San Miguel Corporation (SMC) said yesterday it continues to mobilize resources from across the conglomerate to provide much-needed assistance to both communities impacted by Taal Volcano’s recent eruption, and to various government and private groups spearheading relief efforts.
The company has to date provided over ₱23 million in relief goods and donations, which include food items such as rice, canned goods, coffee, biscuits, milk, and eggs, among others. Its food unit, San Miguel Foods, accounts for the bulk of food donations. It has also immediately provided food, facemasks, blankets, sleeping mats, and clothing, to thousands of victims in evacuation areas and in affected communities when the volcano erupted January 12.
SMC’s own employee donation drive has also yielded various quantities of other necessities such as clothes, toiletries, sanitary napkins, footwear, detergent, powder, and sanitizing alcohol.
“Our businesses are diverse, and over the past week, that has allowed us to help many people in so many different ways. We also have a lot of civic-minded employees who have given their time and resources to our own relief efforts. We’re committed to continue helping our countrymen and doing more for them,” said SMC president Ramon S. Ang.
SMC’s Better World Tondo feeding center and food bank, and another facility in Batangas, became the staging area of daily soup kitchen operations that yielded over 6,000 hot meals beneficiaries in six evacuation centers in different locations.
Meanwhile, a unit under its Food Group also donated more than a thousand kilos of assorted animal feeds to the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), for the group’s efforts to rescue domestic and farm animals affected by the eruption.
“Moving forward, more companies under San Miguel are joining the relief efforts. We are providing more food for more people, as that’s still needed. On top of that, we will also be able to provide other necessities and help those who are also helping others,” Ang added.
Water, meals, free toll
Among these necessities is potable water. SMC Infrastructure, through its Bulacan Bulk Water unit, is delivering 15,000 five-gallon containers of drinking water to various locations, in the coming days.
On top of that, the San Miguel Foundation is working on deploying a portable water filtration system capable of providing thousands of liters of drinking water.
The San Miguel Foundation also continues to work with partner organizations engaged in relief efforts. It is also set to deliver some 14,000 packed meals and 20,000 shirts, to beneficiaries in different areas.
Last week, SMC Infrastructure also announced that it was waiving toll fees for all government vehicles headed south on its southern tollways — STAR and South Luzon Expressway — that are carrying relief goods, volunteers, or equipment.
Vehicles from private entities and organizations that are carrying relief goods may also avail of a Free Single Exit Pass at the designated areas along SLeX and STAR.
Ang said this would extend indefinitely, to continue helping those who are also helping others.