reference them properly. This was the most recent paper I was able to find as other reports are outdated. I am from SLU, Baguio taking up Envi Engg.
    Thank you and more power!


  6. Hi miss jean, napaka helpful nitong blog mo para s tulad kong balak mag take ng EnP board exam this coming june 2017. But just reading some of your posted reviewers i i saw that there are plenty of laws i really don’t think i can make it. But just as i read your blog saying a one of a very popular brand “Just do it”, that’s when my mind refresh and am so much interested to follow ur review series for me to start on.


    1. Hi miss jean, napaka helpful nitong blog mo para s tulad kong balak mag take ng EnP board exam this coming june 2017. But just reading some of your posted reviewers i i saw that there are plenty of laws i really don’t think i can make it. But just as i read your blog saying a one of a very popular brand “Just do it”, that’s when my mind refresh and am so much interested to follow ur review series for me to start on. I am from cagayan province soon to be MDRRMO
      Thank you and more power.!!


  7. Hi ma’am! this is Pats Oliva from Health Care without Harm – Asia and we’d like to request for your contact details? We’d like to invite you to our #ChooseHealthyEnergy Campaign Launch this week.

    thank you again!

    Pats Oliva


  8. Hi Jean,
    I recently read your blogpost on The Nature Of Cities, and then continued here. I worked in climate change and clean transportation in China as a grantmaker and am now trying to understand the transportation issues in the metropolitan areas of Southeast Asia. I would love to be connected and here your perspectives.


  9. Hi Ms. Jean thanks for the materials I got on this blog of yours and the UP Plano team. I passed the EnP Board Exam. I’m #541, hope to see you drop by here in Marikina City Hall 🙂


    Engr. Lisa Palomar
    Planning Office
    Marikina City


  10. Hello po! Im currently a graduating student taking up BS Environmental Science.

    May I ask if I can pursue to become an environmental planner? And can you suggest where can I get some planning experiences to fulfill the 5-year requirement for the EnP board exam?
    Thank you!


    1. Hello, Kean. Yes, I encourage you to pursue the profession. We need more planners in the country. You can ask your local government unit if they welcome interns in the Planning Office, or look for opportunities in organizations that work on cities and urban planning, such as UN HABITAT, PIEP, League of Cities, ICLEI, etc. 🙂


      1. Thank you so much, Ma’am. I do want to focus more on environmental protection, restoration, and conservation which leads me to be interested in this profession so that I can make a small difference and be part of the change. 😊


  11. Greetings Miss Jean, I’m a senior high school student and I’ve just recently come across your blog. I’ve been meaning to consult either an environmental or urban planner in helping me make a decision. I’ve recently been accepted to ADMU in their AB Social Science program but I’ve recently appealed to shift to their BS Environmental Science program. I’ve also been accepted in MC’s BS Environmental Planning and Management program. I’m now waiting for my UPCAT results but in the case that I pass my program of choice (BS Geography), from which of the three schools with their program offerings do you think would best serve my purpose of becoming either an urban planner specializing in sustainability and environmental issues or an environmental planner like yourself? Thank you in advance!


    1. Hi Allysa, first of all, congrats on getting accepted into the programs! All three courses are related to urban and regional planning, so any choice would do. 🙂 I’ll e-mail you some insights soon. 🙂


  12. Hello po Miss Jean! I’m a Filipino undergraduate student pursuing a degree in Political Science and Public Administration here in Turkey. I want to combine my field of interests to help back in my home country so I am really interested in pursuing a career in urban planning one day. My plan is to go back to the Philippines after my studies and is it a good recommendation to pursue a masters degree in urban planning in UP-SURP or first gain some planning experiences before proceeding to study the degree? Thank you and much appreciated! God bless po


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