More help comes to Cebu in humanitarian flight

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | December 31,2021 - 05:56 PM
Arrival of humanitarian flight in Cebu on December 31, 2021 for Typhoon Odette victims. | Photo Courtesy of OPAV

Arrival of humanitarian flight in Cebu on December 31, 2021 for Typhoon Odette victims. | Photo Courtesy of OPAV

CEBU CITY, Philippines — More relief goods arrived on Cebu, December 31, 2021, for the victims of Typhoon Odette.

A humanitarian flight arrived in typhoon-stricken Cebu Friday morning, December 31, 2021, bringing relief goods, hygiene kits, and water from several donors and sponsors.

Several groups of companies and foundations joined hands to make this latest Bayanihan effort to bring donated goods to typhoon stricken Cebu on the last day of 2021.

The flight was made possible by the MVP group composed of Maynilad, Meralco and other companies, One Meralco Foundation, Philippine Airlines and its foundation, GMA, Makati Medical Center, PTT Philippines, and Chevron Philippines, among others.

Philippine Airlines provided the aircraft and personnel while PTT and Chevron sponsored the jet fuel used by the aircraft.

Makati Med and Maynilad Water Services brought hygiene kits and two tons of water while GMA Kapuso Foundation Inc. brought relief goods.

The Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas, represented by Undersecretary Anthony Gerard “Jonji” Gonzales, accepted the donations on behalf of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino.

“This is Bayanihan. This is the call of the times,” Gonzales said. 

“Relief delivery is now made quicker with military and Coast Guard assets purchased during President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s administration. Now, it’s easier to send goods to the severely affected areas like hard-to-reach islands,” he said.

Earlier, the President had directed that all government assets be used in bringing assistance and relief to the areas hit by typhoon Odette. 

Meanwhile, the wives of five of the Meralco lineman who came to Cebu to help in the restoration efforts, also joined the flight so they could surprise their husbands who would still be staying in Cebu for the restoration efforts.

Jeffrey Tarayao, Meralco Foundation Inc. president, said Meralco deployed 54 linemen, engineers, and support staff to help the Visayan Electric and the Mactan Electric Company repair and rehabilitate toppled poles, transmission and distribution lines after super typhoon Odette wrought havoc in Cebu.

Tarayao said they were staying on to help as long as they were needed. 

“We take our cue from our partners VECO and MECO. as long as we’re needed, we are willing to stay here,” he said.

Tarayao stressed that although Meralco is based in Manila, the company would always be there to extend help when needed.

“We understand the dilemma. That’s the reason why we’re supporting the restoration efforts. Electricity brings with it light; light brings hope. It’s very important ‘pagmamalasakit’. Even if we’re far away, if our Pilipino kababayans need us, nandyan ang Meralco,” he said.

(We understand the dilemma. That’s the reason why we’re supporting the restoration efforts. Electricity brings with it light; light brings hope. It’s very important ‘to take care’. Even if we are far away, if our Pilipino countrymen need us, Meralco will be there.) 

Meanwhile, PAL Express president Bonifacio Sam noted that the company would alway participate in bringing relief to areas when needed. 

“Actually, in the airline industry, we are always there every time there are disasters and calamities,” Sam said.

“The humanitarian flight on Friday is one of the many contributions of PAL to the relief efforts. PAL has allocated space of up to one ton (for a big aircraft) for relief goods and donations per flight to areas hit by typhoon Odette,” Sam said.

In the aftermath of Odette, PAL has been bringing relief goods to Cebu, Tagbilaran City, and Cagayan de Oro, he said.

The airline also transported passengers going to Cebu and Manila through emergency flights from Siargao, Sam recalled.

He then urged Cebu to be patient. 

“Aid will come and we’ll help deliver the donations to places where these are most needed,” Sam added. 

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/dbs

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TAGS: Cebu‬, foundations, gonzales, relief goods, sponsors, typhoon-stricken

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