The Philippine Star
PDRF delivers aid to Ulysses-torn Cagayan Valley
Tons of food and relief supplies pooled by the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation have arrived in Cagayan Valley, with PDRF officers, their private sector partners and foreign dignitaries overseeing the distribution process in Tuguegarao City.
The PDRF is under the shared leadership of Manuel V. Pangilinan, Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala and Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, prefect for the congregation for the evangelization of peoples.
Joining the big impact mission were Ambassadors Saskia de Lang of the Netherlands and Anker Reiffenstuel of Germany, United Nations Resident Coordinator and humanitarian coordinator Gustavo Gonzalez, PDRF president Butch Meily, PDRF executive director Veronica Gabaldon, AirAsia chief finance officer Ray Berja, Tuguegarao City Mayor Jefferson Soriano, Office of Civil Defense Region 2 ( OCD- 2) director Harold Cabreros, Dr. Teofredo Esguerra of Wilderness Search and Rescue Philippines, Iliac Diaz of Liter of Light and representatives from Aboitiz Foundation.
The PDRF and its private sector partners delivered food and non-food relief items to the OCD-2 as part of its ongoing relief efforts for the affected communities of Typhoon Ulysses ( international name Vamco) in the region.
This provision of immediate, life- saving assistance is included in the UN Humanitarian Response Plan.
At a recent turnover ceremony, dubbed as “Aksyon Para sa Cagayan,” an estimated two tons of hygiene and dignity kits from PWC Philippines-Isla Lipana & Co. and Unbox founder Carlo Ople and food packs from Aboitiz Foundation were turned over to OCD- 2 for repacking and distribution to the affected families in the region. AirAsia provided air transport, lodging and manpower support for the relief items.
Each hygiene kit included bath soap, laundry soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, sanitary napkins, a pail with a cover, a dipper, shampoo and surgical masks to ensure compliance with COVID-19 health and safety protocols. The food packs included rice, sardines, corned beef, instant noodles and coffee.
Meanwhile, Alagang Kapatid Foundation Inc., the outreach arm of TV5, also sent 4.5 tons of relief goods to Isabela province and Tuguegarao City.
Another two tons of relief goods from private donors are en route to Tuguegarao City via land transport. These include 1,200 kg of rice, 400 bottles of alcohol, corned beef, instant noodles, sardines, toothpaste and shampoo.
Last Nov. 9, when Ulysses developed into a severe tropical storm, the PDRF activated its Emergency Operations Center in Clark, Pampanga and began communicating vital information to its private sector network to initiate disaster response.
The typhoon affected nearly a million families ( about 4 million people) in Regions 1, 2, 3, 4-A (Calabarzon), 4-B (Mimaropa), 5, as well as the National Capital Region and Cordillera Administrative Region. Billions were lost in agriculture and infrastructure damage.
The private sector response to Cagayan Valley has gone beyond the donation and distribution of relief goods and has also included services like providing trucks and boats and deploying rescue teams to the severely hit areas.
The partnership between the private and public sectors forms a crucial part of the national response plan and it is only through coordinated efforts and a whole-of-society approach that the country will be able to recover from this recent onslaught of natural calamities.