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Starting out as a “Sack of Joy” project initiated by Group Human Resources (HR) Head Butch Jimenez, the “House of Joy” project is the PLDT employees’ response in providing aid to the Typhoon Yolanda victims in Tacloban. With a minimum of P150 as donation, the “House of Joy” project encourages employees to donate for a "brick" of the house. An estimated 1,800 employees engaged in the project, resulting in the establishment of 30 transitional houses.
Jimenez expresses his gratitude to the thousands of employees who made the “House of Joy” project a real success. “It really is a testament to Pusong PLDT,” Jimenez said. “This would not have happened without the support of thousands of PLDT employees and Group Heads that have embraced the campaign. We will call the village, the PLDT Village and the different groups that have raised money for the houses will be recognized.”
The PLDT sponsored housing units were among the 44 transitional houses turned over to their owners last February 16. These butterfly houses are made from 100% recycled materials. The materials used were eco-boards, which were made of 80% plastic and 20% aluminum. These innovative housing units are both fire-proof and water-proof. These can withstand an estimated 195 kph of winds during storms. Each butterfly houses measure 18 square meters, which is good for a family consisting of at least five members, adhering to the sphere standard for housing which is 3.5 square meters per family member.
Under the PDRF and USAID's joint housing project, families in Leyte are being helped to get back on their feet through the Building Resilient and Economically Adept Communities and Households (BREACH) which aims to break the vicious cycle of relocation in Yolanda-affected areas and address the challenges in relocation.
BREACH supports the development of a transitional community with provisions of: 1) individual shelter units, 2) access to basic services, 3) transport system to facilitate mobility of goods and people, and economic opportunities, and 4) capability building on disaster preparedness for the community members.
BREACH delivers its interventions through three components: providing safe, adequate and appropriate transitional shelters with access to basic facilities; establishing more resilient jobs, livelihoods and value chains; and capacity Building in Community-Based Disaster Preparedness.
PDRF has conducted consultations with partners and the Tacloban local government unit (LGU) and has identified Barangay Suhi for the transitional community to be developed through BREACH. For Year 1, BREACH aims to achieve the building of 240 Transitional House units installed with solar kits, water and sanitation facilities, to start the transport system operation, to establish community cooperative, and to implement livelihood projects within the area.
The USAID has awarded this two-year Cooperative Agreement to PDRF to deliver an integrated package of assistance to families in Northern Tacloban. PDRF will also work with local and diaspora partners to mobilize resources to expand the benefits of the USAID support through leveraging existing resources, fundraising activities and provision of pro bono expertise.
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