For the first time, Wilcon Depot, Inc. is joining the partnership of The Manny O Group and Gawad Kalinga Community Development Foundation in a project that constructs and donates houses to indigenous people in the countryside.
The home improvement and construction supplies retail chain has handed over P6 million to Gawad Kalinga in a formal turnover ceremony held on February 20, 2017. The amount is allocated to build 40 houses in a community in Sulu.
“Although I do charity work through Red Cross and other groups, this one is through The Manny O Group,” said Wilcon Depot Founder and Chairman William Belo. Belo and The Manny O Group Chairman Manny Osmeña met for the first time in a meeting called by President Rodrigo Duterte in Malacañang in December 19, 2016. “I felt that it is about time for to work with Gawad Kalinga,” he added.
Start of CSR partnership
“Manny O has been putting up a lot of houses with Gawad Kalinga. He has been buying from Wilcon for so long, yet, we don’t know each other. Hopefully, this will be the beginning for us to work closely together through the foundation,” said Belo.
Osmeña remembered how he persuaded Belo to join the efforts during the Malacañang gathering: “It did not take a few seconds for William to say, ‘Yes, I’d love to go for it,’” he recalled. “It takes a person who’s deep inside already has that charitable heart to decide that easily. It was like Divine intervention. This is one person that I only met not too long ago that I’d like to keep as a friend for the rest of my life,” Osmeña said.
Sulu rehabilitation project
Gawad Kalinga already has housing projects in four towns in Sulu: Patikul, Panglima Estino, Maimbung, and Panamao. For its efforts in the province, the foundation is supporting the endeavors of the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship or Go Negosyo’s Negosyo Para sa Kapayapaan sa Sulu, a government-led initiative that aims to bring about rehabilitation to the province.
In addition to Wilcon Depot’s cash donation, Manny O Group is also giving P6 million to build additional 40 houses, bringing the total number of dwellings to be constructed through this effort to 80.
“Manny O and Wilcon Depot decided to give not just one or two houses; they decided to give a full village,” said Gawad Kalinga Founder Tony Meloto during the turnover ceremony. “We want to go massive in supporting the government in bringing peace and order by improving the quality of life of our Muslim brothers and sisters. This is an effort that can’t be done by one group alone.”
Gawad Kalinga and Manny O Group have started a partnership in specific home construction projects since early 2014, following the devastation of the historic Typhoon Yolanda in the Visayas region.