Republic Cement has played an integral part in nation building. With a goal of providing quality cement and building materials through sustainable means of production, our business and our partnerships create shared value for communities. Indeed, it is an exciting time for our country as we give rise to progressive infrastructure, thereby supporting meaningful economic growth for the Philippines.
Tahanan Ko: Building a home for Simeona
Building a home is every Filipino family’s dream. But this does not always come easy, especially for someone like Simeona Balignasay, mother of one and wife of an overseas worker, who has to supplement her husband’s remittances by making stuffed toys in her yard. Albeit challenging, she is slowly inching her way towards the attainment of this family goal as she oversees the construction of their house in Taytay, Rizal, through loans obtained from Tulay sa Pag-Unlad, Inc. (TSPI), a microfinance institution that caters mostly to low-income women and their families.
Despite their family’s limited resources, the loans Simeona gets from TSPI fuel her desire to make a decent home for her family. While her husband’s remittances cover their day-to-day household expenses, a fraction of her weekly earnings goes directly to pay off her debts to ensure continuous financing and construction of their home, which is being done in stages. Republic Cement has partnered with TSPI, bringing changes that have become immediately apparent in the house she is building.
“Bago dumating ang Republic Cement, wala kaming bintana, pinto, lahat yan wala! Mayroon lang kaming sahig. Noong nagsimula na kami sa pagtatayo, tinulungan nila kami na makakuha ng mga kailangang gamit, at ngayon, natapos na kami kasama ang second floor (Before Republic Cement came along, we had no windows, no door, nothing at all! We only had a concrete floor. When we started constructing the house, they helped us obtain all those things and now we’re already finished and with the second floor.)”
-Simeona Balignasay, TSPI-Republic Cement partnership loan beneficiary
With TSPI’s partnership with Republic Cement, her dreams have rapidly taken shape.
“Mas maayos ngayon sa Republic Cement. Mayroon kaming discount sa pagpapagawa dahil sagot nila ang sahod ng foreman. Maayos ang proseso at maganda ang kabuuang kalidad ng pagtatayo,” Simeona added (It’s better now with Republic Cement. We get a discount on the construction costs because they shoulder the foreman’s salary. The process is also smoother now and the overall construction quality is much better).
Republic Cement’s partnership with TSPI comes as a result of the expansion of their Tahanan Ko program, an Affordable Housing initiative that involves working with microfinance institutions such as TSPI, Alalay sa Kaunlaran, Inc. (ASKI), and Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation (NWTF) to directly impact the lives of housing loan beneficiaries like Simeona.
Through the partnership, Republic Cement provides assistance to the TSPI Team and foremen involved in the housing loan program through technical training conducted by skilled construction professionals and mentoring by the Tahanan Ko advisers. They are equipped with marketing skills and trained on construction standards and site safety. The company also sends Civil Engineering Technology graduates to the job sites to help oversee the construction projects and ensure optimal use of the loans through judicious selection of construction materials and the project’s compliance with building and sanitation standards.
“Republic Cement is committed to improving the lives of low-income families in a meaningful way. At Republic, we understand that communities grow faster with the aid of partnerships that are built on trust. It’s not enough that we provide Filipinos with the tools, and then expect their lives to improve instantly because of these. We’re dedicated to earning the trust of all members of the community through transparent practices and through high-quality materials for the sake of all our stakeholders.”
-Renato Sunico, President, Republic Cement
If Simeona’s story is any indication, Republic Cement’s Tahanan Ko program is truly making a positive impact on her community as some of her neighbors’ houses are also rising with the help of both organizations. She is but one of several who are eager and willing to report on how the company’s premium placed on transparency and quality has increased the stability of her home and the overall quality of life in her community.
Eyes shining with inspiration, Simeona now looks forward to her husband’s next homecoming as she can now welcome him to their home that’s been built on a foundation of trust.