The paper shell collection is one of the sustainable community enterprises for the families in CalauanFor applying the Lopez Values in its work in a resettlement site in Laguna, BayaniJuan (BnJ) Calauan was hailed as the Top Awardee in the 2011 cycle of the Lopez Achievement Awards. The awards were given out at the Rockwell Tent on October 10, 2012.
ABS-CBN Foundation Inc.’s BayaniJuan Calauan Team, which was one of 40 teams that made it to the finalist roster, also picked up one of the four trophies in the Public Responsibility category for the entry titled Rebuilding the Philippines… One Community at a Time.
LAA external judge Dr. Miflora Gatchalian, a fellow and councilor of the International Academy for Quality, said she was “very impressed” with the research and development that went into the three-year-old project.
BnJ manages the 107-hectare official resettlement site which was opened in 2009 for the informal settlers that used to live along the Pasig River and its waterways.
The estimated 200 families that currently occupy the site were allocated a 30-square meter house each. With some 900 houses built by private sector partners still vacant to date, relocatees continue to stream into the site; BnJ itself is allocating some of the homes for local settlers.
Backing up its promise that it “goes beyond housing. BnJ rebuilds homes,” the LAA Top Awardee employed the Lopez Values in coming up with a viable development plan and community projects for Calauan.
Taking off from the concept of bayanihan, the team works with various partners to “revitalize and strengthen marginalized communities.” These partners include the AFI programs Bantay Bata, E-Media (now Programa Genio), Bantay Kalikasan, Bayan Foundation and Sagip Kapamilya; the National Housing Authority; the local government unit of Calauan; and various public and private sector donors.
The team displayed its pioneering entrepreneurial spirit when it sought to spark a change in the quality of life of the community. As a pilot site for public-private partnerships for the poor, Calauan is an “a pool of limitless possibilities,” a model community that will be replicated in other relocation sites around the country.
Backed by the AFI management especially in terms of the required resources, BnJ is a dynamic program that brings out the best in its members and, in turn, allows them to deliver the best ser- vices to the Calauan residents.
Working as a team proved to be difficult at the start, but the group eventually hurdled this ob- stacle to develop strong bonds and solid relationships with one another. “One does not assume that he knows everything. What worked best for BayaniJuan is the recognition that strengths and weaknesses of one complement that of another,” they pointed out.
The BayaniJuan Public MarketThrough its work in the relocation site, BnJ seeks to promote social justice, wherein the upliftment of the residents’ quality of life is the main goal. To do this, the team started from the bottom: “development should be by the people, with the people, for the people.” To this end, BnJ solicits the participation and input of the residents in conceptualizing and implementing its projects.
As with many such undertakings, BnJ was initially met with skepticism particularly with regard to the way it made use of its funds. These were dispelled, the team said, when people started seeing concrete results. “BnJ regained the trust of the community and is now highly regarded for the extent of service it has offered,” they reported.
The Lopez value of employee welfare and wellness comes into play in BnJ’s working environment, which is conducive to personal and professional growth. It encourages continuous learning and skills development because of the dynamic nature of the company.
To ensure the project’s sustainability, the implementers have put up a vendors’ group to run the community market, a bakery and an outlet in Power Plant Mall that sells the farmers’ organic produce. BnJ is also in talks with the Department of Science and Technology to set up a facility that will make Calauan a center for food processing for nearby farm areas. Other priority projects include electrification and the provision of water and more livelihood sources.