Blog2020-07-31T16:26:09+08:00

Habitat Philippines Blog Page

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50 homes for Haiyan survivors

Habitat Philippines, Lions Clubs International to build 50 homes for Haiyan survivors

(PASTRANA, Leyte) More than seven years after the grueling impact of Typhoon Haiyan in Leyte, 50 more homes for survivor families are soon to rise in Barangay District IV, Pastrana through the partnership of Habitat for Humanity Philippines, Lions Clubs International, and the municipal government.

Present in the Groundbreaking Ceremony last April 23, 2021 were Pastrana Mayor Maritess Cayaco-Marcos, Habitat Philippines Chief Development Officer Lala Baldelovar, Lions Clubs MD 301-B2 District Governor Lion Jude Abenoja, and representatives from the local government and the community to mark the start of construction. This housing project aims to fulfill the commitment of Lions Clubs International, through the Lions Clubs International Foundation, to build 200 disaster-resilient, permanent homes in Leyte to relocate the typhoon-affected families living in transitional shelters for years.

Since the Habitat-Lions partnership started in 2014 under Habitat’s Rebuild Philippines Program, 150 families have already moved into a much safer and decent home and have developed thriving communities with the support of the local government. The first 100 families were relocated in the Cali Site, Tacloban City in 2015 and 2019, while 50 houses were turned over to beneficiaries in Pastrana in September 2020. Habitat Philippines and Lions Clubs International target to complete the last tranche of the reconstruction program in the next 14 to 16 months.

Check out more photos of the Groundbreaking Ceremony here.

Security amidst Crisis

When Rona Mae Gallego lost her job as an overseas Filipino worker due to an illness, she and her partner, Julius, went through such an ordeal to sustain the medicines and therapy of their now 11-year-old daughter, who has Rett Syndrome.

It didn’t help that they constantly had to move from one place to another, relying on the mercy of their parents and siblings just to have a house to stay in.

“It was such a difficult situation. My partner and I constantly faced a lot of problems, which made him resort to drinking. Most of his income would go to his drinking and there wouldn’t be enough left for us,” recalled Rona.

To help provide for the needs of their daughter, Rona had to seek help from loan sharks. But their increasing debts became a financial burden. Despite too many curveballs thrown their way, Rona never lost hope but instead, strengthened her faith that someday, their life would take a turn for the better. And finally, it did when they got selected as a Habitat homepartner.

Rona tearfully remembered, “Last December 2019 was our first Christmas in this new house that I can call my own. I can’t forget the happiness of my daughter. She was all smile when we moved into the house and she slept comfortably that night. Having a decent home is so important when you have a kid. You’re able to plan your life better because your basic housing need is addressed.”

Living in the Katuwang Community for over a year now has made a huge difference in their lives. Rona has found better ways to earn and save up through a small buy-and-sell business that also helps provide livelihood to some of their neighbors. With his drinking lessened, Julius has a renewed sense of responsibility and starts making plans for their future. They’ve also learned to avail of the services of microfinance institutions, which help boost their livelihood and increase their savings. More importantly, their daughter, Em-em, is happier and more comfortable.

Despite the difficulties during the pandemic, Rona keeps her faith that everything will be just fine. They will keep fighting amid challenges. No more moving, no more unbearable debts. With more stable finances, a decent home of their own, and a more hopeful future, Rona’s optimistic that they can overcome any crisis, even the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If this pandemic happened before, it would have been difficult for our family because we didn’t have a permanent home. That’s why I’m grateful to have our own home now. We feel safer, more comfortable, and more secure,” said Rona with a fulfilled smile.

Help more Filipino families like Rona’s build strength, stability, and self-reliance through decent shelter. Support Habitat’s programs today: habitat.org.ph/donatenow.

A Village Built by Love

From India’s Taj Mahal to Cebu City’s Temple of Leah, history is familiar with gestures of love solidified in shrines and castles. Who would have thought that a Habitat community would be built from a similar fate through Micky and Maritess Alava-Yong?

It began with Micky’s desire to honor his late wife, Maritess by starting a foundation in her name. From there, a village filled with the hopes of its residents had risen in Silay City, Negros Occidental as a new beginning for less fortunate families.

The land that was once empty found new purpose, through the partnership and collaboration among Habitat for Humanity International, Habitat for Humanity Philippines, Maritess Alava-Yong (M.A.Y) Foundation, Inc., Base Bahay Foundation, Inc., the Hilti Foundation, and the Silay City local government. The M.A.Y Village’s Katuwang Community in BonBon Resettlement Project Phase III, Barangay E. Lopez is nestled in lush greens, just 20 minutes away from the city center and is home to 86 low-income families who were once informal settlers or living in danger zones.

In January 2018, construction began for 43 duplexes or 86 housing units using Base Bahay’s Cement Bamboo Frame Technology. Habitat and the LGU had selected the families who would become homepartners—some used to live along danger zones, while others were evicted from privately owned lands. All of them did not have the financial capacity to have a safe, disaster-resilient home of their own.

Gina Dicen’s family was one of the chosen ones. A single mother of 5, Gina and her kids were at risk of eviction when the life-changing opportunity came. Determined to have a decent place of their own, she did ‘sweat equity,’ in which homepartners would help in the construction of the houses. Her motivation was the hope that one of those houses would soon be hers.

Emelyn Almaden, who lost her arm in accident, is no stranger to hardship, but also knows what it means to bounce back. With a smile, she narrates how in spite of losing an arm, she is still one of the best clothes washers, with many return clients. She and her family composed of two deaf mute teenage children are overflowing with gratitude to have been chosen to have a Habitat home.

For Razil Madersi, flooding was a regular part of their lives. Because of the high cost of living in Manila, they lived in an area that was flooded daily. They returned home to Negros with the hopes of a better life, but also found themselves faced with the same problem. At the slightest sign of rain, they had to wait for a week or two before the waters would subside. Salvation came when they were chosen to have a Habitat home in the M.A.Y village.

The Habitat-M.A.Y Foundation partnership goes beyond house construction. Upholding the commitment to build strength, stability, and self-reliance, the partnership also funded social preparation trainings and community development programs for the holistic growth and progress of the village.

Last September 23, 2019, a 95-sqm multi-purpose center was turned over to the community which coincided with the launch of the Negros Occidental Impact Coalition. The coalition aims to build on the success of the M.A.Y Village and build 10,000 sustainable, innovative, disaster-resilient, and environment-friendly homes in the province in only five years.

Born out of love, built through kindness and hard work, transformed by hope and determination, the M.A.Y village is a legacy in itself — for beyond the structures, it has also created a community that lives in harmony and holds promise for a brighter future.

The Greatest Gift

Meravic Nalang and her family were no strangers to moving from one place to another.  Her husband’s job as a pastor meant they would move 18 times in the last couple of years, mostly staying in a parsonage or renting a space.

“Way back 2014, it was in my prayer list to have a house for my children because constantly moving was really hard for me. Then I heard from Joel of CSC that they would have a housing project with Habitat. As a CSC counselor, I was so happy and grateful to be chosen as one of the beneficiaries.”

With the promise of a new home, things were supposed to get easier for Meravic’s family. The plan was to stay in their family’s ancestral house while building their new home in CSC but the owners did not allow them to. They had no choice but to ask their friends for a place to stay. One friend responded that they could stay in his coffin shop, if they wanted.  “We stayed in the coffin shop for two years. Then the owner told us that they already needed to use the space because they were planning to start a retreat house.”

Homeless but far from losing hope, Meravic’s family thought of constructing a makeshift house in front of the coffin shop using scrapped materials like tarpaulins, galvanized iron sheets, and plywood. Their resourcefulness paved the way for a temporary shelter. “Whenever it would rain, our books and clothes would get wet. It forced us to burn 80% of our things because we could not use them anymore. The area was also prone to flooding. We could not sleep well at night because the ants would pester us.”

Their circumstances though did not dampen their spirit but instead boosted their motivation to work and finish their home.  “I encouraged my kids to work hard (when we had to participate in sweat equity) because this home will eventually be theirs… We worked even on our rest days, holidays, (and) summer breaks.”

Years of hard work, dedication, and patience paid off. Meravic and her family finally reaped the fruit of their labor—a decent home of their own—away from risks, hazards, and eviction. Those days of distress and uncertainty are nothing but part of a memory and a history to tell their grandchildren. “This is the greatest gift I’ve ever had…We sleep (better) now… When (we leave work)… we’re proud to say that we’re going home and it’s ours.”

Rebuild Philippines: Haiyan

RATIONALE AND BRIEF BACKGROUND:

The massive destruction of Super Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) last November 2013 brought Habitat for Humanity Philippines and
various local government units, private corporations, organizations and indivuduals together to help rebuild the lives of families affected by the disaster.

Barangay Sulangan in the town of Bantayan in Bantayan Island, northern Cebu was identified by Habitat for Humanity as one of the relocation sites for survivors of Yolanda.

Stonewell

BACKGROUND:

The Philippines has a housing backlog of around 5 million. This number does not take into account families affected by both natural and man- made calamities which strike the Philippines every year. Therefore, millions of Filipinos lack access to permanent and decent housing and if there is no intervention to this national issue, the number of houses required is estimated to reach 6.5 million by 2030.

Some of these families have the means to acquire a simple, decent home. In Barangay San Pedro in Sto. Tomas, Batangas, families particularly comprised of public and factory employees fall into this category. However, there are not enough homes offered in the market that fits their financial capacity. Therefore, many families are forced to rent a place that they must share with other families.

Habitat for Humanity Philippines aims to break this generational cycle through developing communities such as Stonewell in Bgy. San Pedro, Batangas. Through this project, Habitat is partnering with all sectors to address these underserved families.

Pasig 2

RATIONALE AND BRIEF BACKGROUND:

Thousands of informal settler families live in houses made of light materials along Metro Manila’s waterways, particularly the Pasig River. These make shift houses easily deteriorate and offer little or no protection, as areas on or near waterways are easily prone to flooding when rain and storms affect the city.

Habitat’s Pasig 2 site is intended to provide safe and secure homes that will provide sustainable protection for families living in these areas, or in other dangerous areas of the city.

Pasig 1

RATIONALE AND BRIEF BACKGROUND:

Thousands of informal settler families live in houses made of light materials along Metro Manila’s waterways, particularly the Pasig River. These make shift houses easily deteriorate and offer little or no protection, as areas on or near waterways are easily prone to flooding when rain and storms affect the city.

Habitat’s Pasig 1 site is intended to provide safe and secure homes that will provide sustainable protection for families living in these areas, or in other dangerous areas of the city.

Karismaville

RATIONALE AND BRIEF BACKGROUND:

In early 2000, the Philippine National Railway opted to renovate railways located in Malabon City. Thousands of families at the time lived beside those affected train tracks, in makeshift houses made of ply board as walls and corrugated iron as roofs.

Habitat’s Karismaville site is intended to provide decent homes for those affected by the railway renovation, by relocating them to an unaffected, safe area in Barangay Panghulo.

Rebuild Bohol

RATIONALE AND BRIEF BACKGROUND:

The Rebuild Bohol project aims to assist families in areas affected by the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that rocked the province in October 2013. Habitat for Humanity Philippines is partnering with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), local government units in the province, relief and recovery agencies, and corporate donors to rebuild 8,083 earthquake-resilient homes across 17 of the hardest-hit towns in Bohol.

Habitat Philippines has identified the following towns as priority areas: Buenavista, Inabanga, Clarin, Tubigon, Sagbayan, Carmen, Danao, Calape, Loon, Balilihan, Antequera, Catigbian, San Isidro, Corella, Cortes and Maribojoc.

 

Bistekville 4

RATIONALE AND BRIEF BACKGROUND:

Housing the largest number of informal settlers in the country, Quezon City* has more than 200,000 families** living in areas considered danger zones – 80% of which are informal settlers. Many of those families live in patched-up houses made of salvaged materials they find in dump sites.

Habitat’s Bistekville 4 site is intended to provide homes for those families currently living in the area as informal settlers, and other areas of the city including: under bridges, along waterways, on private or government land, and in doubled-up homes with other families.

* According to the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (2010)

**According to Quezon City, Urban Poor Affairs (2010)

 

Bistekville 1

RATIONALE AND BRIEF BACKGROUND:

Housing the largest number of informal settlers in the country, Quezon City has more than 200,000 families living in areas considered danger zones – 80% of which are informal settlers. Many of those families live in patched- up houses made of salvaged materials they find in dump sites.

Furthermore, only 35% of teachers in Quezon City have the luxury of having their own homes, with the remainder left to rent, squat or live in places far in distance from their work.

Habitat’s Bistekville 1 site is intended to provide homes for those teachers and their families, and families living along or in danger areas of the city, private or government land, and doubled- up homes with other families.

Bistekville 1 home partners pay a monthly amortiziation of P2,500, over a 25-30 year mortgage term through PAG-IBIG and Social Housing and Finance Corporation.