Republic Cement expands housing program
Republic Cement has recently expanded its affordable housing initiative called Tahanan Ko, as it partnered with three microfinance institutions.
These MFIs were identified as Tulay sa Pag-unlad Inc.; Alalay sa Kaunlaran Inc.; and the Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation.
“Republic Cement is dedicated to helping address the Philippine housing backlog through collaborations that create shared value for those at the bottom of the pyramid,” Renato Sunico, president of Republic Cement and Building Materials, Inc. (RCBM), said in a statement.
“Affordable housing is one of the major pillars of our iSTAND4 program, which covers our CSR and Sustainability Plan for 2020,” Sunico added.
The new set of partnerships is intended to benefit low-income families who avail housing and home improvement loans from the three MFIs.
Under the partnership, Republic Cement provides marketing and technical assistance to the employees and foremen of the MFIs involved in the housing loan program.
These include equipping employees with marketing skills, conducting safety and basic construction trainings, and deploying Civil Engineering Technology graduates.
Through these interventions, Republic Cement ensures that projects are constructed in line with appropriate building and sanitation standards using high-quality materials.
Republic Cement is targeting to generate a total of 5,250 house renovations and constructions from the program for 2016.
According to Sunico, Republic Cement is currently planning to further grow the program’s footprint, which currently covers Luzon and Visayas. The target was to ink similar partnerships with Mindanao-focused MFIs.
To date, Republic Cement’s Tahanan Ko program has benefited over 400,000 individuals. The said program adopts a multi-model approach in addressing the country’s socialized housing challenges.
Apart from the MFI housing loan program partnership, the company also works with National Housing Authority (NHA) contractors for government housing projects, collaborates with housing non-government organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and GMA Kapuso Foundation for disaster rehabilitation projects.
Demand for cement in Asean on the rise
Thailand’s Siam Cement Group (SCG) expects the cyclical upturn of the petrochemical industry and the robust growth in the construction industry to sustain the demand for cement in the Asean region.
That robust growth has been reflected in the 57 percent surge in SCG’s overall profit of P19 billion in the third quarter of the year, the company said in a press statement.
In the Philippines however, SCG posted a slower growth rate in revenues of 6 percent to P1.95 billion for the same period. The company’s total assets here were valued at P9.8 billion.
According to SCG, the Philippine market has not shown any significant signs of recovery “due to more rain fall compared to the previous year coupled with the fact that government infrastructure projects are in the process of being carried out.” It added that investments by the private sector have also slowed down.
SCG, one of the leading conglomerates in the Asean region, has three core businesses namely cement and building materials; chemicals; and packaging. It began business operation in the Philippines in 1993 and now has seven subsidiaries with 1,100 employees.
Available products here include roofing products, fiber cement board, fiber-cement wood substitute, thermal and acoustic insulation under the brand SCG as well as wall and floor ceramic tiles, sanitary ware and fittings, bathroom fixtures under the brands COTTO and Mariwasa.
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