MANILA, PHILIPPINES — As provinces across the Visayas and Mindanao recover from the devastation brought about by Typhoon Odette on the Philippines last December, Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines, Inc. (CCBPI)—Coca-Cola’s bottling arm in the country—continues to extend aid by providing safe drinking water to affected communities.
CCBPI has mobilized its resources in delivering a running total of 60,000 liters of Wilkins drinking water throughout the affected provinces and cities— as the collective recovery efforts now begin a shift towards rebuilding.
Our People First commitment will always be our guiding principle when serving and helping our partners in times of great need
President and CEO of CCBPI
The Company is also working with the local government of Mandaue City in Cebu for the deployment of a SETA machine, a mobile water treatment equipment that processes water to make it potable. The SETA machine had previously been installed in evacuation sites and communities in Marawi, Davao del Sur, and Bicol following calamities.
CCBPI’s outreach was launched even as the Company itself was recovering from the onslaught of typhoon Odette, which disrupted operations of 15 of its sites—from major plants and distribution centers to sales offices. Though its sites experienced massive power outages and had to run on limited generator capacities, CCBPI associates carried out the Company’s priority initiative of providing relief and potable water to affected families in the communities it serves.
“Despite the Company bearing the brunt of Odette, we saw to it that we fulfilled our responsibility to help—and I am very proud that our teams on the ground stayed true to this calling of civic duty, social responsibility, and service,” said Gareth McGeown, President and CEO of CCBPI.
McGeown shares that following typhoon Odette’s landfall, Coca-Cola’s Cebu plant in Mandaue became a main hub for water support in Cebu. The plant opened its doors 24/7 in the immediate aftermath of the typhoon to deliver water across affected areas and for locals to source drinking water from the site.
“Our People First commitment will always be our guiding principle when serving and helping our partners in times of great need” says McGeown. “That our people carried out this commitment despite the wide-reaching challenges of a major calamity speaks to the strength of character of our employees.”
CCBPI also allocated a PHP5 million disaster relief fund for its associates who were affected by the typhoon. Further relief assistance—which includes over 70,000 liters of drinking water and almost PHP 800,000 worth of grocery items—was also disbursed.
True to the spirit of bayanihan, CCBPI employees in other parts of the country held an internal donation drive that collected more than PHP 600,000 to help fellow associates from Coca-Cola’s Visayas and Mindanao sites rebuild their homes and start anew.
“It warms our hearts to see our Coca-Cola associates from across the country supporting and helping their fellow associates, the hardest-hit of whom had lost their homes and nearly everything they had. It is imperative that we all come together and work to accelerate the recovery of local communities, especially since they are also facing challenges brought by the ongoing pandemic,” says McGeown.
CCBPI continues to work with the government, non-government organizations, and the private sector in extending support to areas hit by the typhoon to better help more Filipinos.
“We’ve always been committed to provide aid in times of crisis and we will continue to maximize our resources toward initiatives that have greater purpose,” assured McGeown.