Vida Rodriguez | April 2, 2018
Republic Cement formalized its partnership with another Microfinance Institution (MFI) with a strong presence in Mindanao to provide affordable housing for low-income Filipino families all over the country.
Republic Cement’s partnership with MFIs offering housing and home improvement loans to low-income families is part of its “Tahanan Ko” Affordable Housing Program, which provides technical training to foremen and MFI Employees and assistance of Project Technical Advisors towards the building of safe, affordable, and durable housing.
Its recently inked partnership with Taytay sa Kauswagan, Inc. is in line with Republic’s commitment to expand the program’s footprint outside Luzon and Visayas, where the program has released over 20,000 loans since 2013. Some 7,000 housing and home improvement loans are targeted by 2018.
The company sees the “Tahanan Ko” program as a more sustainable solution towards addressing problems in the country’s affordable housing sector with the backlog estimated to be at 5.7 million. This also empowers MFIs to promote financial inclusion, especially for housing.
“Today, there are still Typhoon Yolanda survivors who haven’t found or settled in decent homes. We recognized the need to address the housing backlog of the country, so we conceptualized this program and partnered with MFIs to give low-income families the opportunity to afford and build their own homes.”
-Nabil Francis, President, Republic Cement Services, Inc.
Guided by appropriate building and sanitation standards and a proprietary technical training model, Republic Cement provides technical trainings for foremen and MFI employees, including Basic Construction Safety. MFIs are also assigned Project Technical Advisors that provide technical advice to their clients and foremen, and conduct the necessary spot quality control from planning until turn over.
“We are helping to mitigate issues that plague low cost housing, including poor quality of construction materials and unsafe construction practices. We wish to provide more Filipinos access to homes that are safe, durable and affordable,” Francis adds.
Based on the government’s Philippine Development Plan (PDP), the country needs roughly 6.8 million housing units between now and 2022. Republic Cement’s Tahanan Ko program, apart from partnerships with MFIs, also collaborates with the National Housing Authority (NHA) contractors for government mass housing projects, and housing non-government organizations with particular focus on socialized and disaster rehabilitation projects.
“We have a long road ahead, but we are hopeful that our efforts will contribute to nation-building, one home at a time. Our target is very simple—to build stronger homes for a stronger Republic,” concludes Francis.
Republic Cement is currently in partnership with three other MFIs’ namely; Tulay sa Pag-unlad Inc., Alalay sa Kaunlaran, Inc., and the Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation. The company is looking to further extend the program to Cagayan de Oro, Iligan and Zamboanga this year.