Holcim Philippines, Inc. (HPI) is strengthening further its flagship CSR initiative, “Galing Mason” program. Set up in 2004, the program seeks to build a pool of masons all over the country through comprehensive formal training on masonry.
Currently this program produces masons, masonry trainers, foremen and entrepreneurs. Graduates are employed in public and private firms, including some of the largest construction companies in the country.
HPI partners with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) for trained masons to receive certification. The company also works with the Philippine Constructors Association, the National Housing Authority and the Association of Construction and Informal Workers.
“The Galing Mason Program means empowerment,” said Holcim Senior Vice President for Manufacturing Andre Caluori. “This improves their skills and increases their confidence. Our goal is to ensure that this has a positive and sustainable impact on their lives,”
Participating masons come from various host communities of Holcim plants in La Union, Bulacan, Misamis Oriental and Davao; and other areas like Leyte, Samar and the Bicol Region. Women learn side by side with male counterparts in a trade traditionally dominated by men.
Safety, HPI’s major advocacy, is emphasized. The goal is to instill in masons the know how to do their work in a safe manner and build resilient and durable structures.
Last year, the Philippine Marketing Association conferred the prestigious 2014 Agora Award for Advocacy Marketing on Holcim Philippines, Inc., for its masonry program.
“It is an honor to be recognized for this program,” Caluoris said. “We dedicate this Agora award to the over 5,000 masons of Galing Mason.’’