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Cement manufacturers continue to assist rebuilding efforts in the Philippines

World Cement,

Environment month

The Philippines’ Department of Environment and Natural Resources has announced that June will be the country’s ‘environment month’. A number of programmes will be run throughout June according to the theme ‘Raise your voice, not the sea level’, in a bid to raise awareness. Particular focus will be placed on protecting the region’s small islands and islets, which are particularly vulnerable to the consequences of climate change, in line with the United Nation’s declaration that 2014 is the International Year of Small Island Developing States.

Among the initiatives taking place, a mine tour and responsible mining symposium will be carried out at the Solid Earth Development Corporation and Taiheiyo Cement Philippines Inc., organised by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau. Other projects include the launch of a climate change communication plan with the Philippine Information Agency, roadside emission testing and river rehabilitation in Cebu.

Holcim helps build sustainable village

Public and private sector organisations, including Holcim Philippines, have helped to rebuild New Bataan, which was devastated by Typhoon Pablo two years ago. New Bataan has been reconstructed as a sustainable village in order to ensure it is energy efficient, environmentally friendly and typhoon resilient. Holcim partnered with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and the Association of Construction and Informal Workers to train 134 residents under its masonry CSR programme. Holcim also plans to support the community so that they can utilise these skills by setting up a cooperative and teaching beneficiaries to establish businesses based on their newly learned trades.

“The external support was instrumental in the completion of the project, but the community’s resolve was just as important. We are very proud to support this initiative, and prouder in the determination shown by the people of New Bataan in rebuilding their lives. We hope this will help them get back on their feet more quickly, and that applying sustainable construction principles will lead to a more vibrant community,” said Ed Sahagun, Holcim Philippines Chief Executive Officer.

“Experts have said that we can expect these types of storms to be the norm. But we can reduce these difficult and painful catastrophes by improving our building practices to make sure structures are more resilient and sustainable,” he added.

The local government, who also established a cash-for-work programme, provided the land for the relocated site. The Green Architecture Advocacy of the Philippines designed the village according to Holcim’s sustainable construction advocacy.

Lafarge Republic, Inc. develops special cement for rebuilding

At the beginning of May, Lafarge Republic, Inc. (LRI) announced the launch of Kapit-Balay cement. This cement variant was developed in partnership with Global Business Power Corporation (GBPC). The production process for the new cement uses flyash from GBPC’s power generation facility. The companies worked together to lower production costs, helping to keep rebuilding costs to a minimum in the wake of Typhoon Yolanda and the Bohol earthquake. The new cement variant will be sold directly to NGOs, the National Housing Authority and local government units.

“With Lafarge innovation and sustainability at the core of Kapit-Balay cement, we are proud to see this product used in constructing homes and other structures for the hundreds of families displaced by the recent calamities,” stated LRI President Renato Sunico. “We are equally privileged to partner with GBPC who produces consistently good quality flyash, coming from CFB technology plants, that meets LRI's standards.”

Lafarge has also donated PHp60 million to the Typhoon Yolanda rebuilding effort as part of the France-Philippines United Action initiative.

Adapted from press releases by

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