28 January 2022

More than a month after Typhoon Odette devastated the Visayas and Mindanao regions, San Miguel Corporation’s (SMC) response operations has now reached P83.4 million, following financial support extended to its affected employees and students displaced by the disaster.

SMC president and CEO Ramon S. Ang said that along with efforts to distribute some P35 million in food aid and water to various provinces, the company made sure that its own employees badly-hit by the typhoon would have the means to get back on their feet.

According to Ang, the company has so far extended some P43.4 million in cash assistance to over 2,200 of its own workers.

The financial assistance is meant to help affected employees in whatever way they may need —whether it’s to repair their homes or ensure sufficient food supply for their families, among others.

“While we’ve continued to work with partners to bring aid to communities, we have also been prioritizing members of the San Miguel family,” said Ang.

“Throughout the pandemic, and even through calamities such as this, we take care of our own,” Ang added.

These employees, scattered throughout mostly the Visayas region where damage was more widespread, belong to various SMC companies and facilities, including its food and beverage, fuels, packaging, infrastructure, properties, banking and other businesses.

Apart from helping its employees, SMC also recently provided assistance to students in Cebu, through a P5 million donation to the University of the Phlippines’ (UP) “Tabang sa Iskolar ng Bayan” initiative.

The donation will cover the living expenses and remote learning requirements of affected students, as well as the setting up of learning hubs that will temporarily serve as study centers throughout the city.

“The education of millions of students has been disrupted as a result of schools being heavily damaged or used as shelters. On top of that, we are still in the middle of a pandemic. We hope that through this assistance, we can help our students and teachers get back on track on their studies,” said Ang.

According to the Department of Education, around 15 million students from over 35,000 schools have been affected by Typhoon Odette. Through the “Tabang sa Iskolar ng Bayan” campaign, UP mobilizes its network of partners to help address the pressing needs of affected students.

“The support that SMC will extend to these students will help alleviate their anxieties over the continuation of their education, which were exacerbated by the recent disaster and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We want to express our deepest and most heartfelt gratitude to SMC and Mr. Ang for their commitment to Filipino students,” said UP Vice President for Public Affairs Elena E. Pernia, PhD.

In the weeks following Typhoon Odette last December, SMC dispatched some P35 million worth of food donations and distributed these to affected provinces through various channels, including the Armed Forces of the Philippines, provincial and local governments, and partner non-profit organizations.

Among the provinces that received the donations are: Antique, Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur, Bacolod, Bohol, Biliran, Bukidnon, Cagayan de Oro, Camiguin, Cebu, Dinagat island, Davao del Sur, Eastern Samar, Guimaras, Iloilo, Leyte, Marinduque, Misamis Oriental, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Palawan, Siquijor, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, and Tagoloan.

The company also donated some 24,000 liters of water from its Bulacan Bulk Water Project to several communities in Visayas and Mindanao.

SMC’s various businesses operating in the affected also organized relief operations.

Petron Corp. has been supporting the critical fuel needs of essential facilities, including hospitals, power plants, and water facilities. The company also recently announced that all its damaged service stations across the regions are back in full operation.

San Miguel Brewery, for its part, recently raised P300,000 from its internal donation drive for the benefit of SMB employees in affected areas. In addition, the company has also distributed relief goods and water for its host communities and the public in Cebu.

SMC’s Typhoon Odette relief efforts have now reached P83.4 million, following the company’s increased financial support of P43.4 million for over 2,200 of its workforce and a P5 million donation to the University of the Philippines’ “Tabang sa Iskolar ng Bayan” initiative for the benefit of students displaced by the disaster. The company has also dispatched some P35 million worth of food donations and distributed these to Odette-hit provinces.