Thursday, April 25, 2024

Holcim and Build Change Strengthens Partnership for Climate-Resilient Housing

Holcim and Build Change Strengthens Partnership for Climate-Resilient Housing

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Holcim Philippines, Inc. and Build Change have strengthened their partnership to improve access of Filipinos to climate-resilient housing renovations.

The parties will collaborate on a pilot project that aims to expand funding access to vulnerable, low-income families through a scalable, sustainable, and appropriate microloans to strengthen houses using low-carbon Holcim products and through Build Change’s partner microfinance institution (MFI) Alalay sa Kaunlaran Inc. (ASKI).

The project aims to strengthen an initial 28 houses in Baler, Aurora against extreme weather, create 100 jobs and train 1,500 people on climate-resilient building. Holcim Philippines will provide grant funding complementary to the loans taken by clients for the strengthening of select houses in Aurora. In addition, Holcim Philippines will share technical guidance on the proper use of its products and help promote the program. Build Change, meanwhile, will provide technical assistance to incrementally strengthen houses through the use of its developed tools and resources, and coordinate with ASKI for the project implementation in Nueva Ecija and Aurora.

Holcim Chief Sustainability Officer Zoe Sibala shares: “We are proud and excited to move to this next stage of our partnership with Build Change that will make a significant contribution in protecting the most vulnerable Filipino families from the devastating effects of climate change. This initiative enables them to make the needed improvements in the right manner to raise the performance of homes against typhoons and earthquakes that regularly hit the country. We look forward to its success that highlights our commitment to build greener, smarter and for all.”

Build Change Country Program Manager, Girlie Lopez: “In our work with MFIs, Build Change has proven that families are willing to take out loans to strengthen their houses, if adequate financing and technical assistance options are available for people without access to conventional credit. In collaboration with Holcim Philippines, Build Change will continue to work with MFIs and homeowners to take these lessons and financial products to the next level of scale. We are excited for this partnership and confident it will make a difference in improving the lives of Filipinos.”

In 2022, Holcim Philippines and Build Change formalized their cooperation to work on disaster-resilient housing projects in highly vulnerable areas in the country.

Build Change has worked in the Philippines since Typhoon Yolanda in 2013. During this period, it has supported both post-disaster reconstruction and work to prevent housing loss against future disasters. Among its accomplishments are the construction of over 2,000 safer buildings for 40,000 people, training of over 4,700 individuals in safe construction practices, creation of 560 jobs, and expansion of its network of partners in the local government and business sector for greater impact.

ASKI was started in 1986 by Christian business leaders in Nueva Ecijia to support the community’s development by providing microfinancing access to small entrepreneurs and other members of society not served by bigger funding institutions. It has grown to serve not just rural communities but also overseas Filipino workers with a portfolio of Php1.7 billion with 98 branches in Regions 1, 2 and 3 serving more than 100,000 clients and insuring more than 800,000 members and their families.