The ‘galing Mason Program
Holcim Philippines, Inc.
“The ‘galing Mason Program is also the product of the collaborative efforts of Holcim Philippines’s partners in this endeavor. Holcim Philippines works with government, industry and labor associations to come up with a multifaceted strategy for the program.”
INTRODUCTIONMasonry is a key skill in the construction industry. However, most Filipino construction workers acquire this skill only through years of actual work experience and without formal training. As a partner of the construction industry, Holcim Philippines wanted to help address this need by way of its corporate social responsibility initiatives. The decision to come up with a flagship CSR initiative eventually gave rise to the ‘galing Mason Program.
In 2004, Holcim Philippines launched the “Holcim ‘galing Mason Program,” which aims to provide formal training in masonry covering both theoretical and practical applications, thus enhancing worker ability and increasing job opportunities.
The program provides comprehensive masonry training for aspiring masons and uncertified masons from across the country. What started as a simple technical training program has evolved into a multi-faceted initiative that gives technical training and recognition for masons. The intention is to develop new masonry trainers, foremen and construction entrepreneurs.
FRAMEWORK AND STRATEGYThe ‘galing Mason Program is also the product of the collaborative efforts of Holcim Philippines’s partners in this endeavor. Holcim Philippines works with government, industry and labor associations to come up with a multifaceted strategy for the program.
The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the government body authorized to set trade standards and provide assessment and certification, is our partner in strengthening public-private partnerships focusing on infrastructure development as a national priority. Providing Holcim Philippines with the construction industry’s perspective is the Philippine Constructors Association (PCA) that helps bridge the manpower need of the industry with the graduates of the training program. A number of trainees come from resettlement sites developed by the National Housing Authority (NHA) through its Livelihood Development Department that has established partnerships with construction firms who need skilled construction workers. Tying all of these together is the Association of Construction and Informal Workers (ACIW) which is the program’s training arm.
ACHIEVEMENT AND IMPACTSince it started in 2004, the Holcim ‘galing Mason Program was able to provide training to over 5,000 certified masons. The program has also recognized five Grand Champions in its recognition component, the ‘galing Mason Awards. Some graduates and recipients of awards have since become masonry trainers, most are employed in large construction companies and some are now entrepreneurs managing their own contracting businesses. The ‘galing Mason Awards also impacts communities by hosting the skills competition phase of the awards. In 2013, a perimeter fence was put up by the 45 semi-finalists for the Southville 6 Elementary School to enhance safety at the school. A similar feat was also accomplished in 2015 when the 20 finalists of the awards put up another a perimeter fence at the site of a housing project being constructed for survivors of typhoon Haiyan.
FUTURE DIRECTIONMany factors will be taken into consideration in mapping out strategies for the ‘galing Mason Program in the future. ASEAN integration will definitely see an upgrade in the training modules so that the graduates of the program will be at par with other regional masons.
Holcim Philippines is engaged in the manufacture, sale and distribution of building materials and construction solutions in the country. The company operates four cement plants in La Union, Bulacan, Misamis Oriental and Davao and several ready-mix concrete plants nationwide. It also has an aggregates business. Holcim Philippines is a member of the LafargeHolcim Group, the leader in the global building materials industry with 100,000 employees in 90 countries.