United by a culture of building communities, some 70 volunteer employees and residents of DMCI Homes condominium projects recently gathered together for a house-painting activity for the benefit of residents of Gawad Kalinga’s Manggahan-Kawayanan Village located in Barangay Marcelo Green, Parañaque City.
Held last July 7, the volunteers helped spruce up a total of 26 housing units in the corporate social responsibility (CSR) activity organized by DMCI Homes together with Gawad Kalinga. The 26 beautified homes were among the 93 socialized housing units donated by the leading resort-inspired community developer to Gawad Kalinga in Parañaque City.
Von Castor, a business process manager at the DMCI Homes Property Management Corporation (DPMC) said he didn’t hesitate to volunteer knowing the activity’s impact to community building.
“We, at the DPMC, we’re after community building. So we’re very happy that we were part of this activity. It may just be a house-painting activity but there’s a deeper meaning behind it,” Castor said.
“Of course before you build a community, you first build a home. We hope na yung pinagpaguran namin, pinaghirapan namin maging ‘home’ siya para sa beneficiary na family,” he explained.
Dubbed as DMCI Homes-Gawad Kalinga House Painting Activity, the volunteers formed groups of five and were given materials before they were assigned to a housing unit. Together, they helped apply primer on 15 housing units and colored 11 others slated for turnover.
A fixture in DMCI Homes CSR activities, Alan Domingo of the Purchasing Department likewise shared his favorite part of the house-painting activity.
“Pinakagusto kong part ng activity yung medyo pa-ending na kasi nakikita mo na yung pinaghirapan mo. It’s very fulfilling. Masarap sa pakiramdam kasi nakatulong ka sa ibang tao,” the procurement officer related.
Volunteer unit owners, meanwhile, were elated that DMCI Homes opened up an opportunity to help the underprivileged through the activity.
“I’ve been wanting to join a house building and house painting activity. Luckily and fortunately, DMCI Homes organized this kind of outreach program for the less privileged,” said Rhapsody Residences unit owner Christabelle Matoza.
“So happy naman ako sa naging experience kasi kung titingnan natin sa point of view natin, iisipin mo sila yung blessed because nandito tayo to volunteer for them. Pero in return, bine-bless din nila tayo kasi parang may realization din tayo na mayroon pala tayong compassionate and generous heart,” she added.
Katherine Olaivar, one of the 10 volunteers from Siena Park Residences, said there is no better feeling in the world than having able to help people who are in need.
“Hindi mo mararamdaman yung pagod kasi alam mong may matutulungan ka,” she enthused
Since 2015, DMCI Homes has helped Gawad Kalinga build more than 500 housing units for families displaced by local government units’ relocation program and those affected by natural disasters all over the country.
At the 2.7-hectare Manggahan-Kawayanan Village, DMCI Homes has donated more than 90 units of 20-25 square meter concrete shelter with a provision for a second floor.
“When Gawad Kalinga came in in 2006, the first order of business that we did was how to take this piece of property become legally-owned by the informal settler beneficiaries. We explored ways and means and we found out that Community Mortgage Program is the best alternative here,” said Cokes De Leon, project director of Gawad Kalinga for the Manggahan-Kawayanan Village.
“This is under the Social Housing Corporation of the Philippine wherein they purchase the properties from private individuals or corporations and then they sell it to the existing people living there, the informal settlers. So this is how the community came about,” he continued.
Anita Enderez, who is one of the socialized housing beneficiaries, said she could not thank DMCI Homes enough for helping her family own a decent home.
“Nagpapasalamat ako sa DMCI Homes kasi hindi na kami palipat-lipat ng tirahan. Kaya natutuwa ako dahil talagang bahay na namin ang lilipatan namin,” she said.
Aysa Oquinena of Gawad Kalinga Mabuhay Social Enterprise, Inc. who helped organized the activity, on the other hand, lauded the volunteers for demonstrating one of the key elements of Gawad Kalinga which is bringing people together through “bayanihan.”
“It’s more than cooperation, it’s more than teamwork, it’s more than solidarity, kasi binibigay po natin yung buong buhay natin doon sa pagtulong. You are creating an impact and you are helping us build this nation,” she beamed.
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