TAGUIG CITY, August 10, 2008—At least 2,500 families residing at slum areas here are the beneficiaries of the Gawad Kalinga’s first “Designer Village” that features medium-rise housing village designed and constructed by topnotch architects, designers and engineers of the country.
During the launching Friday of the “Designer Village” at the NBC Tent at The Fort, GK founder Antonio Meloto said it is an unprecedented move that the country’s best talents have committed to design low-cost housing for the poorest of the poor.
“The launching of the GK Designer Village Campaign with Taguig as the first designer GK City will make history. For the first time, top architects, designers and builders of the Philippines have committed their priceless talents to make GK communities the canvass for their artistry and patriotism,” Meloto said.
Among those who will design the “Designer Village,” which will set the template of GK’s future housing communities, are Bong Recio of Recio+Casas Architects, Bobby Manosa of Francisco Mañosa & Partners, Jun Palafox of Palafox Associates, Edith Oliveros of the Philippine School of Interior Design (PSID), and Willy Cosculluela of Cultura Profetica.
These stalwarts in their respective fields will constitute the GK Board of Consulters for Design and will work together with top architects from United Architects of the Philippines, Philippine Institute of Architects, Philippine Institute of Interior Designers, Philippine Association of Landscape Architects and students and faculty from top architectural schools nationwide.
In explaining the plan for the “Designer Village,” Meloto disclosed that the squatter residents along the C5 road, from Petron to Caltex on the northbound side and from McKinley Road to Heritage Park on the southbound, will be the first beneficiaries of the village that will feature a combination of medium-rise condo-type housing, row housing and single detached housing.
“This time, we are upgrading the GK communities to further inspire our poor constituents to live a dignified life. We believe that by creating for them a beautiful environment, we can encourage the beautiful behavior in them,” he said.
For his part, Taguig Mayor Sigfrido Tiñga said the city government is one with GK in this joint undertaking.
“We are very happy that GK chose Taguig residents to benefit from its first ‘Designer Village.’ With the partnership between GK and the Taguig City government, housing the homeless can indeed be done,” the mayor said.
Aside from Tiñga, attendees of the GK “Designer Village” launch include Vice President and Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council chairman Noli de Castro, Quezon City Mayor Feliciano Belmonte, Las Piñas Mayor Vergel Aguilar, Pateros Mayor Joey Medina and HUDCC secretary general Lucille Ortile.
Among the spectators in the event were chief executives of Globe Telecommunications, ABS-CBN Foundation, Philips Philippines, PLDT Company and many others who acknowledged the vision of GK and pledged support in the construction of the “Designer Village.”
A social project of the Couples for Christ, GK now has 1,700 housing communities of rainbow-colored houses, manicured gardens and garbage-free surroundings.
With its new “888 Goal,” GK aims to house five million families by 2024. (Kris Bayos)