More foreign, local corporate donations for ‘Yolanda’ victims roll in

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Aid from corporate donors, both here and overseas, continues to flow in despite the logjam in connecting relief efforts with survivors of Supertyphoon “Yolanda.”

This early, however, at least one donor has already set its eyes on the reconstruction efforts for hard-hit areas in Leyte and Samar provinces.

International investment banking giant Credit Suisse said it would donate $400,000 to local charities, including housing specialists Gawad Kalinga and Habitat for Humanity Philippines.

The amount will come primarily from Credit Suisse’s staffers in the Asia-Pacific region, through the efforts of Filipinos working for the financial institution.

“Both charities will be working on providing immediate emergency relief to victims of the typhoon in the short term and on rebuilding efforts in the affected communities in the long term,” Credit Suisse said.

“In addition, the bank will support the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.”

Meanwhile, the local unit of petroleum giant Shell has mobilized its retail stations and depots around the country as drop-off points for aid donations.

In a statement, Shell said it activated its disaster relief and donation plan, and organized activities to provide immediate assistance to affected families in central Philippines.

Shell is also working hard to provide steady supply of fuel products in a safe and efficient manner in the affected areas, the company said.

On Thursday, Japan-based electronics firm Hitachi Ltd. said it would donate 10 million Japanese yen (P4.35 million) to assist in the relief efforts.

Hitachi also expressed its “deep condolences” for the victims of the typhoon, adding that it “sincerely hopes for the earliest recovery of the people and areas in the Philippines that have been affected by the disaster.”

White Knight Automobiles, the distributor of Morgan Cars in the Philippines, said it would donate water filtration units through the Rotary Club of Makati.

“The filtration units are ideal and timely to the needs of those people in Tacloban because we all know that aside from supplies of food, water shortage is also a problem in the area,” White Knight Automobiles CEO Morgan Say said.

Members of the Rotary Club of Makati are planning to fly to Tacloban this weekend to turn over to authorities donations for the victims of Yolanda.

Printer manufacturer Epson Philippines announced a donation of P2 million for relief operations in areas ravaged by Yolanda.

Aside from monetary aid, Epson employees will also work with the Philippine Business for Social Progress to undertake on-site relief operations. Contributions from Epson employees are also being aggregated by the company to complement the aid that the company has donated.

Global resources firm BHP Billiton donated A$500,000 to the Red Cross in response to the devastation wrought by Yolanda in the Visayas region.

“The typhoon and its aftermath have had a severe impact on communities in the Philippines and given our history and relationship with the people of the Philippines, we hope this donation will assist the Red Cross in helping the local people in their recovery from this terrible event,” said BHP Billiton president Mike Henry.

The donation came from the Australian firm’s BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities, a charity it established as part of its community investment program.

Apart from the A$500,000, BHP Billiton will donate A$2 for every A$1 donated by an employee through its Matched Giving program.

German chemical giant Bayer also said it would provide “immediate relief and reconstruction assistance worth up to 650,000 euros, or P38 million.

The company is providing immediate financial aid of 100,000 euros, or P5.8 million, to the German Red Cross, it said.

“Bayer intends the money to be used to support the work of medical teams and the operation of health centers in the disaster area,” it said. “Bayer will also provide the Red Cross in the Philippines with urgently needed medicines to the value of 400,000 euros or P23.5 million.”

Malaysia’s Maybank, through its local subsidiary Maybank Philippines Inc., has donated a total of 1 million Malaysian ringgit (P13.7 million) to the Philippine Red Cross in aid of relief efforts for the victims of Yolanda.

The donation will be used to provide additional medicine, food and potable water supply in Tacloban City, which is the focus of Red Cross’ relief efforts.

“Our sympathies and prayers are with the government and people of the Philippines, as they go through the grief arising from this natural disaster. We hope that our contributions will bring urgent relief to those who require it most and help them rebuild their lives,” Maybank chair Tan Sri Megat Zaharuddin said.

Petroleum firm Total (Philippines) Corp. also mobilized employees and resources to help those affected by Yolanda.

It designated its service stations as drop-off points for donations and allocated a portion of the proceeds from its fuel sales as donations to the Red Cross.—With a report from Amy Remo

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