Hilti Foundation Pivots to Asia through Affordable Housing and Technology, Music for Social Change and Economic Empowerment

On-going construction of the Rejoice Village, a project of Base Bahay in partnership with Norwegian NGO For People.

On-going construction of the Rejoice Village, a project of Base Bahay in partnership with Norwegian NGO For People.

Maricen Jalandoni

Maricen Jalandoni, President of Base Bahay Foundation and Chairman of the Board of Trustees.

Copyright: Hilti Foundation, 2020
Foto: Alecs Ongcal, Fairpicture


This year has seen many changes in Base Bahay as it pivots, focusing on research, innovation, and training.  In April, Maricen Jalandoni, formerly the general manager of Base Bahay, moved up as President of Base Bahay and Chairman of the Board of Trustees. While still actively working on programs related to Housing in Base Bahay Foundation, Maricen now also acts as a liaison for the HILTI Foundation projects in Asia as part of the HILTI Foundation’s aim of bringing more of its projects to the region, through Base.

Founded in 1996 in Schaan, Liechtenstein, the HILTI Foundation is committed to the principle of “building a better future” by focusing on three advocacies: Affordable Housing and Technology, Music for Social Change, and Economic Empowerment. In the Philippines, it initiated Affordable Housing and Technology programs through Base Bahay, and is now gearing up to engaging in its other program areas in the Asian region (starting with the Philippines), also through Base Bahay.

Maricen, having been active on the ground with Base Bahay communities, knows that affordable housing is only the beginning and that true sustainable development is a longer road ahead.

“Economic empowerment is our next step to supporting the communities where we have built houses. We’ve helped cover their housing needs, now we would like to help in their need for sustainable livelihood programs,” she says, when asked about the HILTI Foundation’s plans to create thriving communities.

“By supporting economic empowerment activities, we can act as catalysts to bringing them to more financial stability and eventually, to financial independence. They can start to earn and work on their own because now they will have the ability.”

The Music for Social Change program, on the other hand, seeks to empower children and youth through music. Music can be a powerful instrument to effect social change.  “Through an extensive music program, the children discover their talents as well as learn discipline, teamwork and improve their social skills.  And as they grow with their music, they in turn inspire their families by sharing the values they’ve learned in the program.”

Though the HILTI Foundation hopes to begin introducing these projects to communities built with Base Bahay, this will not stop them from working in other areas as well.

HILTI Foundation believes that all of this is achievable through working with an extensive network of partners with different sets of expertise. Maricen points this out as she emphasizes the need for strong collaborations through a coalition of partners, not just with organizations but also with the communities themselves, that work together to build a holistic program.

“It’s about collaboration and partnership. It is not one institution. It is a combination of institutions. It is a combination of expertise that makes a project work. It involves public and private institutions and the people themselves.”

The scale of projects which both the Hilti Foundation and Base Bahay Foundation plan to take in the next few years seems daunting but they remain unfazed.  As they continue to stress, sustainable development is achievable through an intersectional collaboration of partners, all working towards the same goal.  And with everyone’s continued support, it becomes possible for us to help our fellow Filipinos build better futures of their own.