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BLD Gawad Kalinga Projects

Building Houses, Building Communities

The Bukas Loob Sa Diyos Covenant Community, normally referred to as simply “BLD”, is a community of disciples inspired by the Holy Spirit to be living witnesses for transformation in Christ to bring about a world of justice, human development and true peace. It actively participates in the life and mission of the church through our God given talents. It works for poverty alleviation through scholarships, housing for the poor and advocacies for life, environment, and good governance. In line with this, BLD has formed a partnership with Gawad Kalinga in order to create housing projects and programs that promote not just poverty alleviation but also spiritual growth, pastoral care and servant leadership.

New Project – GK Euro-Maralit

BLD’s new housing project for the poor is at GK Euro-Maralit. It is a swamp reclaimed area developed into a housing enclave by OFWs from Europe, hence the name GK Euro. It is within the Better Living Subdivison area but is better known to the residents as “Malacanang Village – Dulo.” To get to the place, you take the main road Dominic Savio Street going to Immaculate Heart of Mary School, and a few yards before the school there is a narrow street at the right (with sign Annex 38, 42, 46) leading to the site. GK Euro is about 10 to 15 minutes walk from the said corner street but can also be reached by car.

Families Living at GK Euro

There are now about 96 families living at GK Euro. Twenty two apartment-type units are under construction and another 40 units are still available for construction, twelve of which are committed to GK BLD Manila. Plan includes a 3-floor multi-
purpose building worth P7.0 Million for use by the homeowners in meetings, value formation teachings, prayers and other social activities. This can be constructed gradually, however, on a per floor basis with the ground floor estimated to cost P2.5 Million. So far, there is no donor yet for the building.

Beneficiaries of 12 Units by BLD GK

Beneficiaries are squatter families living in the area from 10 to 27 years. Eligibility is processed by the Paranaque Municipal City Hall under its Urban Poor Development Office.

Usage of Donor Funds and Construction of Units

Construction of the units is under the supervision of GK Paranaque Sector. Releases of funds by the donor is based on progress of construction, with an upfront of thirty (30) per cent. Subsequent releases are on a monthly basis representing the liquidation of actual expenses made in the prior month subject to submission of appropriate receipts or supporting documents. GK provides a minimum of 3 professional construction workers/carpenters with labor contribution from the homeowners as their ‘sweat equity.’ Length of construction varies on the number of units and the season. On the 22 units presently under construction, it is estimated that it will take about 11 months for it to be finished, with allowance on rainy days for slow-down. For the 12 units committed by BLD GK Manila, construction period will be about six months.
Funds donated by the donors for the construction of the units are ‘gratis’ or non-payable but the lots are to paid by the family owners in 25 years at P500 a month. The cluster units are each covered by a mother title, with equity share of family owners. Rights can not be transferred/sold unless the share in the lot is fully paid by the owners before the 25 year-term.

He who is gracious to a poor man lends to the Lord, and He will repay him for his good deed. – Proverbs 19:17

Existing Project – GK Villa Paraiso

GK Euro-Maralit is not the first housing project for the “poorest of the poor” by BLD Manila. It has an existing GK project at Villa Paraiso, located between Merville and Sun Valley Subdivision in Paranaque and which can be reached through Edison Street. As landmark in going to the place, Robinson Supermarket is at the corner of Edison Street and South Service Road (along South Super Highway).

Status of the “Adopted Families”

GK Paraiso covers about 5,000 sqms. and presently has about 153 families. BLD constructed 32 units there sometime in 2007. Since then, it has been helping the 32 families to build a better life by making them closer to God through regular bible studies/ Word sharing, joining the Life in the Spirit Seminar and attending religious teachings. Their children, on the other hand are given catechism and granted scholarship. To date, 9 high school and 17 elementary students are enjoying the scholarship given by BLD (in the form of uniforms, shoes, bags, school materials, transportation and cash allowance for food since tuition is free for elementary and high school students in government schools). Young volunteers from BLD likewise provide them tutorial assistance every week from 9 A.M. to 12 P.M. Aside from this, a 6-month Enhanced Learning Program (how to read with comprehension) is given to about 25 kids age 3 to 5 years from Monday to Friday by teachers assigned by BLD. For the whole Community, BLD occasionally provides medical and dental services.

BLD Vision for its GK Communities

It has a long way to go, but BLD has committed itself to build GK Paraiso as a model community (and so with its other GK projects), starting with its “adopted” families, and gradually expanding to the other families, by providing them the necessary Christian values and formation, helping their children in their education, and uplifting their standard of living through livelihood projects and medical assistance.