SM companies have come together, harnessing synergies to respond immediately to the call of communities in areas hit by Typhoon Odette (Rai).
With its broad footprint, SM swiftly mobilized the immediate deployment of relief goods through its foundations; provided critical mobility for essential equipment and goods through its logistics firms; gave shelter and connectivity to those affected by the typhoon in its malls; activated its banks and malls as collection points for donations; and kept open its stores, banks, and malls whenever it could to provide essential public service.
“When a disaster happens, SM is structured to trigger several modes of support with our businesses working together. Looking after our communities is paramount and we make it a point to respond swiftly to their needs. It’s an ongoing effort as we also help build the resilience of our communities before and after a crisis hits,” SM Investments President and Chief Executive Officer Frederic C. DyBuncio said.
SM Foundation’s Operation Tulong Express is rapidly activated in times of disaster. Through the program, SM distributed Kalinga (care and relief) packs consisting of rice, bottled water, and other essentials to 25,000 families in critical municipalities in Visayas and Mindanao and will continue to provide relief to thousands of families as needed.
“We will continue to monitor the situation and heed the call promptly where we can. We believe that through our concerted efforts, we can help weather these storms,” Cristie Angeles, SM Foundation’s AVP For Outreach programs said.
In response to the damage brought about by the typhoon, the stores of SM Markets, the food retail brand of SM, joined SM Foundation and SM Cares in the relief operations. Moreover, SM quickly reopened essential stores to provide for the immediate needs of the people after the devastating typhoon.
In the spirit of service, SM employees working in the typhoon areas chose to be on duty to serve customers in the stores; from those gathering relief goods for donation to assisting shoppers looking for essential supplies for their own families.
SM malls in Cebu, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro, Butuan, and Puerto Princesa provided temporary shelter to customers and nearby residents by offering free Wi-Fi, charging stations, drinking water, light snacks, overnight parking, and help desks ready to serve customers affected by the typhoon. A total of 86 SM malls and SM Development Corporation retail establishments are accepting donations for typhoon-stricken communities. All proceeds will go directly to the Philippine Red Cross, a partner of SM Cares and SM Foundation.
For its part 2GO Group, through its 2GO Sea Solutions, continues to transport donations and relief goods port-to-port, free of charge from Manila to Tropical Storm Odette-stricken areas in Cebu, Bacolod, Butuan (for Siargao and Surigao City), Cagayan De Oro, Dumaguete (for Bais City), Iloilo, Puerto Princesa, Tagbilaran, and Zamboanga.
2GO has supported the movement of essential goods to Visayas and Mindanao, such as food, water, clothing, toiletries, medicines, including basket trucks for power restoration. The company has also released emergency funds and has provided accommodation for its employees whose families were affected by the super typhoon. In addition, 2GO is working with SM Foundation to support donations under the campaign, #READY2GOHelpVictimsOfTyphoonOdette. 2GO also made available its ISO Tanks for food and service establishments for fuel and water storage.
Airspeed, a part of SM’s equity investment portfolio, assisted in logistics operations as well, bringing critical supplies such as food and water to Sangley Point in Cavite going to Cebu and Siargao. Airspeed also flew truckloads of bottled water provided by SM to Cebu to help in relief operations in light of the water shortage in the typhoon-stricken region.
Branches of BDO Unibank in areas affected by Typhoon Odette remain open on shortened banking hours to assist customers’ transactions needs.
Davao-based BDO Network Bank is also accepting donations for those affected by Typhoon Odette through BDO Foundation. Donations may be deposited via the BDO Foundation Disaster Response Account (BDO Checking Account: 0030 0802 6717) and through any BDO Network branch nationwide without any service fees.
In line with its disaster response advocacy, BDO Foundation is providing aid to communities by coordinating with dioceses and parishes in disaster-affected areas for the distribution of relief goods containing food, rice and drinking water. BDO Foundation is organizing relief operations, mobilizing volunteers to extend immediate assistance to families in typhoon-stricken provinces in the Visayas and Mindanao. The ongoing corporate citizenship initiative is made possible with the support of BDO and BDO Network Bank branches.
China Banking Corporation (China Bank) has announced that cash donations may be deposited to the China Bank Calamity or Disaster General fund (savings acct. 203-365071-3) for turnover to the Philippine Red Cross. Cash donations to typhoon victims may also be sent to preferred institutions for free using the China Bank Mobile App until December 31, 2021. “There is still much work to be done and we can best serve our communities by working together,” Mr. DyBuncio said.