International, Local Volunteers Help Build Houses

City Mayor Renato Y. Gustilo pose for posterity after the              Habitat for Humanity volunteer members, HHP-SCMCI
courtesy visit of Habitat for Humanity executives led by               Site homeowners, LGU representatives and other
Habitat for Humanity Int'l CEO Jonathan Reckford (4th,left)         representatives pose or posterity after the event at the
and Habitat for Humanity (Philippines) CEO Ma. Remedios         SCMCI Site, Brgy. Palampas, July 11
Mapa-Suplido (3rd, left) at City Mayor's Office, July 11

International and local volunteers came together last July 11 at the SCMCI Site, Barangay Palampas to help build disaster-resilient houses using the Cement Bamboo Frame (CBF) technology under the Negros Occidental Impact 2025 (NOI25) Project.

San Carlos City Mayor Renato Y. Gustilo, Habitat for Humanity International Executive Officer Jonathan Reckford, Area Vice President Luis Noda and Vice President, Strategy and Chief Executive Officer of Habitat for Humanity Philippines Ma. Remedios Mapa-Suplido led the volunteerism act.
Suplido said the event aimed at contributing to build a housing ecosystem which is disaster-resilient and different from the usual houses we see with a People Private Public Partnership (P4) Approach.
She hoped to build more houses in Negros Occidental to respond to the greater need and make sure that in a few years, not only cement bamboo houses will be built but also a housing ecosystem.
Mayor Gustilo thanked the LGU’s partner, Habitat for Humanity for making the housing project for the workers of the long-time defunct sugar milling company possible; giving the beneficiaries the option to own houses without financial burden.
Gustilo added if partnership between the LGU and the Habitat continues, the issues on housing backlogs of the city maybe resolved and target of zero homeless in the local community may also be achieved.
He is also hopeful to work with said organization for the city’s construction of a tenement-style residential area for the homeless.
“As humans we hope to be home-builders. Government leaders like us want to be those home-builders for our people and as we look beyond welfare-consideration for them, we want to make them homemakers where every home abides peace and love for every family and that is happening now,” Gustilo stressed.
Reckford on the other hand shared that a safe, stable foundation of a good home is in many ways a building block for all the other things in life, especially in building a community.
He also said the beautiful aspect of being part of the Habitat is the volunteer work.
“With due respect with skills of the people assembled here, we’re not really here because we are amazing construction workers, we are here because we want to experience community and especially after the pandemic it is so special to be able to come together and remember those shared values and common things that hold us together,” Reckford added.
Mayi Rodriguez-Platero, Ayala Land Senior Division Manager, said the ultimate objective of any private developer is to be able to support the government in addressing the housing backlogs in the Philippines and with the help of organizations like Habitat for Humanity, they were able realize their vision that is to enrich land and enhance lives for more Filipinos.
On the other hand, Luis Noda cited that with the project being constructed, there will be new hope, life and children. Thanked everyone who came together in order to build a community and look forward to visiting the site when it will be inhabited by families.
Engr. Misael Hibionada spoke in behalf of the beneficiaries expressing his gratitude to the local government and Habitat for Humanity for the concern given and new hope thru the housing project provided.
Earlier, the group of visitors made a courtesy call at the City Mayor's Office in the morning before proceeding to the actual site.
Present during the event were Vice Christopher Paul Carmona; SP Members Victoriana Cabili, Mark Cui, Carlos Manuel Villarante, Benito Gustilo Jr., Armando Laguda Jr., Wilmer Yap and Ronaldo Batusin; La Carlota City Mayor Rex Jalando-on; Municipality of Calatrava Mayor Marilyn Era, Municipality of Isabela Mayor Irene Montilla; other representatives of the local government of San Carlos, other LGUs, San Carlos Milling Co. Inc. Home Owners Association (SCMCI-HOA), Habitat for Humanity, Hilti Foundation, Base Bahay Foundation, Ayala Land, Megaworld, Jolly Homes Foundation, Holcim Philippines, ASA Philippines Foundation and Gawad Kalinga; youth; private developers and others who in one way or the other formed part of said housing project.