PAL takes lead in disaster relief
Before he concluded his year-end prayer service at the Vatican, Pope Francis had one question for the faithful who had gathered: “Did you help anyone in 2013?”
If the massive global effort to provide aid to victims of super typhoon “Haiyan”(Yolanda in the Philippines) in the Visayas and Southern Luzon regions is any indication, then many people all over the world can answer in the affirmative in the meaningful way.
After all, the destruction caused by the strongest typhoon in the world to ever make landfall was simply unimaginable: more than 6,000 dead and about 30,000 injured in the coastal areas of Leyte, Samar, Aklan, Capiz, Cebu, Iloilo, Palawan and neighboring provinces; more than four million individuals displaced and countless children suddenly orphaned.
As images of the aftermath of the catastrophe made their way to local and foreign media, the global response was overwhelming: Donations of food, medicines, and other critical relief supplies and aid poured in, and droves of medical and rescue workers and volunteers came, all resulting to a concerted relief effort that is unparalleled in recent history.
Philippine Airlines, the country's national flag carrier, was at the forefront of these relief efforts. Being the very first airline to fly to Tacloban soon after Yolanda struck, PAL soon took a lead role in flying in aid to affected areas, assisting government agencies and non-government organizations in the airlift of volunteers and relief.
The PAL Foundation, the carrier's corporate social responsibility arm, immediately activated its humanitarian program, which allowed for the free airlifting of relief, provisions, equipment, and medical, rescue, and security teams to Tacloban and other affected areas. It likewise coordinated the airlifting of volunteer and goods from other donor countries.
To date, the PAL Foundation has facilitated the airlift of about 300 tons of supplies and 2,000 medical personnel and rescue and relief volunteers to affected areas.
Last December, the PAL Foundation also hosted a Christmas program for family-evacuees from the Visayas who took shelter at the improvised Tent City inside Villamor Air Base in Pasay City.
The evacuees were entertained by PAL pilots and flight attendant and star basketball players of the Bgy. Ginebra Gin Kings. The program included a puppet show, parlor games and a gift-giving activity for children and their parents.
PAL also gave assistance to employees who were affected by the typhoon and the recent earthquake in Bohol. Financial aid and donations in kind helped them and their families rebuild their lives.
More than seven decades since it first took flight, PAL continues to stay true to its commitment of being a partner in nation-building, through meaningful social development programs.
For inquiries on how to send help, contact the PAL Foundation by sending an email to
(Reprinted from Mabuhay magazine, March 2014 issue)
Aboitiz Foundation #BangonVisayas - Update No. 16
Teachers, students join Caltex in fight against TB
Pandacan’s Erda Tech faculty and Grade 8 students became the 2nd batch of certified trainors to complete the Caltex TB Awareness certification program. ERDA’s parent-teacher association members were its pioneer TB awareness advocates.
MANILA, Philippines. March 24, 2014 – Forty two teachers out of 48 and 27 out of 476 students from ERDA Technical and Vocational High School in Pandacan, Manila will soon be educating their own classmates, co-teachers, families, and neighbors through classroom talks, community seminars, and house visits as qualified trainers in tuberculosis (TB) awareness in their community. The volunteers were trained and certified as part of “Caltex Labanan ang TB para Tsuper Healthy.” This multi-awarded TB awareness campaign created by Caltex marketer, Chevron Philippines Inc. (CPI), is designed to raise awareness and bust myths about TB in partnership with city health offices in Manila, Makati and Quezon City.
Manila City Health Office District 6 TB Coordinator Dr. Juliet C Recidoro trained the ERDA volunteers in prevention, early detection, and treatment about the disease. In turn, the trained ERDA volunteer teams will conduct in-school trainings and visit adjacent barangays into the next school year armed with Caltex anti-TB flyers, stickers and flip charts. ERDA is also looking for possible joint partnerships with other schools to form a network of anti-TB volunteers who will embark on a larger scale TB awareness drive to further reduce the number of TB cases in Pandacan.
ERDA Tech’s commitment to a TB-free advocacy is further reinforced by implementing a new policy of adding sputum tests as part of the school’s medical screening for all on-the-job training students starting next school year. Fifth year high school students will spend an average of 300 hours or 3 months in their respective workplaces. Mark Magsalin, High School Principal of ERDA Tech, said, “ERDA Tech values its reputation and relationship with various companies honing the skills and utilizing the service of our students. We realize that TB awareness should begin in us. And so we take full responsibility for our students by ensuring each one is TB free.”
“Like Chevron, we also value the members of the community. ERDA Tech’s three year involvement in this campaign has brought awareness to 662 persons which shows that we are serious in helping sustain the project’s momentum of creating further awareness and dispelling misconceptions about TB,” added Magsalin.
In partnership with select transport groups and the local government units of Makati, Manila and Quezon City, CPI pioneered the TB awareness campaign in 2009 to protect public transport workers (PTW) from this dreaded disease. The campaign has already reached more than 14,000 PTWs with help from 57 trainor-PTWs certified by CHOs.
About Chevron Philippines Inc.
Chevron Philippines Inc. has been operating in the country for more than 90 years under its retail brand, Caltex™, offering high quality products and services. There are close to 750 service stations strategically scattered throughout the Philippine archipelago and employees working in several areas of business such as Marketing, Lubricants and Terminal operations. The Chevron products that are available in the Philippines include Caltex with Techron® fuel and Caltex Diesel with Techron®D, Havoline and Delo® oils. More information on Chevron Philippines Inc. is available at www.caltex.com/ph.
Insular Foundation Holds Literacy Caravan in Palawan
On the project’s fourth year, Insular Foundation brought its Literacy Caravan at Puerto Princesa in Palawan.
Insular Foundation partnered with the Department of Education Region IV-B, through OIC Superintendent Elsa T. Barrios, to bring a free storytelling workshop for elementary level teachers, 100 storytelling sessions to 10 public elementary schools, and a book party for underprivileged school children. Leading Filipino publisher, Adarna House, also lent its support to the activity.
The workshop, facilitated by Adarna’s Jay Menes, aims to develop teacher’s storytelling skills to better engage students and inspire them to read. A total of 69 teachers participated in the activity.
The storytelling caravan, meanwhile, was held at 10 schools: Puerto Princesa Pilot Elementary School, East ES, West ES, Gregorio Oquendo ES, Mateo Jagmis ES, WesCom ES, San Pedro ES, Tiniguiban ES, Francisco Ubay MES, and Tagburos ES. Adarna House storytellers read 100 select Filipino children’s stories, including Insular Foundation’s Wishing Well, to grade school. As tokens, the participants of the storytelling sessions, their advisers, and their school’s principal received their own copy of Insular’s storybooks, Wishing Well, Bisnesboy Minggoy, Christmas in February and Luckiest Girl in the World.
A book-themed Christmas party for 30 under-privileged students of Tagburos ES capped the caravan.
Aside from the activities, Insular Foundation turned over 500 copies of each Insular Foundation storybook, and assorted children’s books to DepEd Puerto Princesa.
Through the caravan, Insular Foundation hopes to improve students’ reading and financial literacies. / MDSantos
Insular Foundation Administrator Ana Maria R. Soriano hands over copies of the Insular Financial Literacy Storybooks series to Dr. Cyril C. Serador, DepEd OIC Assistant Superintendent, during the simple turnover ceremonies at DepEd Puerto Princesa. Witnessing the event are Grade 4 students of Puerto Princesa East Central School.
Kat Charcos-Puyo reads Susan dela Rosa Aragon’s When Color Came to Town to Grade 1 students of East Central School, Puerto Princesa.
Storyteller Noy Bonanciar tells the story of Aleli Batnag’s Si Ching na Takot sa Dilim to Grade 3 WesCom Elementary School students.
Storyteller Noy Bonanciar and Grade 3 students of Tiniguiban Elementary School who received copies of Insular Foundation’s storybooks: Wishing Well, Christmas in February , and Luckiest Girl in the World.
The Storytelling Team (from left): Troy Lacsamana, Noy Bonanciar, Dyali Justo (Adarna storytellers); Yolanda V. Serag (DepEd Puerto Princesa Education Program Supervisor), Michelle Santos (Insular Foundation Literacy Caravan Project Lead), Dr. Loida Olavario (DepEd PSDS/ Division English Coordinator ); Kat Charcos-Puyo, and Jay Menes (Adarna House storytellers).
Jay Menes (center, 3rd row from front, in blue), facilitated a free storytelling workshop at the Puerto Princesa Pilot Elementary School as part of Insular Foundation’s Literacy Caravan. A total of 69 public elementary school teachers attended the one-day seminar.
Insular Foundation, as part of its Literacy Caravan, hosted a book-themed party for 30 select Tagburos Elementary School students. The students, aged 7 to 12 years, spent an afternoon of games and treats, all centered on books and love of reading. Each child received a loot bag containing assorted storybooks and an Adarna House stuffed doll of its character, Pilandok. Above, Jay Menes, the book party’s facilitator and Adarna House storyteller, reads the story of Ang Walong Baso ni Kuya Paquito to rapt participants. The book was written by Annie Pacaña-Lumbao and illustrated by Ray Nazarene Sunga. Aside from the book party, the Literacy Caravan also included a Storytelling Caravan to 10 schools, book donation, and a one-day free Storytelling Workshop, all held at Puerto Princesa. / Photo by Ergoe Tinio