Republic Cement has for several years supported the construction of affordable housing and access to housing loans for low-income families through its Tahanan Ko program in partnership with the Micro Finance Institutions (MFI). This program, however, has benefited more than these families—since its inception in November 2013, Tahanan Ko has generated a total of Php 675-million worth of revenues for its over 1,000 partner retail stores in Luzon and the Visayas.
In 2018 alone, revenues realized by local retailers attributed to Tahanan Ko amounted to Php 167 million alongside the release of 7,436 housing loans.
“The impact of our Tahanan Ko Affordable Housing Initiative has gone beyond addressing the housing backlog in the country and providing access to low-income families to affordable housing loans,” said Republic Cement CEO and President Nabil Francis. “It has also boosted the earnings of our local entrepreneurs.”
Through the partnerships inked with MFI who offer housing and home improvement loans to low-income families, Republic Cement provides Technical Advisors and technical training to foremen and MFI employees on basic house construction and safety to ensure safe and better built homes.
To ensure that loan proceeds go directly to the building of the loanees homes, Tahanan Ko introduced a key innovation to the process of acquiring the funds. The MFI issue purchase orders for construction material requirements to local retail partners instead of releasing cash to the loanees. These retail partners then deliver the materials to construction sites and receive payment directly from the MFI.
In an interview, Corazan Cortezano, one of Republic Cement’s retail partners in Nagcarlan, Laguna said Tahanan Ko has significantly improved the earnings of their small business. “We have been receiving purchase orders every month. Our store sales increased because of Tahanan Ko, and that means a lot to us,” she added.
Currently, Republic Cement has a standing partnership with MFIs across the Philippines, namely Tulay sa Pag-unlad Inc. (TSPI), Alalay sa Kaunlaran, Inc., (ASKI), Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation (NWTF), and Taytay sa Kauswagan, Inc. (TSKI).
To date, MFIs through Republic Cement’s Tahanan Ko program have released 28,700 housing loans, benefiting close to 150,000 lives. Republic Cement is set to expand Tahanan Ko in Mindanao in 2019, eyeing to reach more families in Cagayan de Oro and Zamboanga.
In 2018, National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) cited the integral role of the private sector in addressing the country’s housing backlog estimated to be over six million housing units by year 2022.