By James A. Loyola
Local cement manufacturer Republic Cement has formalized its partnership with Mindanao-based Microfinance Institution (MFI) Taytay sa Kauswagan, Inc. to provide affordable housing for low-income Mindanao families.
The firm’s “Tahanan Ko” Affordable Housing Program also provides technical training to foremen and MFI employees as well as technical advisors in building safe, affordable, and durable housing.
They are guided by appropriate building and sanitation standards and a proprietary technical training model.
Its recently inked partnership with Taytay sa Kauswagan is in line with Republic Cement’s commitment to expand the program’s footprint outside Luzon and Visayas, where the program has released over 20,000 loans since 2013.
Around 7,000 housing and home improvement loans are targeted by 2018.
The company sees the “Tahanan Ko” program as a more sustainable solution towards addressing problems in the country’s affordable housing sector which has an estimated 5.7 million-unit backlog.
This also empowers MFIs to promote financial inclusion, especially for housing.
“Today, there are still Typhoon Yolanda survivors who haven’t found or settled in decent homes,” said Republic Cement Services, Inc. President Nabil Francis.
He noted that “we recognized the need to address the housing backlog of the country so we conceptualized this program and partnered with MFIs to give low-income families the opportunity to afford and build their own homes.”
Francis added that, “we are helping to mitigate issues that plague low-cost housing, including poor quality of construction materials and unsafe construction practices. We wish to provide more Filipinos access to homes that are safe, durable and affordable.”
Under the program, Republic Cement also collaborates with the National Housing Authority (NHA) contractors for government mass housing projects and housing non-government organizations with a focus on socialized and disaster rehabilitation projects.
“We have a long road ahead, but we are hopeful that our efforts will contribute to nation-building, one home at a time. Our target is very simple — to build stronger homes for a stronger Republic,” said Nabil.