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Toyota executives help build 160 homes in Laguna

By Othel V. Campos | Jan. 05, 2014 at 12:01am

It was a happy Christmas for 160 families of Santa Rosa City in Laguna who received their own homes from Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. and its partner organizations in December.

Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. president Michinobu Sugata, Gawad
Kalinga chairman and founder Tony Meloto and Santa Rosa City Mayor
Arlene Arcillas merge with the group of beneficiaries who show their
certificates of title for their new homes in the Toyota-City of Sta.
Rosa-GK Village in Laguna province.

TMP teamed up with Toyota Motor Philippines Foundation, Gawad Kalinga and the city government of Sta. Rosa to build a mass housing project for the poor residents of the city.  Toyota turned over 160 units in the Toyota-City of Sta. Rosa-GK Village in Pulong Sta. Cruz to the new homeowners a week before Christmas.

“This project is our way of giving back to the society which gave us so many opportunities for business growth.  This event is the culmination of Toyota’s 25th year celebration which becomes more meaningful as we celebrate it with you, our community partners and beneficiaries,” Toyota Motor Philippines president and chief executive Michinobu Sugata said during the turnover rites.

In less than two years of preparation and man-work hours contributed by beneficiaries of the housing project, Toyota Foundation awarded the final set of mass housing units to deserving families from villages of Pulong Sta. Cruz and Malitlit.

The Toyota-City of Santa Rosa-GK Village is a project built by the local government of Santa Rosa and Gawad Kalinga. Toyota donated P22 million for the construction of the socialized housing units and a multi-purpose hall inside the village.

The city government of Santa Rosa, led by Mayor Arlene Arcillas, donated the land for the project site.  The total land area covers 8,000 square meters, of which around 5,000 sq.m. were allocated for housing and 3,000 sq. m. for the development of a common area where a park, school, community center, and multi-purpose hall are being constructed.

As the lead coordinator for the project, GK implements the housing program, covering engineering and construction management.  It is also in charge of coordinating other programs for health, education and livelihood for the beneficiaries.

Gawad Kalinga chairman and founder Tony Meloto said the village would be a showcase for Toyota to the world that their commitment goes beyond their manufacturing plants “because, you see, the global economy now demands from multinationals greater social impact. And that is what Toyota did with this humanitarian effort of providing shelter to the homeless.”

Gawad Kalinga, which means “to give care” in Filipino, is a Philippine-based poverty-alleviation and nation-building movement that builds integrated, holistic and sustainable communities in impoverished areas.  Started in 1995, GK is now being implemented in almost 2,000 communities in the Philippines and in 11 other countries.

The housing units have been assigned to beneficiaries who have met the required sweat equity or man-work hours dedicated to the construction of the units in exchange for the material and logistical support.

As a GK rule, each beneficiary is expected to render at least 2,500 man-hours equivalent in sweat equity before his unit is awarded to him. Beneficiaries provide sweat equity so that there is a sense of ownership and unity and they work on the structures together.

This also leads to sustainability, because the families build relationships with each other and take great efforts to maintain the structures that they worked hard for.

Toyota Foundation donated P20 million for the construction of 160 socialized housing units and another P2 million to fund the construction of a multi-purpose hall inside the village.

The Toyota-City of Santa Rosa-GK Village project is a corporate social responsibility initiative that champions Toyota’s advocacy in community development:

The project also complements Toyota’s strategy of involving the Toyota Networ—Toyota Motor Philippines, dealers and suppliers—during the actual construction of houses, creating awareness and encouraging active participation from members of the Toyota Team.

“We would like to thank our partners and countless volunteers from various sectors of the Philippine society as well as corporate and non-governmental organizations from abroad who spent their precious time and efforts to be part of this noble undertaking. Let us make Toyota- City of Santa Rosa-GK Village a model community that transforms the lives of its residents,” Sugata said.

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