MANILA, Philippines - For Army soldiers, “Lego” will no longer be just children’s toy blocks.
The Army is considering a low-cost housing program that will make available to soldiers Lego-type houses that do not require skilled labor to assemble.
Army spokesman Capt. Anthony Bacus said the houses are Lego-type because the materials used are prefabricated parts built in small blocks or segments.
Dubbed as “Bahay ng Kawal ko” (house of my soldier), the project seeks to promote the welfare of troops by building unconventional housing units using affordable materials.
“All that is left to do is put or assemble it layer by layer, just like a Lego game,” Bacus said in a statement.
“Its construction could be done by non-skilled laborers and with only a few teams of supervisors. Hence, expenses are minimized compared to that of the traditional building construction being done,” he added.
Bacus said each unit costs only P495,000, below the P500,000 to P700,000 range of low-cost housing units in the country.
“With these Lego-type houses, soldiers and their families can enjoy a decent and secured living at a much lower price,” he said.
A prototype of the housing unit was blessed at the Army headquarters in Fort Bonifacio, in Makati City yesterday morning.
The unit was a single detached two-story building and has two bedrooms and two bathrooms with a floor area of 52 square meters.
Special materials, mostly made of a combination of styrofoam, fiberglass, steel bars and cement, are designed to withstand the conventional setting of a tropical country like the Philippines.
However, an important material used to build the houses remains under wraps.
“There is a secret material being used in the construction of this special kind of housing units that only the manufacturers in Malaysia know,” said Lt. Col. Maynard Camarao, chief operations branch of the Army Chief of Engineers Office.
A team of Army engineers was sent to Malaysia to study the project.
Bacus said Malaysia has adopted the Lego-type units for a housing program for its urban poor. Each unit can be built in just 30 days.
“If adopted by the Philippine Army, this will not only boost its effort in providing low-cost housing units to its personnel, but a giant leap for the Army organization as a whole,” Bacus said.