Holcim, partners help families in Central Luzon strengthen homes vs. climate change

Leading building solutions provider Holcim Philippines, Inc. has successfully completed a project to help families make their homes  more-disaster resilient in collaboration with  non-profit social innovator Build Change, and Alalay sa Kaunlaran Microfinance Social Development, Inc. (ASKI Microfinance).

The partners helped 37 families in Aurora and Nueva Ecija strengthen their houses against extreme weather. The project dubbed “Matibay na Bahay para sa mas Ligtas na Buhay '' provided access to housing loans to low-income families while raising awareness on the importance of climate-resilience building to more than 3,000 people, and employing 120 local masons. Aurora was identified in a 2023 report as among the provinces vulnerable to climate change.


Build Change developed a special training module on strengthening houses using Holcim’s low-carbon cement products. ASKI Microfinance, meanwhile, extended home- strengthening microloans to clients. The house improvements were done with general purpose cement Excel ECOPlanet, masonry cement Wallright Prime, and Superfine Skimcoat demonstrating that using the right product for the right application leads to more efficient material consumption and lower total construction cost compared with conventional methods.


Among the beneficiaries is Marissa Villaruz whose family was trapped inside their house by floods caused by Typhoon Lawin in 2016. This traumatizing experience motivated her to participate in the program to strengthen their house by incrementally transitioning from timber to concrete.


“Dahil sa programang ito naisaayos ang aming bahay. Laking pasasalamat ko.(Because of this program, we were able to fix our house. I am very grateful),” she said.


Lily Lorenzo also joined the program to fix her house’s leaking roof and water seeping through the walls when it rains. 


"Makakatulog na nang maayos ang mga anak ko. Komportable na sila, lalo na sa kanilang pag-aaral. (Now, My children can sleep well. They are now comfortable, especially when they are studying),” she said.


Holcim Philippines is committed to helping families and community masons access additional knowledge on construction materials and practices to build decent, resilient yet affordable homes improving the overall well-being of low-income communities. Holcim continues to expand its collaboration with key partners and introduce more innovative building products and solutions in support of the growth and development of the country.  


Holcim Philippines Chief Sustainability Officer Zoe Sibala : “It is crucial for Filipino families especially those most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change to be able to help themselves in building strong and safer homes. Giving access to financing for low-income families coupled with the knowledge of building resiliently and the use of quality and low-carbon building materials was the ideal formula to empower families to keep them safe.”


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.