MVP Tulong Kapatid now has P31 M for Yolanda victims
(The Philippine Star) - November 13, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - From the initial fund of P2 million, the money collected by Tulong Kapatid, the social-action arm of the MVP Group of Companies, has ballooned to P31 million – and counting – following the live telethons aired over TV 5 on Sunday evening and Monday morning dedicated to the victims of and areas hit by Super Typhoon Yolanda.

Tulong Kapatid was able to raise P21 million in donations within an hour and a half into its four-hour live telethon aired from 9 Sunday night on “The Mega and the Songwriter,” an interactive musical variety talk show on TV 5, as Manuel V. Pangilinan, chair of the companies under the group, led the fundraising campaign.

The amount ballooned to over P30 million at 2 a.m. Monday, as megastar Sharon Cuneta, who co-hosts the weekly show with singer-songwriter Ogie Alcasid, announced a personal donation of P5 million through the Alagang Kapatid Foundation, Inc., the corporate social responsibility (CSR) arm of TV 5.

Another live telethon was held between 5:30 a.m. and 8 a.m.

“The devastation wrought by Yolanda is heartbreaking, but we are all happy that we were able to raise so much funds in a few hours of the live telethon,” said Michael Toledo, SVP for Corporate Affairs at Philex Mining Corp. and media-bureau head of the MVP Group, who was at the studio the entire show. “And the donations are still coming.”

Cuneta also donated P5 million for the victims of Yolanda – which slammed Friday into the Visayas, where some reports said up to 10,000 people could have died in Leyte province, mostly in the capital Tacloban City – through Aboitiz Foundation, the CSR arm of the shipping group Aboitiz.

In an interview with the megastar, Toledo highlighted the MVP Group’s culture of responsibility through its holistic approach in giving aid to the needy in times of disaster, such as in the aftermath of Yolanda, whose maximum sustained winds of 315 kilometers per hour and wind gusts of 380 kph made it one of the strongest storms in recorded history. 

He said, for instance, that Maynilad Water Services has sent hundreds of thousands of bottles of water to the victims and evacuation centers, as well as installed water-purifying machines in Tacloban, the hardest-hit area.

The Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) and its subsidiary,

 Smart Communications, on the other hand, have set up in select areas some telecom centers, free of charge, so that the victims and their families may communicate with each other.

These companies, together with Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC), Manila North Tollways Corp., Manila Electric Co., TV 5 Alagang Kapatid Foundation, the MPIC Hospital Group, and Philex Mining, launched last December the MVP Tulong Kapatid Center at its headquarters in the Meralco compound along Ortigas Ave. in Pasig City.

On Saturday, Toledo said the MVP Group started mobilizing its resources with an initial fund of P2 million, which consisted of the combined donations made by the group’s parent company, First Pacific Co. Ltd., a Hong Kong-based investment management and holding firm, and the latter’s chairman, Antonio Salim.

He added that the 3rd Marine Brigade had set up – on and in behalf of the MVP Group – some soup kitchens in Palawan, one of the islands affected by Yolanda (international name Haiyan), which has forced, according to media reports, hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate.

Last Monday, Tulong Kapatid started accepting donations in cash and in kind – bottled water, canned goods, instant noodles, rice, clothes, medicine, and hygiene and first-aid kits – from employees of the MVP Group, as well as their friends and supporters, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Donated goods have been repacked and sent to the areas hit by Yolanda, which has affected 4.3 million people in 36 provinces.

“We will not rest until we have exhausted our means to raise funds for the relief goods and services intended for the victims of Yolanda,” Toledo stressed. “Helping our fellowmen in their time of need has been inculcated in our culture of responsibility.”

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