UnionBank Partners With Gawad Kalinga To Build Homes in Cavite


Recognizing the need to contribute to society in nation building, UnionBank recently partnered with Gawad Kalinga (GK) to build 10 homes for poor families in Cavite.

UnionBankers, Couples for Christ (CFC) Gawad Kalinga members and volunteers were welcomed by a motorcade complete with the lively music and marching of a band. The group trooped to Cavite for the groundbreaking rites of the UnionBank-GK Adlas Village in Silang. The Caviteños, the council members and families of the community, and program hosts Bro. JR and Pinky Datiles greeted their guests warmly, saying that it was an inspiring and beautiful day as UnionBank is leading the way in the caring and sharing of hearts with the people of Adlas.

GK Provincial Head Cering Dator, who introduced UnionBank Chairman & CEO Justo A. Ortiz, lauded UnionBank for being the FIRST BANK PARTNER OF GAWAD KALINGA in their housing program for the poor. Mr. Dator jokingly referred to Mr. Ortiz as ‘Señor Tito Ortiz, the artista ng GK Village' as he likened him to ‘Fernando', the lead actor of the telenovela, "Te Amo".

In his brief message, Mr. Ortiz said, "UnionBank joins hands with GK and with YOU, the people of GK Adlas Village in the spirit of ‘sariling sikap' and ‘bayanihan', and this excites us. We are also very grateful for the opportunity of being able to help. We take our corporate social responsibility in UnionBank very seriously and are constantly looking for meaningful opportunities to help. And I think that this GK Village in Adlas, we see a great of helping people that know how to help themselves. And I think this is very inspiring, it's an inspiration for us, YOU are an inspiration to us. My personal motto is (in Latin), "Labor Omnia Vincit," which translated in English means, "Work conquers all." The Chairman went further and translated it in Tagalog, "Sa sariling sikap, makakamit ang tagumpay," which was heartily applauded by the crowd. "Pagpalain tayong lahat. Maraming salamat at magandang umaga," were JAO's concluding remarks.

On the same occasion, UnionBank turned over its P500,000 check donation to Gawad Kalinga and the community council members for the construction of the 10 houses. Mr. Ortiz, UnionBank Consultant and Director of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Unit of the bank Maria Goolsby, Mr. Dator and CFC Provincial Head Oscar Oblepias signed the UnionBank-GK Memorandum of Agreement. EVP Hermie Pugeda and SVP Cesar Ilagan were witnesses. During a chat with Mr. Dator, the Chairman and Mrs. Goolsby suggested that family catechism and values formation education be taught to the communities. They emphasized the need for the children and their parents to know and understand the value of what is right from what is wrong, as they go about their day-to-day activities; the importance of integrating the core values of honesty, integrity, hard work and perseverance in their individual and community life.

Rev. Fr. Paul de Leon blessed the site prior to the groundbreaking rites led by JAO, Mr. Dator, Mrs. Goolsby, Mr. Pugeda and Atty. Fe Macalino. UnionBankers from the head office and branches, CFC and GK members, and the Kapitbahayan (residents of the community) all joined hands to do the initial carpentry and masonry work for the first house to be built. The group also had lunch together and the day ended with UnionBank's gift giving to kids who attended the event. GK also handed UnionBankers a "pabaon" of fruits. It was one happy and meaningful day that made everyone present in high spirits.

Gawad Kalinga ("to give care"), an initiative of Couples for Christ, envisions to have a new Philippines-where there will be no slums, no more violence and no more poverty. GK has programs for shelter and site development; education; health; livelihood and community empowerment. All these lead to the improvement of the quality of life of people in poverty-stricken areas. GK aims to build 700,000 homes in 7000 communities in 7 years. And to realize this ambitious goal, GK partners with the government and private corporations such as UnionBank. GK finds generous people to donate land and other resources, planning is made by the architects and other professionals in the group, and the-would be residents build their own houses together with volunteers. The GK home beneficiaries then help to build other homes for the next recipients.