'Muscle Ladies at work': Elderly woman in Banaue gifted with new house by Ifugao cops

Published July 2, 2021, 4:27 PM

by Martin Sadongdong

An elderly woman who lost her home to a recent fire received the surprise of her life when members of the Banaue Municipal Police Station (MPS) in Ifugao province gifted her with a new house that the latter built with their own hands.

The good deed did not escape Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief, Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, who landed the Banaue MPS on Friday, July 2, for going out of their way to help fire victim and single mother named Benita Mannod.

Benita Mannod receives a ceremonial key for her newly-built house from the Banaue Municipal Police Station on June 30, 2021. ( Photo courtesy of Banaue MPS Facebook page)

Benita Mannod flashes a wide smile as the house built by Ifugao cops is finally turned over to her on June 30, 2021. (Photo courtesy of Banaue MPS)

Eleazar particularly recognized the so-called “Muscle Ladies”–the female police officers of Banaue MPS–who went viral in social media after they were photographed while carrying hollow blocks over their shoulders and enduring a 30-minute trek to reach the construction site.

“Hindi man bahagi ng kanilang pang araw-araw na tungkulin, nakatutuwang naglaan ng pondo, oras, at pawis ang ating mga kapulisan para mabigyan ng maayos na tirahan si Nanay Benita at ang kanyang anak. Napakagandang initiative ito ng Banaue MPS (Although it is not part of their every day duty, I am happy that our police [spent] their money, time, and efforts to give a decent house to Nanay Benita and her daughter. This is a very good initiative of the Banaue MPS),” Eleazar said.

MUSCLE LADIES — Female police personnel of Banaue Municipal Police station carry hollow blocks over their shoulders while trekking to the site where the house of Benita Mannod is being built. (Photo courtesy of Banaue MPS)

The newly-built house located at Sitio Nabnong in Barangay Batad, Banaue town was finally turned over by the Banaue MPS to Mannod and her daughter last June 30, after more than three months of construction.

The construction of the house began on March 16.

Mannod became a beneficiary of the local police station’s “Bahay ng Kapwa Ko, Sagot Ko” project after she lost her home to a fire.

The housing project aims to provide decent housing to qualified recipients in the town. Construction materials are obtained from donations of personnel from the Banaue MPS, as well as other police units, and donors.

Personnel of the Banaue Municipal Police Station build a new house for Benita Mannod, a single mother and a fire victim. (Photo courtesy of Banaue MPS)

According to Police Major Michael Dangilan, director of the Banaue MPS, they learned of Mannod’s predicament from the locals, who shared that the elderly woman and her daughter were living in a makeshift shanty (barung-barong) made of wood and galvanized iron (GI) sheets.

The entire police unit then decided to donate a portion of their salary and started to solicit from partner organizations to buy the construction materials for the house project.

“Sana’y gayahin ito ng iba nating mga police stations at patuloy kayong makaisip at makapagtaguyod ng iba’t-ibang proyekto na tutugon sa pangangailangan ng ating mga kababayan (I hope this would be emulated by other police stations as they continue to think of ways to create projects that would help address the needs of our countrymen,” Eleazar said.