HFH Philippines Partnership Completes Multi-story Residential Buildings For 96 Families In Taguig City

Part Of Planned 70-Building Project, Homes Are Built Jointly With Local City Government And Rotary Club of Manila

TAGUIG, 25th July 2008: A Habitat for Humanity project in the Philippines provides another example of how the problems of squatter settlements in fast-growing cities can be tackled through practical solutions and active partnerships with local officials and other groups.

Dignitaries: (From left) Congressman Henry M. Duenas, Jr., Congressman Rodolfo Valencia, Margie Moran-Floirendo, co-chair of HFH Philippines’ Friends of Habitat, Mayor Freddie Tinga, Rotary Club of Manila president Atty. Bienvenido Laguesma, vice president Noli de Castro, ambassador Francisco del Rosario, vice mayor George Elias and HFH Philippines chairman Francisco Bautista.

Happiness: Jocelyn Quibedo (third from right) and her family are glad to have a clean and safe house in Taguig. They were among families who received units that featured the work of interior designers.

Growth: Volunteers helping to plant young trees in the neighborbood.

Speaking at a ceremony to hand over homes to 96 Habitat families, vice president of the Philippines Noli L. Castro said: “The housing projects and initiatives of Taguig City are ‘best practices’ of good urban management and good local governance.”

The families receiving homes in Taguig City, Metro Manila, were part of a Habitat for Humanity project that brings together local city authorities and Rotary Club of Manila as partners.

Castro, who is also chairman of the government’s Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, and Taguig mayor Freddie R. Tinga handed over the units in eight medium-rise buildings during a ceremony held at the Food Terminal, Inc. (FTI) complex.

The new Habitat home families used to be part of an urban informal settlement that had formed at the FTI complex. Unable to afford commercial property, the families live in temporary shelters in the area. Many family members work as drivers, vendors or in other odd jobs while some are government and private employees drawing a small salary.

Habitat home partner Jocelyn Quibedo tells of her family’s joy. “We are happy, especially my children, after I told them that we are moving here. They are happy because they don’t like where we live; it’s not organized and when it rains, the roof leaks and our house gets flooded. We have to scoop water out when it rains. Here, it is clean and safe.”

Like other Habitat home partners, Quibedo had to contribute her own labor, or sweat equity, in the construction of their own homes. Although she had fulfilled the requirement over a year ago, she continues to volunteer at the work site every day. Through her faithful contribution, Quibedo helps other families to realize their own dreams of having a decent and durable house to live in.

Each of the 96 units measures 26 sq. m. with 9 sq. m. of common area and can accommodate a loft to increase the living space by an additional 50 per cent. The three-story buildings are part of a planned 70-building project on a five-hectare lot in Taguig. The aim is to provide safe and decent homes for more than 800 families in need according to the Taguig City government’s plan. In March 2007, HFH Philippines handed over 24 housing units that were completed in Taguig.

For the FTI project, Habitat’s partners provide programs for value formation, livelihood, education, health, sanitation and environmental safety training and coaching. To meet educational needs, the local government and an international Catholic school have plans to set up an elementary school by 2009.