Holcim PH, Build Change partner for disaster-resilient construction

Published May 18, 2022, 5:06 PM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

From right are Build Change Philippines Program Officer Marvin Daryl Riego, Country Director Arnel Capili, Holcim Philippines Senior Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer Zoe Sibala and Vice President for Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility Cara Ramirez during the signing activity of the partnership for disaster-resilient construction on May 11.

As part of its commitment to help advance progress in the country,

Leading building solutions provider Holcim Philippines, Inc. has partnered with Build Change, an organization focused on building disaster-resilient homes in developing nations, to strengthen local structures against natural calamities.

Holcim Philippines Senior Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer Zoe Sibala and Build Change Philippines Country Director Arnel Capili sealed the partnership on May 11 to work on disaster-resilient housing projects and advocate this approach among stakeholders. The parties agreed to work together to initially support areas impacted by super Typhoon Odette in 2021.

Under the partnership, both Holcim and Build Change will collaborate on possible projects to build or retrofit houses, schools, and evacuation centers for disaster resilience and capacity-builiding through training and advocacy of policies or financing strategies to key stakeholders.

Both parties also commit to develop a scalable affordable housing program in collaboration with other key stakeholders like microfinance institutions to increase access to affordable, disaster-resilient homes particularly for the more vulnerable segments of society.

Capili highlighted the importance of making structures more resilient in the Philippines given its vulnerability to natural disasters such as earthquakes and storms since the country is within the Pacific Ring of Fire and the typhoon belt.

He added that climate change further heightens these threats as it intensifies extreme weather around the world.

“The advocacy of Build Change is to build resilient houses and provide Filipinos a safe space when these disasters come. This partnership will help make that come true. This will be as solid as Holcim cement, durable as Build Change house, and as lasting as the friendship and camaraderie that we will forge with Holcim Philippines,” he said.

Sibala, meanwhile, noted the relevance of the partnership to the company’s commitment to build inclusive progress in the country.

“Owning a home remains an elusive dream for many Filipinos. Build Change has been paving the way for increased access to affordable, decent, and resilient homes in the country so we are happy to complement this effort. This partnership also demonstrates that we can deliver business value while addressing social issues and key to this is a credible partner with a strong track record. Through our innovative and sustainable building solutions, and with the right products for the right applications we look to help Build Change in its mission of building more resilient homes and realize our vision of building greener, smarter and for all,” she said.