Eight months after ‘Ulysses’, #BrigadangAyala returns to Cagayan

Published July 19, 2021, 3:10 PM

by Manila Bulletin

Does helping communities in the wake of a typhoon end with distributing relief goods? 

The Ayala Group, through #BrigadangAyala, believes in sustaining efforts that will assist communities on their way to recovery. This is why through Ayala Foundation and AC Energy, #BrigadangAyala is initiating a livelihood training program for two communities in Cagayan province, as a way to help families find new and sustained sources of income, especially when disaster strikes. 

Powered by a partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Ayala Foundation and AC Energy are starting a disaster resiliency program through livelihood. The program will provide training for a total of 300 mothers or heads of families affected by Typhoon Ulysses (international name Vamco), which slammed Luzon in November last year.  

An initial batch of 50 mothers from the towns of Lal-lo and Buguey, Cagayan, will be trained in cookery and baking and pastry skills. The remaining 250 participants will go through the training during the remainder of the year. The training will be under the Mobile Training Program of TESDA, and will also cover the towns of Amulung, Solana, Enrile, Baggao, and Alcala. 

Narlyn Dazo of Lal-lo, Cagayan dreams of having her own bakeshop that she can use to support her family’s needs. She said the pandemic has taught her the benefit of having her own source of stable income while spending time with the people who matter the most—her family. Narlyn is among the 50 mothers from the towns of Lal-lo and Buguey, Cagayan, who will be trained in cookery and baking and pastry skills through a partnership among TESDA, AC Energy, and Ayala Foundation.

“Inaasahan ko na magkaroon ako ng sariling bakeshop para makatulong sa pamilya ko. Thank you kasi sa mga ganitong programa malaking tulong ito para sa amin, tapos lalo na ngayon pandemic, hindi mo alam kung saan, hirap naman kasi mag-apply kung saan saan so mas okay na yung magkaroon ka ng sarili mong business para mabuhay,” said Narlyn Dazo, one of the beneficiaries from Lal-lo.  

“Masaya tsaka excited ako kasi gusto ko talagang ituloy yung negosyo ko kasi maraming pamilya na umaasa sa akin. Inaasahan ko na madadagdagan yung kaalaman ko tungkol sa negosyo,” added Judith Domingo, another beneficiary from Lal-lo.  

#BrigadangAyala: Judith Domingo of Lal-lo, Cagayan is a budding entrepreneur who wants to continue growing her small business so she can help change the lives of women in her community. Judith is among the 50 mothers from the towns of Lal-lo and Buguey, Cagayan, who will be trained in cookery and baking and pastry skills through a partnership among TESDA, AC Energy, and Ayala Foundation.

Considered one of the more destructive typhoons to hit the country in recent years, Ulysses slammed many parts of the country, particularly Northern Luzon. Still reeling from the devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic and a string of previous typhoons, many communities in Luzon, particularly the Cagayan Valley region, had to face massive flooding and loss of property and livelihood. Based on estimates, Typhoon Ulysses resulted in damages amounting to roughly P20.3 billion. 

“This partnership with AC Energy and TESDA for a disaster resilience program in Cagayan is in keeping with our efforts to align with the needs of stakeholders, focusing on interventions that make the most impact in the lives of people,” said Ruel Maranan, President of Ayala Foundation. “As Ayala Foundation celebrates its 60th anniversary, we affirm our faith in the Filipino as we all stand resilient in the face of challenges.” 

“It is our privilege to serve the communities of Cagayan, together with Ayala Foundation, TESDA, and the rest of the Ayala Group,” said Eric Francia, President and CEO of AC Energy. “Initiatives such as these show that helping communities become self-sustaining and resilient in the face of disasters is also good for business, community development, and our shared goal of building the nation.” 

The Ayala Group was among the first private groups to mobilize relief operations in Cagayan. With Ayala Foundation taking the lead, the Ayala Group provided emergency relief support for 1,800 families or 9,000 individuals in Cagayan. This support came in the form of food packs, installation of Libreng Tawag and WiFi stations in evacuation sites, and delivery of essential medicines to the Provincial Health Office. In a show of synergy, Ayala Foundation, AC Energy, Globe Telecom, Bank of the Philippine Islands, Generika, and the Ayala Multi-Purpose Cooperative came together for the relief operations. 

The group also provided support for learners and teachers in Cagayan, who are currently adapting to the new normal of education. Public school students and teachers from the towns of Lal-lo and Buguey received transistor radios, face masks, and Globe Home Prepaid WiFi kits. 

#BrigadangAyala is Ayala Group’s united contribution to serving people and communities nationwide. It is Ayala Group’s integrated response to its almost two century-old commitment to national development by doing various social development and corporate social responsibility initiatives—ranging from disaster relief and response, assistance for public education, championing of social enterprises, and public health advocacy, among others.