Leading building solutions provider Holcim Philippines, Inc., non-profit social innovator Build Change, and microfinance institution Alalay sa Kaunlaran Foundation, Inc. (ASKI). are eager to help more families with their joint program to strengthen houses against typhoons and earthquakes.
The organizations held a Construction Fiesta on Sept. 7 in Baler, Aurora to launch the program that enables low-income families to access home strengthening loans from ASKI using Holcim’s low-carbon products and engineering design of Build Change. The project dubbed “Matibay na Bahay para sa Mas Ligtas na Buhay” will strengthen an initial 28 houses in Baler, Maria Aurora, and Dipaculao, Aurora against extreme weather, create 100 jobs, and train 1,500 people on climate-resilient building.
The program drew strong interest from over 750 Aurora residents who attended the event. Local government leaders also joined the launch and expressed their support for the program that contributes to safer homes and progress of the province.
The initial batch of five families who participated in the program shared their gratitude and excitement in having stronger homes.
Homeowner Joanna Buencamino shared: “Mairerekumenda ko pa ito sa ibang mga may pamilya at anak. Nakaranas na ako ng mga kalamidad pero ngayon hindi na ako mangangamba dahil may tumulong sa aking programang magpatibay ng aking bahay.”
Homeowner Rowena Miguel was equally grateful: “Nagpapasalamat ako sa Build Change, ASKI at Holcim sa pagtulong sa akin magkaroon ng bahay na panghabambuhay.”
Holcim Philippines President and CEO Horia Adrian confirmed the company’s commitment to helping address the impacts of climate change with its low-carbon cements for resilient and affordable housing.
“We are thankful to our partners for this program that supports our commitment to building affordable and resilient homes. We are glad that homeowners that participated in this program have peace of mind in using our Sulit Solutions, which ensure resilient and durable structures.”
ASKI Founder and President Rolando Victoria: “When we launched our microhousing program in 2004, which provides loans for home and lot purchase, construction, repairs and maintenance, our ultimate goal was to assist clients not only on the business aspect but also give them the chance to realize every family’s dream of owning a home they could call their own. Over the years, we kept innovating to meet the demands of the changing times and we are grateful to Build Change Philippines and Holcim Philippines for partnering with us and introducing disaster-resilient housing to our vulnerable clients.”
ASKI Microfinance Executive Director Jane M. Manucdoc: “Our partnership with Build Change Philippines and Holcim Philippines is a testament of shared interests and values which will bring to shared success. I am personally delighted to have worked with these organizations who are a true beacon in achieving grassroots development and empowering our microenterprise clients.”
Girlie Lopez, Build Change’s Country Programs Manager: “In our work with MFIs, Build Change has proven that families are willing to take out loans to strengthen their houses, if adequate financing and technical assistance options are available for people without access to conventional credit. In collaboration with Holcim Philippines, Build Change will continue to work with MFIs and homeowners to take these lessons and financial products to the next level of scale. We are excited about this partnership and confident it will make a difference in improving the lives of Filipinos.”
Holcim Philippines is strengthening programs for affordable housing as part of the people pillar of its sustainability direction. The company is committed to help low-income families have access to decent and resilient homes given the high social impact of this business activity. Holcim is expanding partnerships and innovative solutions to make a bigger difference in this area.
Build Change has worked in the Philippines since Typhoon Yolanda in 2013. During this period, it has supported both post-disaster reconstruction and work to prevent housing loss against future disasters. Among its accomplishments are the construction of over 2,000 safer buildings for 40,000 people, training of over 4,700 individuals in safe construction practices, creation of 560 jobs, and expansion of its network of partners in the local government, business sector for greater impact.
ASKI was started in 1986 by Christian business leaders in Nueva Ecijia to support the community’s development by providing micro-financing access to small entrepreneurs and other members of society not served by bigger funding institutions. It has grown to serve not just rural communities but also overseas Filipino workers with a portfolio of Php1.7 billion with 98 branches in Regions 1, 2 and 3 serving more than 100,000 clients and insuring more than 800,000 members and their families.
This is a press release. Minor edits were made prior to publishing.