Some of the children who survived “Yolanda,” in the Visayas (Dec. 2013) | AKFI

MVP Group, UNICEF, LGUs team up for storm survivors

Friday, December 6, 2013

In providing potable water in ‘Yolanda’-hit Visayas

The group of companies being managed by Manuel V. Pangilinan, more known as MVP, has worked with the UNICEF, or United Nations Children•€™s Fund, and the water district in Tacloban in providing safe drinking water to the survivors of Super Typhoon Yolanda in the city and those in other stricken areas in the Visayas.

Through its social-action arm Tulong Kapatid, the MVP Group has now installed a total of six machines in the capital of Leyte province, with a combined daily production of 38,470 gallons of potable water, according to Michael Toledo, SVP for Corporate Affairs at Philex Mining Corp., said.  

Mr. Toledo, who is also the group•€™s media-bureau head, added that through Maynilad Water Services, Inc., different sizes of bottled water equivalent to 152,252 liters have recently been distributed to 20 municipalities affected by •€œYolanda.•€  

€œWe have not wavered in our commitment to extend a holistic aid to those in need, especially after this monster typhoon hit the central Philippines,•€ he stressed. •€œIn fact, we have partnered with other organizations, such as UNICEF, as well as the local governments, in order to better help the survivors.•€  

The Philex Group Foundation, meanwhile, has turned over to TV5•€™s Alagang Kapatid Foundation, Inc. the donations in kind•€”food, clothing, medicines, hygiene supplies•€”that it received from Philex Mining employees and their friends and supporters, as it is consolidating their cash donations, to be turned over to Philippine Disaster Recovery Foundation (PDRF).  

Mr. Toledo said Tulong Kapatid has likewise deployed 10 water tanks of 10 cubic ft, water-testing kits, and mini-filtration systems to help typhoon survivors gain access to potable water. He added that technical staff and a 650-kilovolt-amps genset were also provided by the group, through the Manila Electric Co., to power up Tacloban•€™s water district.  

On Nov. 24, the exploration team of Philex Mining at its subsidiary, Silangan Mindanao Mining Company, Inc. (SMMCI), distributes relief packs to 69 evacuees in Surigao City after they fled Tacloban City in the wake •€œYolanda,•€ one of the strongest typhoons to make landfall anywhere in recorded history.  

The team, composed of geologists assigned in East Patag, Kalayaan, and Lascogan, in Surigao del Norte, also distributed donated clothes to the survivors being housed at the Fruitful Harvest Baptist Church, in Surigao City•€™s Brgy. Sabang III. The lady geologists, meanwhile, have organized feeding programs for all the survivors as well as the 40 orphans who are staying at the church.  

Earlier, the MVP Group coordinated with PDRF, which was created by government to tap private-sector resources for the reconstruction efforts in calamity-hit areas, to launch the website •€œBrick by Brick•€ ( as a crowdsourcing campaign for funds to be used in rebuilding areas devastated by natural calamities.  

On Nov. 10, Mr. Pangilinan, who also chairs PDRF, led the MVP Group in a live telethon aired on TV5, where an initial fund of P2 million for the people and areas affected by •€œYolanda•€ had ballooned to over P31 million. The fundraising was done for four hours from 9 p.m. on •€œThe Mega and the Songwriter,•€ an interactive musical variety talk show hosted by the megastar Sharon Cuneta and the singer-songwriter Ogie Alcasid.  

Mr. Toledo said the continued distribution of relief packs to •€œYolanda•€ survivors has been done alongside efforts that helped restore power and telecommunication systems (through the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. and Smart Communications, Inc.) in the Visayas a week after the super typhoon struck and affected over 11 million people, killing over 5,000 and rendering at least 4 million homeless.