SMC donates food to typhoon victims, vows to continue anti-flood efforts

San Miguel Corporation (SMC) is continuing its efforts to deliver food donations to thousands of families in some 22 provinces and cities ravaged by three sucessive super typhoons, with total donations reaching P15 million to date and rising.

“We continue to get appeals for help from so many people affected by the typhoon. It’s a challenge to reach many areas, but with help of our employees, partners, and local government units, we’ve been able to send out our assistance,” said SMC president Ramon S. Ang.

SMC president and COO Ramon S. Ang

He added that, “Our efforts are still ongoing in various affected areas. We want our kababayans to know that we stand with them, and we will do everything we can to help.”

Ang said the company’s food donations have reached Cagayan, Isabela, Bulacan, Pangasinan, Pampanga, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Sorsogon, Batangas, Laguna, Quezon, Rizal, Marinduque, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Albay, and Romblon. 

It has also sent food donations to Malabon, Manila, Marikina, and Navotas in the National Capital Region (NCR).

A larger amount of food donations have gone out to the hardest-hit provinces where more families have been affected and displaced, Ang said. These include Catanduanes, Cagayan, and Quezon province.

Apart from launching a massive food donation effort, Ang also expressed SMC’s commitment to continue proactively pursuing and expanding its major river dredging projects and other flood-mitigation initiatives.

“More than just providing assistance whenever calamities happen, we at San Miguel sincerely want to help government and our people address the problem of flooding for the long term. Flooding is a multi-faceted problem and requires multiple approaches. It’s also not just the concern of government or those provinces who are always affected by it. It’s a concern of all of us Filipinos, and we can all contribute to solving it,” Ang said.

He noted that, “These recent calamities that caused so much grief and loss to so many of our countrymen has strengthened our resolve to continue doing our part and going beyond doing CSR and really investing effort, time, money, and manpower into coming up with solutions that are long-term.”

SMC is undertaking a P1 billion initiative to dredge, clean up, and deepen the entirety of the 27-kilometer Tullahan-Tinajeros River system over the next five years, to help solve perennial flooding in Metro Manila, Navotas, Malabon, and parts of Bulacan province.

As of mid-to-late October, Ang said that the company had taken out some 48,000 metric tons of garbage and silt from the river, with 600 tons being removed per day.

Recently, it also bared plans to dredge major rivers in Bulacan, to mitigate flooding in the province and, by extension, Metro Manila, by helping ensure that excess waters from Angat dam can flow back to the Manila Bay. Among these is the Marilao-Meycauayan-Obando river system, one of the top 30 most polluted rivers in the world.

To help mitigate tidal flooding, the company has also started planting the first 10,000 mangroves it intends to plant in Hagonoy, Bulacan, as part of a larger plan to plant and grow almost 200,000 mangroves over 76 hectares of coastal area throughout Bulacan and Central Luzon.

In September, Ang also bared plans to dredge the historic Pasig River, under a P95.4 billion proposed project to clean up the long-dead river and improve the flow of water, as part of the development of the Pasig River Expressway project.