MANILA, Philippines - The Aboitiz Group has exceeded the P200 million fund it originally set for its relief and rehabilitation operations in areas hit by super typhoon "Yolanda", particularly northern Cebu and fourth district of Leyte.
Aboitiz units such as UnionBank of the Philippines, AboitizPower, SN Aboitiz Power, Inc., and Aboitiz Foundation – including funds culled from cancelled Christmas parties, Aboitiz family, team leaders and members, external donors including actress Sharon Cuneta and other private individuals and corporations, have donated P203 million as of December 19.
Through the foundation, the group has completed its relief distribution efforts to 106 barangays from Daanbantayan, Bantayan Island, Medellin, Bogo, and San Remigio in Northern Cebu and the fourth district of Leyte- Ormoc, Kananga, Matag-Ob, and Albuera
The Aboitiz Foundation is now gearing up for phase two, which will involve the rehabilitation of school buildings in Northern Cebu.
"We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from everyone – from people from different parts of the world and all walks of life – volunteers and donors alike for sharing their time and resources to help our countrymen who were affected by Yolanda,” said Aboitiz Foundation Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Sonny Carpio.
“We take it as our responsibility to ensure that all these hard-earned donations and all the efforts put into packing and distributing relief items reach our countrymen who need help the most, and that they reach them fast,” he added.
About P140 million of the funds, Carpio said, will be allocated for the rehabilitation of heavily and partially damaged school buildings from the 1,308 facilities in northern Cebu earlier identified by the Department of Education. Aboitiz Foundation is currently assessing how many schools it could repair – those that could immediately be used by the 29,000 grade school and high school students displaced when calamity struck.
Meanwhile, AboitizPower units Davao Light, Subic EnerZone and VECO that have been assisting Leyte Electric Cooperative 5 (LEYECO5) in restoring power in the fourth district of Leyte, meanwhile vowed resumption of operations right after the holidays.
To date, AboitizPower has restored 349 poles fixed over 30 kilometers of feeder lines in the area.
The Task Force consisting of volunteers from various power units and electric cooperatives, collectively restored 2,697 electric poles in LEYECO5’s franchise area. Still, this is only a tiny fraction of the 11,100 damaged poles in the area. At present, only 613 out of its 90,000 customers currently have electricity.
Meanwhile, 77 linemen , engineers, and staff have been deployed in Northern Cebu since the second week of November to support CEBECO in restoring power in the area. As of first week December, the three power units was able to restore a total of 873 poles and work on the 13.2kV backbone feeder lines from San Remigio to Luyang, Bogo City to Sugod and Medellin to Daanbantayan.