The Gotianun family-led Filinvest Development Corp. has mobilized anew its subsidiaries to continue providing assistance to families displaced by the Taal Volcano eruption last January.
Heeding the call of municipal and city governments in Batangas, the conglomerate held another relief operation, dubbed #FilinvestforTaal, for the benefit of the remaining families in evacuation centers. Filinvest executives, Senator Ralph Recto and House Deputy Speaker Vilma Santos Recto graced the turnover ceremony at the Laurel Municipal Gym and Tumaway Evacuation Center.
“Filinvest feels strongly for the people of Batangas. We have been part of the Talisay community and a partner of the LGU since we built our project here, Laeuna de Taal. This is our way of giving back and expressing our solidarity with our ‘kababayans’ as they rise from this calamity,” said Francis Ceballos, Filinvest Senior Vice President and Cluster Head.
“The immediate response across the organization was very heartening,” added Filinvest president and CEO Josephine Gotianun Yap. “We are grateful to everyone who pitched in for the relief operations. Right now, we are activating parallel efforts by our subsidiaries so we can continue to support the victims as they rebuild their lives from this disaster.”
Filinvest prepared cleaning kits for those who returned home, while water supply and food packs were provided to those still taking temporary shelter in evacuation centers.
A total of 3,000 beneficiaries received these kits and packs from Filinvest, who were joined by Recto and Santos Recto in the caravan that went to three sites in Batangas.
Road to rehabilitation
For the benefit of 1,000 evacuees, the group turned over to the Laurel municipal government free water supply sourced from Laeuna de Taal, a Prestige by Filinvest residential subdivision; water drums for storing water in the evacuation center; as well as cleaning materials including shovels, pails, brooms, and sacks, where the ashes will be stored.
“Ngayon po dito sa bayan ng Laurel, kasama pa rin po natin, hindi humihinto, ang ating mga kabalikat. Nandito din po ang Filinvest. Tapos na ang pagsabog pero hanggang ngayon, tuloy pa rin po sila. Kasi noon ang kinakatakot ko, kapag natapos na ay unti unti, wala ng magbigay. Pero ngayon po na tayo ay bumabangon na, nandirito pa din ang mga taong ito. Nandito po ang Filinvest, palakpakan po natin. Maraming maraming salamat po sa inyo,” Santos Recto said during the turnover of relief goods.
At the Tumaway Evacuation Center in Talisay, Filinvest held a feeding program for 2,000 individuals. They were also the recipients of free water supply from Laeuna de Taal, which was delivered with the help of the Talisay Fire Station and Bureau of Fire Protection; water drums for storing water in the evacuation center; and cleaning materials such as shovels, pails, brooms and sacks.
Myza Dimalig, DSWD camp manager at Tumaway Evacuation Center, expressed gratitude to Filinvest and other organizations that continue to provide help for the evacuees.
“Sa ngayon ay kailangan pa din dito sa evacuation center ang pagkain at tubig. Yung tulong na dala ng Filinvest ay malaking bagay para sa mga residente ng pulo na wala talagang babalikang bahay at kabuhayan,” Dimalig said.
Providing basic needs
Earlier this month, the Filinvest Group had conducted relief operations that benefited a total of 1,000 individuals in Bauan, Batangas. The 700 individuals in Sta. Teresa College and neighboring houses were provided with drinking water, sanitary kits, clothes, medicine, flashlights, portable fans and blankets, while another 300 in Bauan Technical High School also received drinking water, sanitary kits, clothes, and loot bags for children, done in partnership with the Philippine Coast Guard of Bauan.
Earlier news reports showed that the number of Batangas evacuees breached 1 million in the aftermath of the Taal Volcano eruption. Private companies, such as Filinvest, government agencies and various organizations immediately came to their aid and mobilized relief operations. While many have already gone back to their homes, some have remained in the evacuation centers given severe damages in their towns.
Participating companies from the Filinvest Group included the Andrew Gotianun Foundation, Inc.; Filinvest Land, Inc.; EastWest Banking Corp.; Filinvest Alabang, Inc.; Filinvest Hospitality Corp.; Chroma Hospitality Inc.; Festival Supermall, Inc.; Corporate Technologies, Inc.; FDC Utilities, Inc.; Filinvest Corporate City Foundation, Inc.; Pro Officeworks Services, Inc.; Parking Pro Inc.; and ProExcel Property Managers, Inc.