The Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation, a private sector-led group for disaster management chaired by Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, Manuel V. Pangilinan and Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, led the initiative.
AFP/Manman Dejeto
Big business pools resources for Mindanao
Iris Gonzales (The Philippine Star) - November 6, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA,Philippines — The country’s conglomerates and different businesses are pooling their resources to help victims of the series of earthquakes in Mindanao.

The Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF), a private sector-led group for disaster management chaired by Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, Manuel V. Pangilinan and Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, led the initiative.

“The private sector has a role to play in preparing for and responding to calamities. The Philippines, through PDRF, has led the way in what has now become a global movement to use the core expertise and resources of companies to help alleviate the suffering of affected communities,” Pangilinan said.

Zobel, for his part, said businesses are committed to help.

“The private sector is committed to helping people affected by the Mindanao earthquake. Through PDRF, we are extending assistance and mobilizing resources for relief and recovery,” Zobel said.

The PDRF has released an initial list of companies and foundations responding to help the families affected by the Mindanao earthquakes.

The list, which is being updated, represents an organized network response to reach more affected communities and families in coordination with the government.

The groups that comprise the initial list are AirAsia, which has provided flights to transport relief goods and tents; drinking water from Maynilad; Aboitiz Foundation and Aboitiz Power which launched relief operations; AirBnb Foundation, which provided accommodations for PDRF ground team; Air 21, which provided aviation transportation and portalets and Ayala Foundation which participated in rehabilitation efforts.

Other companies and groups included Cebuana Lhuillier, Coca Cola Foundation, Energy Development Corp., Globe Telecom, Jollibee Group Foundation, Makati Medical Center Foundation, Manila Water, Maynilad, Metro Pacific Foundation, One Meralco Foundation, Pepsi Cola Products, Lucio Tan-owned Philippine Air Lines, Smart Communications and Tzu Chi Foundation.

These groups have provided help and assistance through various forms such as donations of rice, drinking water, solar lamps, water jugs, transport of folding beds, blankets, provision of SAT phones and regular phones, food packs hygiene kits and drinking water.

In addition, PDRF deployed a team to Cotabato to coordinate relief work. PDRF is a business network launched in 2009 as a response to the devastation caused by Typhoon Ondoy. It is envisioned to act as a self-sufficient operations hub that would ensure proper coordination of private sector response to disasters.

On the other hand, Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano spearheaded a move to raise funds where other leaders and members of the House of Representatives have responded favorably. 

“So much has been lost, not just properties but innocent lives as well. So, maybe I can ask that Congress as a whole do extra sacrifices so that we can help the earthquake victims,” Cayetano said.

Cayetano also relayed the good news as Deputy Speaker LRay Villafuerte – who initiated a text brigade to his colleagues – informed him that at least 90 House members have so far promised to make their donations that will be sourced from their salaries. 

Cayetano also announced during Monday’s Congressional Spouses Foundation Inc. (CSFI) Giant Christmas Tree 2019 launch that the President’s son, Deputy Speaker Paolo Duterte, is already making the rounds the offices of the congressmen. 

“So, despite the fact that he is rather busy, he took the time to gather support from his colleagues to help the victims of the Mindanao earthquakes,” Cayetano said.

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC), for its part, started a fund drive while it continues its relief operations for displaced families in Mindanao.

PRC chairman and Sen. Richard Gordon urged the public, including big companies, to help in the relief efforts through donations.

The PRC continued relief operations in badly hit areas through resources provided by generous donors, Gordon said. 

“More than 420 Red Cross volunteers are on the ground to aid the affected families and individuals in Regions 11 and 12. Assistance is badly needed in the form of temporary shelters, food, medicine, clean water, tents and essential household goods,” Gordon said.

The provincial government of Zamboanga Sibugay donated 35,000 tons of rice as part of the relief assistance for the quake victims.

Zamboanga Sibugay Gov. Wilter Palma said the convoy of seven trucks loaded with relief goods will leave today for Makilala, one of the hardest hit towns in North Cotabato.

“This is our response to our fellow Filipinos who were unfortunately affected by the disaster,” Palma said.

The Zamboanga City Disaster Council meanwhile approved the released of P5-million financial assistance for the earthquake victims.

The city government initially sent last Friday relief assistance worth P5 million in response to the appeal of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.

The Pasig city government led by Mayor Vico Sotto had pledged P14 million in financial assistance.

Sotto said that aside from the monetary donation, the city government will also give relief goods.?He said P3 million will be given to Makilala in North Cotabato while P2 million each will be provided to Tulunan and M’lang in North Cotabato, as well as Magsaysay and Bansalan in Davao del Sur. ?The city of Kidapawan in North Cotabato and Matanao town in Davao del Sur will receive P1 million each, Sotto said. ?Taguig city government also pledged to provide monetary aid to cities in Davao del Sur and North Cotabato. ?Taguig City Mayor Lino Cayetano said the city council has approved a resolution extending P15-million calamity assistance.

Meanwhile, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has initially raised some P200 million for employment assistance for the families displaced by the Mindanao quakes.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said he also requested the board of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) to approve the release of cash assistance to families of OFWs in Mindanao.

Bello has directed DOLE senior officials and regional offices to speed up the emergency employment of displaced workers and livelihood assistance for those in the informal sector. 

He estimated that these support packages would reach some P500 million. 

“We may need more than P500 million to cover all those needing assistance and emergency employment in the affected areas,” he said.

OWWA is set to provide calamity assistance for the families of OFW members in the quake-hit areas.

“The OWWA board has decided to give P3,000 per family of OFW in the areas hit by the earthquake, so, for those who have OFW relatives, please tell them that they are entitled to a financial assistance from OWWA,” Bello said. – Delon Porcalla, Non Alquitran, Sheila Crisostomo, Roel Pareño, Ralph Edwin Villanueva

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