PostNL Village in Manila slum

PostNL Village in Manila slum

9 April 2012
In March, the foundation stone was laid for the construction of 44 houses in the slums of the Philippine capital Manila. The first 22 houses will be ready in December 2012 and the entire project complete by the end of 2014. PostNL, which works closely with SPi Global in Asia, is financing the construction.

The 44 houses will provide accommodation to between 250 and 300 people who now live in corrugated iron shacks. The houses will be equipped with basic sanitary facilities, a kitchen, a living room and a dormitory. Alongside the houses, there will be a new Youth & Development Centre providing education to three grades, as well as primary medical care.  

 

Residents help along

The houses' future residents are helping with the construction work, including fixing tiles and finishing walls. These are people with a job, such as taxi drivers or nannies, who are able to support themselves and pay for their own water and electricity, for example.

 

Contract signed

In Manila PostNL is working with government-affiliated foundation Gawak Kalinga, which is buying the land, supervising the project and ensuring there are enough volunteers to provide schooling and medical care. Mario Suykerbuyk, Managing Director of PostNL Shore, and Bas Elisen, HR Director at PostNL Data & Document Management, signed a contract with Gawak Kalinga in Manila on 10 March.

 

SPi partnership

The initiative arose from the strategic partnership that PostNL Shore has with SPi Global, with sites in countries like Vietnam and the Philippines. Since mid-March 2010, SPi Global has been inputting handwritten addresses on mail items that cannot be read by PostNL's sorting machines so that they can still be sorted automatically.

 

Savings go to projects

It has been agreed that if SPi meets its quality and on-time-delivery targets, PostNL will invest part of the savings in sustainable projects, one of which is building the village in Manila's slums. Later this year, PostNL will also supply electric bikes in Vietnam's densely populated capital Hanoi, where CO2 emissions are problematically high.

 

Responses

Bas Elisen, HR Director at PostNL Data & Document Management: "With relatively limited resources we can help provide the necessities of life, such as housing, education and basic medical care. I've seen for myself the impact this has on people living in the slums." 

 

Mario Suykerbuyk, Director of PostNL Shore: "Seeing a PostNL village arise in the middle of Manila is very special. We're bringing help to the areas that need it most. The fact that our support is directly linked to SPi Global's performance is also unique. This is how we can really make a difference."