Santa Rosa City, GK welcome Chinese New Year

February 9, 2013 9:43 am 

By Saul E. Pa-a

CITY OF SANTA ROSA, Laguna Feb. 8 –- Santa Rosa City Mayor Arlene Arcillas on Friday led Toyota City and Gawad Kalinga (GK) officials in welcoming home the Chinese New Year fortune and “feng shui” for some 31 family beneficiaries here.

This ancient Chinese system of geomancy which claimed to use astronomical heaven and earth to improve life by receiving the positive energy was given a boost two days before the Chinese lunar New Year of the Water Snake right at Santa Rosa City’s GK Village in Barangay Pulong Santa Cruz.

Michinobu Sugata, Toyota Motors Philippines president, Tony Meloto, Gawad Kalinga chairman and founder as housing project partners and city officials witnessed the initial turn-over ceremonies of the housing units.

A new year with a new home was one ultimate wish the 37-year old Rodelio Caguioa had fulfilled Friday after living in squalor among the city’s informal settlers for more than ten years.

A jubilant Caguioa expressed: “At last, my family will now have a place we can call our own. It’s a new life ahead of us.”

Caguioa emerged at the top of “10 Sweat Equity Contributors” with a total of 1,364 hours he shared in varying work assignments during the construction.

Under the GK arrangements, the “sweat” contributor is a member of the family-beneficiary who does manual labor, construction work, and performing house repairs.

He also serves as security-designate over construction supplies and equipment for the housing units.

Caguioa beamed with fulfillment and thanked Mayor Arcillas, the Toyota and GK executives as soon as he received the certificate of occupancy and was sworn in as board member of the new GK Village Home Owners Association here.

The 10 topnotchers in the Sweat Equity Contribution were immediately privileged and rewarded their preferred units, while the remaining 21 units were drawn by lots to qualified beneficiaries.

The initial 31 units were readily available for distribution following diligent sweat equity arrangements from a household beneficiary who is required to render at most 2,500 labor hours during the construction stage.

Mayor Arcillas urged the housing recipients to take care of their homes now rising at the city government purchased lots acquired during her term.“Marami po ang gustong manirahan dito at kayo ang mapalad. Kaya inaasahan ko na aalagaan ninyo ang bahay na ito katulad ng pag-aalaga ninyo sa inyong mga pamilya,” the inspired lady city chief executive said.

The Mayor meanwhile lauded the beneficiaries’ support for the city housing programs and projects especially by their “own sweat and labor hours” sharing scheme.

She also commended the public-private partnerships of Toyota Motors Philippines and GK Community Development Foundation with the city government and looked forward to heightened partnerships for future undertakings to benefit her city constituents.

Arcillas proposed to address the housing concerns of the more than 12,000 informal settlers in the city through similar project partnerships.

For his part, TMP president Sugata remarked that “2013 is a very opportune time to award the housing units in celebration of Toyota’s 50th year of operation in the Philippines.”

Sugata also urged community partners and beneficiaries to make the village “a model community that transforms the lives of its residents.”

GK chair Meloto said the project is part of GK’s advocacy to end poverty for the five million families by 2024. “Our partnership with Santa Rosa started with the late Mayor Leon Arcillas and I am happy that his daughter, Mayor Arlene, is continuing his legacy,” said Meloto.

The GK chairman and founder also inspired and challenged housing recipients to transform the village into the most beautiful, most peaceful and most progressive GK community and do away with illicit vices like drugs, gambling and drunkenness.

The new socialized housing village here came to fore following a Memorandum of Agreement forged by Toyota-City of Santa Rosa and GK foundation in February 2012.

The village began construction in June 2012 and the new houses painted in December 2012 to benefit some 158 indigent families.

Mayor Arcillas has committed to construct day care and health centers while Toyota has donated P2 million in November last year to establish a multi-purpose hall here on top of its P 20 million donation for the village construction materials. (PNA)



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