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All she wanted was to provide a better life for her family when she moved to Manila from Davao City. More than two decades and tons of patience, perseverance and faith later, 49-year-old Rosa Baldelobar finally received what she has been praying for a better job and a decent home.
This after Baldelobar recently accepted the key to her new home after major real estate developer DMCI Homes and non-government organization Gawad Kalinga turned over newly built shelters to a total of 43 beneficiaries at the Manggahan Kawayanan in Green Marcelo, Sucat, Paranaque City.
"Lahat naman ng tao nangangarap na ma-improve ang buhay. Kaya masayang-masaya ako na natupad na ang dalangin ko at napabilang ako sa mga nabiyayaan ng bahay ng Gawad Kalinga at DMCI Homes," enthused the Davaoena in an interview inside her new home.
A widow and a mother to a teenaged son, Baldelobar narrated that she arrived in Manila in 1989 to work as a maid to help her family in Davao City. When she got married a few years later, her late husband encouraged her to study dressmaking that led an opportunity to work in a factory. Knowing the importance of learning, Baldelobar tried to learn the ropes in a company through self-study. She now works as an office staff in the barangay's homeowner association.
According to Baldelobar, living in a shanty entails a lot of sacrifice, endurance and courage saying "Napakahirap tumira sa iskwater. Ang polusyon matindi. Dikit-dikit ang mga bahay tapos yung lugar ko pa katabi ng kanal kaya mabaho. Pero dahil sa hirap ng buhay, kailangan mong magtiyaga."
"Dingding lang ang pagitan ng mga bahay namin kaya maingay. Saka nakakatakot na baka masunog kasi light material lang ang gamit ng mga bahay tapos tagpi-tagpi pa yung iba. Nakakatakot lalo na noon gasera lang ang ilaw namin," shared Baldelobar.
An active member of the homeowners association in barangay Manggahan-Kawayanan, Baldelobar revealed that the solidarity among the residents became the real driving force behind the community's triumph to acquire the then disputed land which has an area of more than 20,000 square meters.
"Since 1990s pa po ito. Napag isipan ng mga opisyales ng asosasyon na kumilos at gumawa ng paraan para maging amin ang lupa. Humingi kami ng tulong sa gobyerno at sa National Housing Authority (NHA) hanggang nakipag-negotiate kami sa may-ari ng lupa na kung puwede ay hulugan na lang ng association yung lupa," recalled Baldelobar.
Based on the website of Gawad Kalinga "In 2002, the two homeowners association of Manggahan Kawayanan reached an agreement with the land owner for the purchase of the said property under the government's Community Mortgage Program (CMP). The National Housing Authority (NHA) was chosen as Originator for the said program. (National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation (NHMFC), the agency that manages the CMP, requires accredited Originators to represent homeowner associations applying for the loan facility). Last Feb 27, 2007, The NHMFC issued a Purchase Commitment Line, signifying that the government is already committed take on the project as a CMP."
Today, with the help of Gawad Kalinga and other sponsors such as DMCI Homes, the 1,000 residents of Manggahan Kawayanan like Baldelobar are gradually reaping their hard-earned sacrifices and perseverance.
In a special awarding ceremony held recently, the housing beneficiaries under DMCI Homes were given a 20-25 square meter concrete shelter with a provision for a second floor.
"Ang importante rito ay naitayo na yung istruktura. Unti-unti mapapaganda rin namin ang aming tahanan," revealed Baldelobar adding "Hindi naman lahat ay nabibigyan ng ganitong bahay kaya dalawang palad kong tinatanggap ang biyayang ito mula kay Lord at nagpapasalamat ako sa Diyos sa pagpapadala ng mga indibiduwal at kumpanya na patuloy na tumutulong sa mga tulad namin. Malaking tulong sila aming mahihirap."
Under the company's corporate social responsibility program Kaakbay ng Pamayanan, DMCI Homes continues to partner with non-government organizations such as Gawad Kalinga in their aim to provide decent homes for the less privileged. Aside from the residents of Manggahan Kawayanan in Sucat, Paranaque, hundreds of residents in various areas in Mega Manila are expected to benefit in the ongoing partnership of DMCI Homes and Gawad Kalinga.
For more information on DMCI Homes, call (632) 324-8888 or visit the official website. News and other updates are also posted on the company's official social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
***This story is also posted at manilastandard.net.
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