Making sure that the pledge of Berjaya founder Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Vincent Tan Chee Yioun to build 5,000 houses to poor Filipinos is achieved, Berjaya Philippines Executive Director Tan Eng Hwa braved the inclement weather to visit the province of Southern Leyte in the Philippines to see for himself the Berjaya GK Village in the town of Malitbog.
Malitbog is a fourth class municipality with a population of 23,000 people whose primary source of livelihood is farming and fishing. Due to its location which faces the Pacific Ocean, the entire province is a regular path of typhoons resulting to flooding and landslides. For these reason, informal settlers in the coastlines and danger areas near mountain slopes need to be relocated to safer grounds. With the cooperation of the local government unit, Gawad Kalinga (GK) and the funding coming from Berjaya Philippines they were able to build thirty (30) houses in the year 2013. There was a great clamor to build another thirty (30) houses in the year 2016 when a big fire engulfed a poor community of the same town, bringing the total number of houses donated by Berjaya Philippines to sixty (60).
During the visit of the beautifully-planned community, Tan Eng Hwa was accompanied by Berjaya Philippines HR Director Leo Laca, Rodney Mallari, Winnie Manansala, Michael Opulencia, and Cathy Tagimacruz. They were welcomed by GK Southern Leyte head Dr. Jerome Paler, GK Visayas Operations Head Kevin Caballero, Godofredo Ug, and Josephine Dalugdugan.
The GK people and most especially the beneficiary families were all appreciative of the help from Berjaya to which Tan Eng Hwa quipped, “This community is nice and well kept. We hope the people who were given this privilege of free houses will be able to maintain its beauty and give them a safe shelter unlike what they’ve been used to experience before.”
Berjaya Philippines and GK partnership have so far built 1,200 houses over 30 villages across the country with Berjaya’s total donation at Php 194.7M (RM 14.9M) as of 31 August 2018.