Shanties in Laguna community repaired using dormitory scraps

Workers repair a shanty in Barangay Batong Malake in Los Baños town, Laguna province, using discarded materials donated by the University of the Philippines Los Baños. —CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

SAN PEDRO CITY—Instead of disposing or hauling them to junk shops, old but still “serviceable” construction materials have found their way to a poor community in Los Baños town in Laguna province.

The University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), through its housing office, donated scrap materials from ongoing renovations of its dormitories for the repair of some houses in Barangay Batong Malake.

So far, the materials, among them lumber and iron sheets, were used to repair two shanties out of 12 selected houses in an informal settlement in Sitio Villegas.

The project was part of the university’s social responsibility and outreach activities, said Professor Zoilo Belano Jr., head of the UPLB Housing Office.

Janos Lapiz, Batong Malake village chief, said UPLB officials offered them the materials.

“I told them, ‘Why don’t we repair the houses of informal settlers.’ The pieces of wood, for instance, can still be used,” he said.

There are about 110 families in Sitio Villegas, most of them, by government standard, qualify as indigents, Lapiz said.

“They used to be farm workers who eventually took on odd jobs as garbage collectors or laborers,” he added.

UPLB also provided the manpower for the repair of the houses although the heads of  families were asked to help fix their own homes.

According to Belano, they are looking forward to giving out more scrap materials as major on-campus renovations continue.

UPLB has 10 student dormitories and about 250 housing facilities for its faculty and staff.


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