On the road to recovery: CEMEX builds Unity Village for typhoon survivors
UNITED THEY STAND. Forty-four families affected by typhoon Yolanda will soon find their new homes inside the CEMEX Unity Village in Cayang, Bogo. This housing project is under the Build Unity rehabilitation program of CEMEX in partnership with the Bogo City Government and Gawad Kalinga.
Bogo, in the northern part of Cebu, used to be a thriving city with about 18,000 families. Life was uncomplicated and the joys of its people simple— until last year’s onslaught of typhoon Yolanda
Houses were blown off, trees toppled over, and dreams swept away.
The coastal town with verdant terrain turned into a plateau of mud. Crops were destroyed and boats couldn’t ply the rough seas. For Annalou Muana, a Bogohanon, it was a picture of desolation. “It was one of the most terrifying moments in my life,” she said in dialect. “All we were thinking that time was how to save our family.”
The resilience of the people prevailed over the storm. Much like pure ores unearthed from the hottest of furnace, the tenacity of the Bogohanons triumphed. Little by little, they tried to pick up the pieces of what was left after the storm and start over again.
For Annalou and the rest of the people in the City of Bogo, it was a tall order to return to normalcy. While the path may be uneven and rocky, they will have people with them as they tread this journey. In a tripartite agreement among CEMEX Philippines Foundation, City of Bogo local government, and Gawad Kalinga— the CEMEX Unity Village will be built.
The Unity Village is a housing project of CEMEX Philippines Foundation under Build Unity, a rehabilitation program for the Yolanda-affected communities fueled by the global donations from CEMEX business units worldwide.
“We are brothers and sisters, and your journey is also ours,” said Chito Maniago, executive director of CEMEX Philippines Foundation, as he welcomed the beneficiaries during the Unity Village groundbreaking ceremony at the hilly terrain of Cayang, where the village will soon rise. “With our dynamic partners, we want to build not just a sustainable village but also a community of hope.”
"We are happy that the building of houses for the affected families is already starting. Bogo is very thankful for companies like CEMEX who do not hesitate to help," said City of Bogo Mayor Celestino Martinez, Jr. "Everything was almost wiped off the ground. It was a question on how to build. With CEMEX's Unity Village, the road to recovery is starting to take shape."
UNITY RISING. Bogo City Mayor Celestino Martinez, Jr. (left) and CEMEX Philippines Foundation Executive Director Chito Maniago (right) unveil the Unity Village design in Cayang, Bogo as Gawad Kalinga - Cebu Head Atty. Toby Florendo looks on.
There will be 44 two-storey houses in each village and CEMEX committed to build two Unity Villages in Bogo. With the help of Gawad Kalinga and the local social development body, 44 families were identified as recipients. Most of them, like Annalou’s family, were previously living in coastal areas which are considered danger zones. Another Unity Village with 44 houses will be built in Daanbantayan, also an area severely hit by the typhoon.
Aside from houses, CEMEX Foundation also repaired the damaged classrooms and library of Kawit National High School in Medellin, Cebu as part of its Brigada Eskwela caravan.
Another initiative of the Build Unity program will be the provision of a boat ambulance or “bancambulansya” that will ply the coasts of Carnaza, Malapascua, Gibitngil, and Batbatan among others. CEMEX will also provide resources for the completion of health center equipment in the area.
Meanwhile, for San Remigio, CEMEX will be partnering with 3 Villages 1 Goal to put up a skills and livelihood community center for masonry and other vocational training programs. There will also be installation of driftwood and cement sculptures to further promote the eco-tourism in San Remigio.
CEMEX Philippines is the manufacturer of the only eco-labeled cement brands in the country including Island Portland Cement, Palitada King, Rizal Portland Super, Rizal Masonry Cement, APO Portland Premium, APO Portland Cement, APO Masonry Cement, and APO Pozzolan. For more information, please log on to http://www.cemexphilippines.com. For partnerships, please contact the Public Affairs Unit and email
Metrobank Group sustains Yolanda rehabilitation: Health stations to be constructed
GTMF Deputy Executive Director Nicanor L. Torres, Jr. and Plan International-Philippines Country Director Catharina van der Hor sign a MOA to construct health stations with birthing facilities in Leyte and Eastern Samar.
Nine months after the onslaught of Typhoon Yolanda, rehabilitation of damaged health facilities and restoration of vital health services in affected areas remain a top priority.
In this light, the Metrobank Group through GT-Metro Foundation (GTMF), the family foundation of Metrobank Group Chairman Dr. George S.K. Ty, signed a memorandum of agreement with Plan International – Philippines on August 13, 2014 at the Metrobank Plaza to signify its partnership for the rehabilitation of health facilities.
GTMF and Plan will build three health stations with birthing facilities in Palo, Leyte; and Mercedes and Guiuan, Eastern Samar. As an added feature of the Department of Health (DOH)-compliant health stations, disaster-resilient elements will be included in the design and planning of the stations.
GTMF has allocated over P6 million for the construction of the health stations that will be complemented by a P1.6 million contribution from Plan, which will manage the projects.
GTMF Deputy Executive Director Nicanor L. Torres, Jr. considered the undertaking as Metrobank Group’s contribution to restoring access to health services, especially to pregnant mothers and their newborn babies.
The World Health Organization estimated that some 220,000 pregnant mothers will give birth within the year and about 70,000 newborn babies are in need of care in Yolanda-affected areas.
“As a foundation that is primarily into implementing health programs for disadvantaged communities, we see how a lack in working health facilities may reverse the gains that have been achieved in curbing maternal and infant mortalities in challenging areas,” said Mr. Torres.
Each health station will be fully equipped to meet the basic health needs of up to 900 families residing in three to six adjacent barangays and cater to about 10-15 births per month.
Aside from the health stations, the Metrobank Group will build 25 classrooms in eight schools and complete the turnover of 500 fishing boats in various Yolanda-affected areas in the Visayas.
GT-Metro Foundation, Inc. (GTMF) is a non-profit organization that serves as the family foundation of the Ty Family. Established in 2009, GTMF commits to serve the community through programs for health and the environment, as well as through its legacy projects, grant making activities, and disaster response initiatives. Visit www.facebook.com/gtmetro for more information.
CEMEX enhances weather, disaster preparedness
(L-R) CEMEX Philippines Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Director Chito Maniago, CEMEX Logistics Director Michael Martin Teotico, WPF General Manager Celso Caballero III, and Aboitiz Equity Ventures Assistant Vice President for Business Development Jay Fernandez during the contract signing
Global building solutions expert CEMEX seeks to fortify its Philippine operations with disaster preparedness, benefiting as well the local communities it operates in.
CEMEX has recently inked an agreement with the WeatherPhilippines Foundation (WPF) and its strategic partner from Europe for the installation of Automated Weather Station (AWS) units in its key business sites across the country. WPF is a non-profit organization that provides accurate localized weather forecasts using the latest meteorological technology and devices.
Six shipping terminals of CEMEX located at the APO Port in Naga, Cebu; Iloilo Commercial Port Complex in Western Visayas; Manila Terminal in Navotas; Solid Plant in Tagbac, Rizal; Barangay Simlong in Batangas; and Barangay Tibungco in Davao have been identified as key installation sites for WPF’s weather stations.
According to Michael Martin Teotico, logistics director of CEMEX Philippines, the move will help the company’s port and logistics group in better managing offshore dispatch to ensure that CEMEX’s cement products will be delivered to intended recipients on time and in excellent condition.
CEMEX’s investment in weather technology is part of its commitment to ensuring product quality— managing humidity and other climate-related factors that may adversely affect the reliability and performance of its products.
Most importantly, the move is one of CEMEX’s corporate social responsibility efforts in aiding localized disaster preparedness and, subsequently, disaster relief or rehabilitation. “This will allow us to share weather information gathered from the AWS units to the nearby communities, so local government units as well as the local folks can better use it for disaster risk management and climate change adaptation,” added Teotico.
CEMEX is extending Gold Sponsorship to WPF’s operations in the six identified sites, also covering the installation of the necessary equipment and infrastructure, and the upkeep over a period of ten years. Data gathering will include information on temperature and humidity, global radiation, pressure, wind speed and direction, and rain gauge.
Actual installation of the weather stations in CEMEX sites is targeted for completion in time for the start of the rainy season this year.
“We’re really excited about this partnership with CEMEX,” stated WPF General Manager Celso Caballero III. “CEMEX’s support is very important. Because of our donors, we now have enough funds to allow us to purchase all the weather equipment we need to install, and afterwards run and operate for the next 10 years.”
CEMEX Philippines is the manufacturer of the only eco-labeled cement brands in the country including Island Portland Cement, Palitada King, Rizal Portland Super, Rizal Masonry Cement, APO Portland Premium, APO Portland Cement, APO Masonry Cement, and APO Pozzolan. For more information, please log on to http://www.cemexphilippines.com or for partnerships, please contact the Public Affairs Unit and email
CLFI Kicks-off Nationwide Alternative Learning Program
“ALS the means, ALS the goals! Alternative Learning System as the means to realize the goals which are Academics, Livelihood and Spiritual or Social enhancement.”
This is how Atty. Cesar Vidal, Executive Director of Cebuana Lhuillier Foundation Inc. (CLFI), started his speech on the Nationwide Alternative Learning Program partnership with DepEd during its pilot launching at Nagpayong Elementary School in Pinagbuhatan, Pasig last July 14.
The DepEd-Cebuana Lhuillier ALS Community Learning Center is one of the flagship programs of CLFI that aims to make a difference for ALS learners nationwide by assisting DepEd in acquiring teaching equipment and reproduced modules with a total amount of two million pesos for 16 chosen centers across the country.
Mr. Miko Jimenez, Cebuana Lhuillier’s Chief Operations Officer, stressed the program’s importance. With this project, he expects the less fortunate to have an avenue for schooling for their successful future.
Meanwhile, Dr. Ponciano Menguito, OIC of the Office of the Assistant Regional Director of DepEd NCR challenged the learners to acknowledge the importance of exerting effort in education.
“You yourselves should be responsible to realize your dreams and ambition,” he said.
As the program ended, Mr. Jimenez, Atty. Vidal and Mr. Felix Contapay, Regional Manager of Cebuana Lhuillier Region 1, conversed with the out of school youths and promised their assistance especially on the livelihood of these students.
The Cebuana Lhuillier Foundation, Inc. is the corporate social responsibility arm of the PJ Lhuillier Group of Companies, which manages the country’s leading pawnshop, Cebuana Lhuillier. The Cebuana Lhuillier Foundation was founded in 2000 by Ambassador Philippe Jones Lhuillier.