A time to help, a time to give
Super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) was like a nightmare to most people in Eastern and Central Visayas. The typhoon only took a day of island hopping yet it turned everything it passed through into nothing.
This is a difficult time for many Filipinos especially for the families who lost so much in the aftermath of the strongest cyclone ever recorded in the world.
Feeling the misery of the marooned families in Visayas, the entire CEMEX community immediately mobilized its people and resources in conducting a series of relief missions to the gravely damaged areas.
In times like this, we are called to help in any way we can. There is no small contribution when you give and help with all your heart. I hope that with these care bags and with our continuous relief efforts, we can ease the hunger and grief of our brothers and sisters in Visayas, said Chito Maniago, CEMEX Philippines Director for Corporate Communications and Public Affairs.
The organization through CEMEX Philippines Foundation organized a campaign seeking donation from its employees, either through cash or in-kind. Relief packing activities were consecutively held at Centro Escolar University - Makati (Legaspi) and Solid and APO plants. The relief packages also known as CARE bags were turned over to ABS-CBN Sagip Kapamilya and GMA Kapuso Foundation to be delivered to the beneficiaries.
When CEMEX learned that no relief efforts have reached the Island of Kinatarcan in Northern Cebu, the foundation with its APO volunteers sailed through small boats to the community which has about 1,000 families. Ninety percent of the houses in this island were totally destroyed. The Camotes island in this province was also reached by the relief drive organized by the Logistics team.
"This mission is really fulfilling. When we saw how Kinatarcan was harshly destroyed by Yolanda, we cannot help but be touched by how the families here are fighting to survive," said Erlinda Lizardo, Corporate Communications Manager and one of the leads in the Foundation.
CEMEX also collaborated with different organizations to fast-track the relief drive. It turned over 1,000 CARE bags to the Mining Association's Relief Mission in Leyte.
CEMEX, through its Logistics group, also offered free shipment of relief goods from ABS-CBN Sagip Kapamilya in Cebu to be delivered to Leyte. The CEMEX time chartered vessel called SF Star carried a 4-trailer-truck worth of goods.
Likewise, CEMEX with the Energy Development Corporation (EDC) shipped care bags via LCT Cristina to the office of Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla to be distributed to the affected residents in Ormoc, Leyte. Another batch of care bags was sent through Eastern Samar Congressman Ben Evardone for equally devastated communities in Guiuan, Eastern Samar.
The commercial group also conducted several on-site relief activities to help its clients affected by Yolanda and other communities. To date, Commercial Managers Jose Tan and Aurelio Garcia Ramos, along with their teams incessantly make sure that they reach out to their clients.
Right now, CEMEX Philippines is continuously calling for support and encouraging its employees to help in any way they can. In December, the Foundation will hold a Christmas Wish program for the families, particularly for the kids, of Fantastic Island, Northern Cebu. Rehabilitation plans are also in the pipeline.
Ordinary heroes are stepping up to encourage more people to help and give. You see them volunteering in relief drives, organizing fundraising activities, or giving up their planned vacations or parties to be able to donate.
After all, life's greatest deed is when a man helps a man in need.
"Life's most urgent question is: What are you doing for others?"
- Martin Luther King Jr.