Holcim Philippines, Build Change seal partnership for disaster-resilient construction

As part of its commitment to help advance progress in the country, leading building solutions provider Holcim Philippines, Inc. is proud to partner with Build Change Philippines, an organization focused on building disaster-resilient homes in developing nations, to strengthen local structures against natural calamities.

Holcim Philippines Senior Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer Zoe Sibala and Build Change Philippines Country Director Arnel Capili sealed the partnership on May 11 to work on disaster-resilient housing projects and advocate this approach among stakeholders. The parties agreed to work together to initially support areas impacted by super Typhoon Odette in 2021.

The partners will collaborate on possible projects to build or retrofit houses, schools, and evacuation centers for disaster resilience and capacity-builiding through training and advocacy of policies or financing strategies to key stakeholders. Finally, both organizations committed to develop a scalable affordable housing program in collaboration with other key stakeholders like microfinance institutions to increase access to affordable, disaster-resilient homes particularly for the more vulnerable segments of society.

Capili highlighted the importance of making structures more resilient in the Philippines given its vulnerability to natural disasters such as earthquakes and storms since the country is within the Pacific Ring of Fire and the typhoon belt. He added that climate change further heightens these threats as it intensifies extreme weather around the world.

“The advocacy of Build Change is to build resilient houses and provide Filipinos a safe space when these disasters come. This partnership will help make that come true. This will be as solid as Holcim cement, durable as Build Change house, and as lasting as the friendship and camaraderie that we will forge with Holcim Philippines,” he said.

Sibala, meanwhile, noted the relevance of the partnership to the Company’s commitment to build inclusive progress in the country.

“Owning a home remains an elusive dream for many Filipinos. Build Change has been paving the way for increased access to affordable, decent, and resilient homes in the country so we are happy to complement this effort. This partnership also demonstrates that we can deliver business value while addressing social issues and key to this is a credible partner with a strong track record. Through our innovative and sustainable building solutions, and with the right products for the right applications we look to help Build Change in its mission of building more resilient homes and realize our vision of building greener, smarter and for all,” she said.

Holcim Philippines Vice President and Head of Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility Cara Ramirez, meanwhile, noted that the partnership strengthens the company’s support for communities to be more disaster resilient having done such projects for survivors of Typhoon Pablo in Compostella Valley and neighbors of its Davao Plant living in flood prone areas.

“This supports our commitment to build progress in the Philippines by contributing to make homes more resilient against extreme weather and natural disasters caused by climate change Doing so allows us to contribute to sustainable development as the lives and property of our countrymen are better protected,” she added.

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 local government, business sector for greater impact.