Brett Medel, VP and chief information officer at Philex Mining Corp., and the company’s VP for Environment & Community Relations, Victor Francisco, helping out at the Tulong Kapatid Center, Aug. 21 | BF

MVP Group marches on with CSR work for quake victims

Monday, October 21, 2013

Extending help is part of the group’s ‘culture of responsibility’

Having made helping disaster victims an intrinsic part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR), the MVP Group of Companies has again been at the forefront of relief operations•€”this time in earthquake-hit areas in the Visayas.  

From relief goods to medical personnel and search-and-rescue team, companies being managed by businessman and sports patron Manuel V. Pangilinan have begun deploying their resources after a 7.2-magnitude quake struck the provinces of Bohol and Cebu on Oct. 15.  

€œHelping victims of natural and man-made disasters has become a part of our culture of responsibility,•€ Mr. Pangilinan, more known by his initials MVP, said. •€œWe are always willing to provide help in a holistic manner through our Tulong Kapatid Center.•€  

Rescue 5, the emergency response unit of TV5 News and Information (News5), met up Friday in Sagbayan, Bohol with the search-and-rescue team of Philex Mining Corp. to conduct retrieval operations in the area. Rescue 5 has been providing medical assistance to residents in Sagbayan.  

Philex Mining•€™s Mine Division sent an eight-man team, whose members are all experienced miners and well-trained in search-and-rescue operations, according to Michael Toledo, the company•€™s SVP for Corporate Affairs and head of the MVP Group•€™s Media Bureau.  

Smart Communications, Inc. has deployed the fourth generation (4G) Long-Term Evolution (LTE) service, the fastest commercially available wireless internet technology in the country, to help earthquake victims, who have since suffered a number of aftershocks.  

Today, a 5.4-magnitude quake hit Bohol and Cebu anew, the strongest aftershock in the last four days recorded by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS). It said the quake was 37 kilometers northeast of Tagbilaran City, Bohol•€™s capital, and had a depth of 10 km at 7:03 a.m.  

Rolando Peña, head of technology services at Smart and PLDT, or the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., said a free-of-charge Smart 4G LTE was installed at the Bohol Provincial Disaster Response Command Center, in Tagbilaran City, for use of various agencies and volunteer groups. Stations offering free-of-charge telephone services have also been set up in Cebu City•€™s Provincial Capitol.  

Last Thursday, the PLDT-Smart Foundation (PSF) shipped 2,000 eco bags to Cebu City that were already distributed to earthquake victims. Each relief pack contained rice, canned goods, instant noodle soup, and biscuits.  

There were also 250 relief bags from PSF and another 250 from One Meralco Foundation, Inc. (OMF), the CSR arm of Manila Electric Co. Vice President Jejomar Binay distributed the said relief packs to quake victims during his visit to Cebu City on Thursday.  

For its part, Maynilad Water Services, Inc. turned over 400 water jugs to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), for distribution to families currently housed in evacuation centers. It also turned over another 500 pieces of one-gallon bottled water to TV5, whose Alagang Kapatid Foundation, Inc. (AKFI) has likewise been active in providing help to disaster victims nationwide.  

AKFI has also organized a soup kitchen that will run for three days and benefit 5,000 people. The funding will come from Tulong Kapatid, the CSR arm for the whole MVP Group of Companies, which was launched last December.  

Headquartered at the Meralco Compound, along Ortigas Ave., the Tulong Kapatid Center was set up through the combined efforts of Maynilad, PSF, Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC), Manila North Tollways Corp., OMF, AKFI, the MPIC Hospitals Group, and Philex Mining.  

The MVP Group•€™s holistic approach to giving aid consists of distributing relief goods and running soup kitchens to providing medical aid, building shelter for the homeless and reconstructing damaged infrastructure to creating livelihood for those who have lost their jobs as a result of natural calamities.