DSWD, Holcim: Giving home, securing life

The houses that were given to beneficiaries. (Photo by Joel Andrada)
The houses that were given to beneficiaries. (Photo by Joel Andrada)

IT WAS overcast and anytime soon heavy rain would pour, but Ma. Lourdes Barredo or Lourdes wasn’t worried anymore. How can she be when they are now living in a sturdy house?

Previously, when they were still living along Ilang riverbank, overcast skies bring fear among the 129 families. Fear that floodwaters will not just destroy their homes but take away their loved one’s life as well.

“Hadlok jud oi, labi na para sa mga bata,” Barredo recalled.

Fortunately, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) partnered with Holcim Philippines. Together they provided decent and disaster-resilient houses to victims of flooding in the Barangay Ilang vicinity.

The beneficiaries were verified first by the Davao City Social Services and Development Office. They then organized themselves and call their group the “Pag-Asa Ilang Homeowners Association, Inc. (Pihoa).

Holcim, the second highest tax payer in the city, did not hesitate to offer help to the government by providing land for relocation to the beneficiaries. Worth P54 million, the three-hectare land is located a little bit far and elevated compared to the previous area where the relocatees used to live, assuring their safety against floods.

What’s remarkable about this project is that the beneficiaries themselves constructed the houses anchored on the idea of “Bahay Ko Gawa Ko." Through the help of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda), they were trained on masonry, plumbing, carpentry and concrete hollow block production making the construction of houses a success.

During the media tour, the beneficiaries themselves were able to showcase their new houses. Aside from that, they also presented their communal garden where they get their vegetables not only for consumption but as additional source of income as well.

The houses actually where handed over to the beneficiaries in 2016 yet but for Holcim Davao Corporate Social Responsibility manager May Escalicas, "it’s good to revive our partnership with the DSWD to be reminded that we will not stop helping the government."

“In fact just two days ago we held our meeting with the DSWD for our partnership in other projects,” Escalicas said.

As what Rebecca Sta. Maria, DSWD assistant regional director for operations, said: “The government cannot do it alone.” Thanking the Holcim for its undying support, she furthered that government needs a helping hand, especially that projects like this cost a lot. (Cristina E. Alivio)


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