January 24, 2022, MANILA— The Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF), the country’s primary vehicle for private sector support during emergencies, showcased its efforts at providing relief to Super Typhoon Odette victims and supporting government initiatives through its T3 (Test, Trace, Treat) task force at its board meeting this week, attended by various business and NGO leaders, and government representatives. PDRF sent aid missions to Southern Leyte, Cebu, Siargao, Dinagat Island, and Surigao City soon after the storm struck and delivered goods from its network including food from McDonald’s, Jollibee, ICTSI, and One Meralco Foundation and water from Coke, Maynilad, and Manila Water.
Meralco and Aboitiz Power linemen are currently in Cebu and Bohol helping restore power while Magsaysay Shipping Line through Lorenzo Shipping transported Caritas relief packs to Cebu. DMCI supplied barges that brought the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Energy (DOE) and United Parcel Service (UPS) trucks to Siargao, Surigao City, and Palawan. Air Asia and Cebu Pacific provided free seats and cargo space for humanitarian workers and relief goods. Maynilad also supplied mobile water treatment plants to affected areas. Delnet International is delivering fishing boats to Malitbog, Leyte. JP Morgan, Maynilad, MPIC Tollways, and others provided funding. PDRF's Clark Operations Center provided four briefings to the private sector in the days following the typhoon.
DOE Undersecretaries Alex Lopez and Felix Fuentebella updated the board on the power situation in the Visayas after Odette.
“PDRF was able to facilitate the transport vessels that shipped our Task Force Kapatid Contingents to Palawan and Surigao City. The assistance provided by PDRF is helping the energy sector achieve its targeted power restoration timelines in these disaster-stricken areas,” said Undersecretary Fuentebella in his remarks.
“We will be assisting communities in Calape, Bohol, Sibonga, Cebu, Tomas Oppus, Southern Leyte, and Dinagat and Siargao islands with shelter and hygiene kits, solar power and water filters,” said Executive Director Veron Gabaldon.
Transitioning from relief to recovery, PDRF will be focusing on revival of livelihoods by supplying fishing boats to coastal communities and assistance to sari-sari stores and small businesses along with repair of water systems, schools, health clinics, and evacuation centers.
“Just having the different sectors of the business community come together during a crisis gives us all hope for the future, “said PDRF President Butch Meily.
Also active in numerous areas of the COVID-19 battle, PDRF’s Task Force T3, led by Chief Resilience Officer Bill Luz, has been assisting the government since the beginning of the health crisis in March 2020 by increasing testing capacity, recruiting workers for the Department of Health, providing cold storage facilities for vaccines through Zuellig Pharma, establishing the One Hospital Command where public and private hospitals can exchange information, retaining the Boston Consulting Group to advise the government, and supporting vaccination campaigns through ads and additional inoculation areas.
“PDRF is committed to and has been deeply engaged in the country’s COVID response efforts over the last two years, from RT-PCR testing to the One Hospital Command and Vaccine Deployment Program. We need to work as a team to manage this pandemic and get the economy back on its feet,” said Mr. Luz.
The private sector organization recently celebrated its Tenth Anniversary, one year late due to the pandemic, at which several dignitaries and beneficiaries expressed their gratitude to PDRF. The UN’s Resident Coordinator Gustavo Gonzales lauded PDRF for “anticipating the next generation of development partnerships and breaking down traditional silos in the humanitarian, business and development communities by demonstrating that we can have a common agenda which is saving lives, protecting livelihoods and finding sustainable solutions.”
PDRF Co-Chairman and Chairman of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) and PLDT Inc., Manuel V. Pangilinan, expressed his wish that the group continue to “pick up the burden for our country and support Filipinos during our darkest hours.” Fellow PDRF Co-Chairman and Chairman of Ayala Corporation, Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, hailed the “network of partnerships among businesses, between business and government and between business and international organizations and governments” as the “secret behind the organization’s success over the last decade.”
Others who greeted PDRF included Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad of the Office of Civil Defense, Hank Hendrickson, Executive Director of the U.S. Philippines Society, Hans Peter Teufers of the UPS Foundation, Zamboanga City Mayor Beng Climaco, Lanao del Sur Governor Mamintal Alonto Adiong Jr., Batangas Governor Hermilando Mandanas and DTI Undersecretary Blesila Lantayona. Beneficiaries from Marawi to Catanduanes also sent videos of gratitude.
PDRF is headed by Co-Chairmen Mr. Pangilinan, Mr. Zobel de Ayala, and Cardinal Luis Antonio G. Tagle. Aside from the three co-chairs, the newly-elected board members include Federico R. Lopez, Chairman and CEO of First Philippine Holdings Corp., Sabin M. Aboitiz, President and CEO of Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc., Doris Magsaysay-Ho, CEO of A. Magsaysay, Inc., Edgar O. Chua, Chairman of the Makati Business Club, Lorelie Quiambao-Osial, President, CEO and Executive Director of Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation, Ray C. Espinosa, President and CEO of Manila Electric Company, Jose Victor Emmanuel A. de Dios, President and CEO of Manila Water Company, Rogelio L. Singson, President and CEO of Metro Pacific Water, Jose Maria Lorenzo Tan, adviser to the World Wildlife Fund Philippines, June Cheryl A. Cabal-Revilla, CFO and Chief Sustainability Officer of MPIC, and Mr. Meily. As an alliance of businesses dedicated to building the disaster management capabilities of the private sector in the country, PDRF works on all areas: prevention and mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery and rehabilitation.
Camille Rae Lim - Communications Officer, Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation