Holcim Philippines: Masonry Training and Recognition: “Holcim galing Mason Program”.

Holcim Philippines: Affordable housing initiatives: "galing Mason"

Training and capacity building of self-builders and clients is key to ensuring the proper
application of cement products and building quality. Masons are one of the target stakeholder
groups in this respect. In the Philippines, masonry is one of the most important trades in the
construction industry, and yet probably the most neglected. There are no formal training
opportunities, thus limiting the prospects of masons to work in well-paid and secure jobs. The
Holcim Philippines Mason Training Program “Holcim ’galing Mason” responds to this challenge
by offering a skills training, recognition, and livelihood program for out-of-school youth and
uncertified masons. The program consists of a certified seven-day training course, a masonry
skills competition at regional and national level, and an award recognizing outstanding masons.

In collaboration with its partners, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority
(TEDSA), the Philippine Constructors Association (PCA) and the Association of Construction
and Informal Workers (ACIW), Holcim Philippines aims at improving the level of knowledge and
skills of untrained masons. The program will enhance their employability as well as the image of
masonry as a respectable and highly skilled trade, as well as promote concrete technology and
the appropriate use of concrete products.

The pilot implementation of the program took place during 2003-2004. After final development
and refinement, the program was officially launched in September 2004. Since then 90 training
sessions were conducted, each with 40 participants. On the basis of their social impacts, training
sites are selected to benefit from these low-cost housing construction activities.

Since 2003, some 3,554 masons have been trained in twelve regions throughout the country.
The program enables Holcim to engage in and improve relationships with key stakeholders while
at the same time helping masons increase their skills and income-earning opportunities.