Help continues to pour in for victims-A A +A
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
RELIEF goods and financial assistance continue to pour in for the victims of typhoon Sendong in Cagayan de Oro (CDO) and Iligan in Mindanao and parts of Negros Oriental Province.
Responding to appeals for help by officials of Northern Mindanao, the Aboitiz Group was among the first to dispatch aid to CDO and Iligan.
Just hours after calamity struck, Aboitiz Group representatives were in CDO addressing the critical need for drinking water.
Through its partner-organizations, about 6,000 bottles of drinking water were distributed in evacuation centers and affected communities.
In Iligan, where Aboitiz business unit Pilmico Foods is located, company volunteers quickly began packing and distributing relief goods.
The company also gave financial assistance to all its affected employees, some of whom lost their homes.
So far, over 11,000 packs of relief supplies have been distributed to an estimated 80 evacuation sites and affected areas in both CDO and Iligan. Relief operations are still ongoing.
The Aboitiz Foundation committed over P11-million in relief and rebuilding efforts for both cities, said Aboitiz Foundation chairman Jon Ramon Aboitiz.
He said the foundation intends to give more financial aid.
The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation has also donated to the relief efforts.
Aboitiz Group companies nationwide have pitched in the effort, sending donations in cash and in kind. Thousands of bottled water, canned goods and other food items, clothes, blankets, slippers and assorted medicines, among others, are transported daily to the affected areas.
Meanwhile, Talk ‘N Text (TNT) will turn over P1 million worth of goods to communities affected by Sendong.
The goods will include more than 2,000 water containers, 10,000 slippers, and hundreds of tents that will be distributed among the hard-hit areas in the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan.
TNT officials are also responding to requests for billboard tarpaulin materials that the affected residents could use as makeshift tents by removing the nearest billboards in Mindanao, as well as sourcing additional tarpaulin material stocked in warehouses.
TNT marketing head Jane Basas said that Smart Communications Inc. (Smart), through its prepaid brand TNT, is now addressing specific needs of the victims. “It seems that a lot of organizations are already donating food and clothing; hence, we are
supplementing their efforts by donating footwear and other basic needs,” Basas said.
She added that efforts by water companies to set up portable treatment facilities in the city helped address water shortage, but presented a dilemma to affected residents who do not have any means to store water, as all their belongings were swept away by the floodwaters.
“This is why we included water containers because we cannot keep distributing bottled water forever and piling up the waste. The residents can use these water containers even when the situation has returned to normal,” she added.
Globe also joined the whole nation in its effort to help the victims of Sendong by providing relief assistance and public service.
By mobilizing Globe employees in affected areas, the telecommunications company provided immediate assistance to the victims.
Globe, through its corporate social responsibility arm Globe Bridging Communities (Globe BridgeCom) distributed rice, canned goods and instant noodles, blankets, and underwears in various evacuation centers in the cities of Cagayan de Oro, Dumaguete, Iligan and Sibulan.
The Government of Japan, on the other hand, donated P14 million in emergency assistance to the victims.
Aimed at alleviating the difficulties of the victims, the assistance came in the form of relief goods such as water tanks, generators, and other relief items.
Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba sent a message to Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario expressing his condolences and sympathy for the loss of many lives and for the people affected by the disaster, as well as stating that Japan will spare no efforts in providing necessary assistance and cooperation for rehabilitation of affected people and areas.
The Government of Japan reiterates its commitment in assisting the Philippine Government’s disaster management efforts.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 28, 2011.