Mondelēz International, a snacks company with 59 years of heritage in the Philippines, recently launched a partnership with Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) and the municipality of San Miguel in Bohol province. This partnership aims to strengthen the preparedness of the community in facing and recovering from disasters such as typhoons.
It has often been said, Filipinos are amongst the most resilient people in the world. No matter the disaster, we can pick-up the pieces, survive, and rebuild again. However, there is only so much resilience one can withstand. Instead, communities must be like the mighty bamboo – able to face down the strongest winds without falling.
Mondelēz International is the maker of beloved snacks such as Tang, Eden cheese, Cheez Whiz, Oreo, Tiger, Cadbury Dairy Milk, and Toblerone. Its purpose is to empower people to snack right, with the right snack, for the right moment, and made the right way. The latter means making our snacks sustainably, using less resources and lessening the impact of our operations on the environment. This focus on sustainability also extends to its community involvement programs, such as this partnership with the PBSP. Established in 1970, PBSP is the largest business-led social development organization in the country committed to poverty reduction. PBSP has been at the forefront of advocating for stronger corporate citizenship with the aim of supporting inclusive national development.
Preparedness from Awareness
This partnership involves two areas: preparedness through early warning for typhoons, and tools for rebuilding homes that provide livelihood to skilled workers. When Typhoon Odette hit Visayas and Mindanao in late 2021, it caused so much destruction to houses, buildings, and unfortunately lives. It was seen that an important factor in lessening the impact of a disaster is the capacity of the community to prepare for such an event. After Typhoon Odette’s destruction, Mondelēz International and PBSP extended immediate relief to 600 families affected, in the areas of Ilog in Negros Occidental; Southern Cebu; Bubong in Lanao del Sur; Siargao in Surigao del Norte, and Roxas in Palawan.
San Miguel in Bohol was also affected by Typhoon Odette. To ensure that its 18 barangays are aware of incoming typhoons, the partnership will provide them with an early warning system, as well as 2-way radios for communicating to areas that are farther from the municipal center and might not have access to other media for information. These devices would help ensure that communities are aware of the incoming typhoon as well as any evacuation warnings from the government.
In addition to being aware of incoming typhoons, the communities will also be prepared to build back homes in the event of any destruction. The partnership will also provide 59 sets of carpentry tools which skilled workers in the community can use when making house repairs. These tools will be useful for restoring the housing units of the San Miguel constituency, and at the same time, provide and additional source of income for their skilled workers and laborers.
According to San Miguel Mayor Ian Gil G. Mendez, the partnership will provide great assistance and preparedness to their municipality. “Thank you for choosing the people of San Miguel, especially our volunteers who helped rebuild the municipality after we were struck by typhoon Odette last year,” he shared.