SM Foundation recognized by Philippine Air Force for its Yolanda Relief Operations

SM Foundation was one of the first organizations to conduct relief and medical operations for Super Typhoon Yolanda survivors who were flown to Villamor Air Base in November 2013.

SM Foundation, Inc. was recognized during the 48th Founding Anniversary of 520th Air Base Wing of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) for its immediate disaster relief operations and medical assistance during and after Super Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) in 2013.

The plaque of appreciation was presented to Connie Angeles, SM Foundation’s Executive Director for Medical Programs, at the PAF Officers’ Clubhouse, Villamor Air Base in Pasay last August 1.

“SM Foundation is honored to receive this plaque of recognition from the Philippine Air Force for SM’s quick-response to survivors of Typhoon Yolanda. The SM Group of Companies is committed to immediately respond during disasters or calamities through distribution of kalinga (relief) packs and medical assistance.  SM also assists in the rehabilitation and rebuilding of the disaster-affected areas,” Angeles said.

Right after Super Typhoon Yolanda made landfall in November of 2013, SM Foundation immediately set into motion its disaster response program Operation Tulong Express to provide quick assistance to the victims in the Visayas region. Within hours, the Foundation sent out kalinga packs and mobilized employee volunteers for medical assistance.

The Foundation was also one of the first organizations to conduct relief and medical operations for typhoon survivors who were flown to Villamor Air Base. For almost two weeks, the Foundation and its partner volunteers provided the survivors with food, water and clothing as well as means to contact relatives in Metro Manila and nearby provinces. Those wounded, physically disabled or even psychologically disadvantaged were immediately given medical attention. Kalinga packs were also distributed and by the end of 2013, a total of 148,030 packs were given out to families affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda.

The Foundation continues to support the rehabilitation efforts in Yolanda-stricken areas. This year, a total of 10 Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan farmers’ training are conducted in Aklan, Iloilo, Negros Occidental and Samar. SM Foundation has also recently finished renovating and rehabilitating the Tacloban City Hospital as well as the Tabontabon Rural Health Center Annex in Leyte and plans to build five more rural health centers before the year ends. Along with this, the Foundation has already conducted 12 medical missions in areas struck by Yolanda. The Foundation is also constructing two 2-storey, 10-classroom school buildings in Hernani, Eastern Samar with eight other school buildings scheduled to be built in Cebu, Leyte, Iloilo, Aklan, Capiz, and Cadiz for a total of 56 classrooms. Finally, under its SM Cares division, the Foundation targets to construct 1,000 disaster-resilient houses in the Visayas for those whose homes were destroyed by Typhoon Yolanda.