A top official of an international philanthropic non-profit housing organization on Monday expressed his full support for the government’s Pambansang Pabahay Para sa Pilipino (4PH) program during a meeting with various government officials at the Base Bahay Innovation Center in Makati City.
“We are fully supportive and committed to helping the government achieve its goal of addressing the country’s 6.5 million housing backlog for low-income families,” said Matthias Gillner, president of the Liechtenstein-based Hilti Foundation.
To complement the 4PH program, Gillner said the Hilti Foundation is looking to provide affordable housing to low-income families and informal settler families, particularly those without membership to the Home Development Mutual Fund or PAG-IBIG.
“Many of our low-income families have no access to loans from Pag-IBIG so this is where we come in. We will provide them the opportunity to have their own home through our low-cost housing projects,” Gillner explained.
Hilti Foundation is currently working in partnership with Habitat for Humanity and Base Bahay Foundation to provide low-cost housing in various parts of the country using the Cement Bamboo Frame Technology (CBFT).
“Base Bahay in the Philippines is our technology hub,” Gillner pointed out, adding that the country is an ideal place to build houses using CBFT, which he describes as a good complement to the 4PH program.
“We need innovative solutions to solve this housing backlog through affordable and sustainable means. We at Hilti Foundation are optimistic that the multi-modal approach and CBFT in constructing socialized housing will help address this problem,” Gillner said.
“These innovative solutions can also improve and protect the lives of Filipinos, especially in far-flung and calamity-prone areas of the country,” he added.
Additionally, when produced according to the standards of the Hilti Foundation, bamboo is resilient, as it can withstand wind speeds of up to 250 kilometers per hour and earthquakes up to 7.5 on the Richter Scale.
Based on the Hilti Foundation’s study, Gillner said bamboo’s ecological performance is 70 percent better and more affordable than conventional housing materials.
“The Philippines is a good place to be in building these CBFT units. This will help complement the government’s 4PH housing program,” Gillner noted.
Gillner also highlighted that the multi-modal approach in the construction of houses is an ideal and cost-effective option in geographically challenging regions where vertical housing is not feasible.
At the same time, he emphasized the importance of collaboration between private organizations and the government in various housing initiatives to achieve the target of constructing 1 million housing units annually through the 4PH.
“If we move together in one direction, then it would be easier to achieve our goal. The private sector is always willing and ready to help this noble government endeavor succeed,” he said.
The meeting attendees also discussed the crucial need for both the government and the public sector to secure a sustainable funding source to achieve 4PH goals.
Among those who attended the meeting were former Cong. Ashley Acedillo, chief of staff of Senator Francis Tolentino, Atty. Joren Tan, chief of staff of Congressman Ralph Tulfo, and Batangas Provincial Administrator Wilfredo Racelis.
Habitat for Humanity, with Hilti Foundation and Base Bahay, recently turned over 40 housing units to beneficiaries in Silay City under its Negros Occidental Impact 2025 (NOI25) Project.
The NOI25 Project has already built 362 houses in Silay City and 60 houses in San Carlos City. Another housing project is soon to rise in La Carlota City.