October 3, 2005
Japan helps the rebuilding: homes in BASECO after the disastrous 2004 fire
TOKYO, 3rd October 2005: Japan’s postal system is donating ฅ1 million (nearly US$9,000) through Habitat for Humanity Japan toward the cost of building 16 new houses in the shantytown at the former BASECO shipyard in Manila.
The BASECO project is approaching the halfway mark of its planned 1,000 houses, with 416 houses completed and another 64 currently under construction.
About 6,000 low-income families live at BASECO in severely substandard housing. The slum is susceptible to fires; in January 2004, a fire ravaged more than 2,000 houses.
The Habitat 1,000-house project is expected to cost more than US$700,000. HFH Philippines is raising one-third of this amount, the city of Manila is providing one-third through grants to homeowners and the remainder is coming from international donations. Click to read more about the BASECO project  (pdf).
HFH Japan has been particularly active in the BASECO project, working alongside HFH Philippines on field surveys, building relationships with non-governmental organizations, generating sponsorship from Japanese and other corporations and sending teams of Global Village volunteers.
The Global Village teams from Japan, involving some 60 participants, have come from three universities.
The grant from Japan Post comes from its savings and life insurance arm. In addition to handling the country’s mail system, Japan Post manages over US$3 trillion in savings and life insurance accounts. Through Japan Postal Savings for International Voluntary Aid, it donates interest on the accounts to overseas development organizations.
Support from other Japanese corporations for the BASECO project has come from Siam Mariwasa Toto, which has donated bathroom fixtures. Major multinational donors include ING Bank, which donated the cost of 100 houses; UPS Foundation (40 houses), Dole Asia (16 houses) and Caltex Philippines (one house).
In addition, dozens of Philippine organizations and individuals are supporting the project.