Finding ways through disaster response and financial inclusion, BDO Foundation President Mario Deriquito explains the nonstock, nonprofit organization’s twin advocacies. PHOTO BY ENRIQUE AGCAOILI

AT the Sign of the Anvil, amid tinkling cutlery and a scenic view of Urdaneta Village in Makati, BDO Foundation President Mario Deriquito spoke on Wednesday about the nonstock, nonprofit organization’s twin pillars — disaster response and financial inclusion.

The advocacy for disaster response involves relief operations made possible with the support of volunteers from BDO branches throughout the archipelago. Informed with data from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, BDO officers and staff are mobilized, or they themselves volunteer. They are primed for deployment within two to three days to distribute relief packs filled with rice, viands and water. Such responsiveness is timely in these days of storm surges, flash floods, seismic temblors and volcanic eruptions.

One of the main challenges for BDO response teams is that, at times, the volunteers themselves are also victims of calamity. And yet – perhaps inspired by the selfless spirit of volunteerism and service that the foundation seeks to infuse within the organization – these selfsame victims rise above adversity to lend a helping hand. More than relief goods, it is caring that gives hope to fellow Filipinos in need,notes Deriquito.

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