Companies help communities affected by Taal Volcano eruption

MANILA, Philippines (5th UPDATE) – Thousands of residents who evacuated their homes due to the ongoing eruption of Taal Volcano are now in different evacuation centers across Calabarzon.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said that, as of 6 pm on January 31, at least 248 evacuation centers are hosting 10,848 families or 37,163 individuals affected by the natural disaster.

Since the start of the eruption on January 12, different groups have launched relief initiatives to help provide the needs of the evacuees. Companies and businesses are also reaching out to affected communities in various ways.

Here's how companies are supporting relief efforts for communities affected by the eruption.

Manila Water and its other operating units in Laguna and Batangas sent a convoy of 30 water tankers to different evacuation centers in Batangas. Twelve of those tankers were allocated to the Bolbok Provincial Sports Complex, 3 sites in Tanauan, and one in Sto Tomas. These thankers have been refilled more than 190 times and provided over 1,800 cubic meters of water to almost 42,000 individuals as of January 20.

When ashfall from the volcano reached Calabarzon and Metro Manila on Sunday, all Ayala Malls in Metro Manila and Calabarzon waived overnight parking fee as well as provided free WiFi connection to help affected customers. Ayala Malls Solenad even opened its cinema building ground floor to customers in need of shelter and charging stations.

Globe Telecom provided free internet connection as well as free calls and charging stations.

AC Health's Generika drugstore and FamilyDOC clinics are on high alert to provide medicine, medical supplies, first aid, and medical consultation.

AC Motors and Ayala Foundation employees delivered relief goods to Batangas via 30 vehicles from Volkswagen, KIA, Maxus, KTM, Honda, and Isuzu. Part of the delivery convoy were 10 brand new KIA K2500 Kargo vehicles turned over to the Batangas provincial government for deployment to evacuation sites.

Employees of AyalaLand Malls Inc, Ayala Land Hotels and Resorts, and Ayala Land Offices distributed relief items to 248 families in Barangay San Antonio, Sto Tomas, Batangas. The items that were procured through the employees' personal cash donations included sleeping mats, blankets, and food items.

Makati Development Corporation (MDC) sent relief goods from employees, partner contractors, and suppliers, distributing P1.5 million worth of goods (food items, hygiene kits, and sleeping mats) to 235 families in Paaralang Elementarya ng San Antonio in Sto Tomas, Batangas. MDC's medical team also conducted free medical checkups and distributed medicines.

Bank of the Philippine Islands employee-volunteers packed relief goods that were distributed to about 500 families and 3,000 individuals from Lemery, San Nicolas, and Agoncillo who were relocated to Bauan, Batangas. BPI also has an ongoing employee-led fundraising initiative, wherein funds to be raised will be matched by the BPI Foundation.

The Ayala group and its partners sent a team for a medical mission in evacuation centers in Alitagtag and Bauan, both in Batangas. The team, which was composed of 41 doctors and 50 allied health professionals, also provided assorted medicines, N95 masks, 500 bottles of 500 ml Healthy Family drinking water

Donation boxes for relief goods have now been put up in other Megaworld Lifestyle Malls, such as Eastwood Mall, Lucky Chinatown, Venice Grand Canal, Southwoods Mall, and Uptown Mall.

Those who would like to donate items – like drinking water,first-aid and medical supplies, easy-to-open canned goods, toiletries and hygiene essentials, baby items (diapers, baby formula, vitamins), non-perishable food items like coffee, milk, and sugar, pillows and blankets, batteries and flashlights, and even pet food and animal feeds – may bring them to the malls' Concierge beginning January 15.

One Meralco Foundation, the social development arm and corporate foundation of Meralco, has set up solar mobile charing stations at evacuation centers within the vicinity of the volcano. The service was initially available at the evacuation center in Alfonso, Cavite.

Meralco, in coordination with the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF), provided gensets (and the manpower for their operation) to various organizations and evacuation centers. PDRF also provided face masks.

The PLDT Tagaytay Office in Barangay Kaybagal South, Tagaytay City, made available its Libreng Charging services.

Maynilad worked with the Department of Public Works and Highways to deploy 13 water tankers for the affected communities. It also worked with the Department of Social Welfare and Development in providing 2,000 6-liter bottles. The Makati Medical Center Foundation also provided 2,400 bottles of mineral water in partnership with Le Minerale.

The Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation mobilized teams to help out in clearing operations in affected areas. It provided water for windshields of affected CALAX motorists, cleared ashfall at carriageways, and mobilized relief efforts.

PLDT and subsidiary Smart Communications helped Metropolitan Manila Development Authority volunteers as well as the Philippine Red Cross and the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology by providing communication support and load credits to those helping out in Batangas.

The Alagang Kapatid Foundation, PLDT-Smart Foundation, and Cignal TV employees deployed a Foton first-responder food truck to serve hot meals at evacuation centers in Tagaytay City, as well as Laurel and Mabini in Batangas. The truck also provided nebulization services from volunteer doctors and nurses of the Makati Medical Center Foundation.

The following were also distributed in evacuation centers:

EMERGENCY AID. SM's Oplan Tulong Express Kalinga relief packs, medical missions and medicines, and other basic needs to the victims of the Taal Volcano eruption. Photos courtesy of SM Supermalls

EMERGENCY AID. SM's Oplan Tulong Express Kalinga relief packs, medical missions and medicines, and other basic needs to the victims of the Taal Volcano eruption.

Photos courtesy of SM Supermalls

The SM Group of Companies mobilized Oplan Tulong Express, a relief operations program that provided Kalinga relief packs, medical missions and medicines, and other basic needs to the victims.

Through Oplan Tulong Express, SM Foundation, SM Supermalls, SM Cares, and the Philippine National Red Cross sent over 2,500 6-liter bottles of water and 6,500 Kalinga relief packs to the evacuation centers in Batangas City and Lipa.

There will be an Oplan Tulong Express Medical Mission on Sunday, January 19 in Lipa, Batangas, Bauan, and Inosluban-Maraouy, for which two mobile clinics will be deployed.

Oplan Tulong Express Booths at 12 SM malls in South Luzon are accepting donations in kind and cash. Donations may be dropped off at the booths at Bacoor, Dasmariñas, Molino, Rosario, Trece Martires, Imus, Sta Rosa, San Pablo, Calamba, Batangas, Lipa, and Lucena. 

Aside from mobilizing volunteers for relief operations, the Coca-Cola System distributed over 40,000 liters of Wilkins water to thousands of families in evacuation centers, especially those in the Batangas Provincial Sports Complex, the Provincial Capitol of Cavite, and in Barangay Kanluran in Sta Rosa, Laguna. 

Coca-Cola employees from its Imus bottling plant also donated 2,000 face masks in coordination with the Christian Commission Fellowship and the Junior Chamber International Foundation Imus. They also organized a donation drive for canned goods, blankets, and other necessities.

McDonald's Philippines through the Ronald McDonald House Charities opened its doors to receive donations, selecting 100 stores in Manila to receive them from January 16 to 25. 

Customers are encouraged to donate the following items: blankets, face masks, canned goods, (preferably easy to open), bottled water, biscuits, medicines, rice, and sleeping mats. For the closest participating store near you, check here.

McDonald's Philippines partnered with the social welfare department to aid in the distribution of the donations to evacuation centers.

Cash donations may be made through the following bank accounts:

Account Name: Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Philippines, Inc.

Banco De Oro
CA# 0170-8012-767

Bank of the Philippine Islands
CA# 3021-4107-47

For confirmation of donation, please email to rmhc@ph.mcd.com the copy of transmittal slip with complete donor’s information.

Pilipinas Shell opened Shelter Stations to help affected residents. Shelter Stations are converted fuel stations that are open 24/7 to provide emergency drinking water, first aid kits, and free mobile charging services. Vehicles affected by the ashfall can also get assistance in these stations. There are 14 sites in Batangas, 6 in Cavite, 7 in Laguna, and 19 in Metro Manila.

Shelter Stations also accept relief good donations from the public.

Shell companies in the Philippines donated P4 million worth of food packs, potable drinking water, sleeping kits, hygiene kits, canned goods, sanitary napkins, diapers, and insect repellent, distributed to over 1,500 families staying at the Batangas Provincial Sports Complex.

Pilipinas Shell also donated over 3,000 liters of diesel fuel to help with disaster management and response. Over 100 volunteers from Pilipinas Shell employees, Shell Retailers, Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc., and the Malampaya Foundation volunteered to bring relief donations and set up facilities in Batangas.

Those who would like to help can get in touch through the Shell Customer Service Center at 02-8878-8888 for Metro Manila and 1-800-10000-3333 for outside the metro. For more information, read here

San Miguel Corporation's (SMC) "free toll" assistance for motorists delivering relief goods is still in effect for the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR).

As of Wednesday, January 29, a total of 14,309 free single-exit passes have been issued at both SLEX and STAR tollways. Below is the breakdown:

The SMC has so far donated over P23 million worth of relief goods, including hot meals, drinking water, grocery items, face masks, blankets, sleeping mats, and clothing. It also organized daily soup kitchens for around 6,000 evacuees in different areas in Batangas.

Motorists carrying relief goods can avail of their free single exit pass at various relief inspection sites:

Pepsi Cola Philippines provided 100 bundles of carton, 300 pieces of empty sacks, and 100 gallons of drinking water – deemed the most needed by evacuees in San Miguel Elementary School and San Roque Elementary School. Another 100 cases of purified drinking water were delivered to the capitol of Batangas City and distributed to nearby evacuation centers. 

Pepsi Cola Philippines' Southern Tagalog Region Operations Plant also provided two hydrant connections for raw water and one hose connection for drinking water, both accessible 24/7. Three lines were mobilized to help clean thick layers of ash that accumulated after the ashfall.

Pepsi Cola Philippines also committed to organize a blood donation program to support evacuees with medical conditions in times of emergencies. – Rappler.com