Exercise with DRRMO
Build Change continues to work on our first retrofit, the home of the winner of the home improvement lottery, Luningning. We are almost done working on the first story of Luningning’s home where her family houses a small sari-sari store (basic necessities store) which serves as a source of the family’s income. Luningning and her family are happy to see the improvements in their home and said that they now feel safer and prepared for an earthquake. In May, Build Change released the second tranche of funds to Luningning which will be used to start working on the second story of her house. Our engineers continue to regularly monitor the construction process and provide supervision to the builders working on the project.
Our team has also completed the technical assessments of 41 houses to evaluate their suitability for retrofit, as well as the financial assessments of 12 homeowners as potential loan grantees. We will be issuing loans to two homeowners in the succeeding weeks.
We are also excited to have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the City of Makati, which covers the barangay where we are currently working. Aside from providing the legal framework for the program, the City is considering to relax some of the permitting and inspection requirements as a pilot measure for the retrofit program.
Build Change recently facilitated a week-long exercise with the City’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (DRRMO) to sensitize the different departments to the retrofit project and try to streamline permitting and inspection processes. The participants include the City’s Engineering Department, Office of the Building Official, Social Welfare Department, and League of Barangays (neighborhoods). We brought the participants to different communities in Makati to look at typical houses and afterwards asked them to do some role playing – first as Build Change, where we asked them to put together a retrofit design referencing the houses they visited; and second as homeowners and city officials, where we asked them to go through a permitting application. Overall, the participants realized that most of the houses they visited are at high risk in the event of a typhoon or earthquake and recognized the importance of retrofitting existing structures before a disaster hits. One of the activity participants shared that the exercise encouraged her to further push herself knowing that the Build Change team will support them as they work towards reducing risks and vulnerabilities posed by natural hazards.
Build Change is really excited to be able to further strengthen its partnership with the key players in the community which will help to ensure the success of the retrofit program. We believe that this is an important ingredient to help build the resilience of the people and their communities.
Build Change Engineer with DRRMO
New wall of Luningning's house under construction