Tragedy struck after the sudden eruption of Taal volcano. Thick blankets of ash-covered roads and houses, food and water became limited, and lingering dangers of another eruption were imminent. This calamity drove thousands of families out of their homes, and some were forced to sell their own livestock after their shelters were destroyed by ash. Toxic sulfur dioxide gas emitted by the volcano threatened public health, and the frequent low-intensity earthquakes that followed added further risks to the safety of nearby communities.
Amidst this hazardous situation, however, Filipinos remained resilient and fostered the incomparable Bayanihan spirit, leaving no man behind. Efforts to aid those affected by the Taal eruption were immediately mobilized by various organizations all over the country — among them was CEMEX Philippines’ Project Yakap.
Driven by its mission to “Build the Nation Together,” CEMEX Holdings Philippines initiated its own relief operation program in order to provide much-needed supplies and resources for the affected.
Through the generosity of CEMEX employees and sponsors who extended their support, relief goods were gathered and distributed to the evacuees in different areas of Batangas. Blankets, sleeping mats, toiletries, and food were given to hundreds of families in eight evacuation centers in Batangas City, including Kumintang Ilaya, Paharang East, El Sitio Dumantay, Sico Jail, Sirang Lupa, Calicanto, Banaba East, and the Provincial Sports Complex.
“We felt the urgency to respond immediately and lend our help to those who were directly affected by the Taal eruption,” says Chito Maniago, Regional Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Director at CEMEX Philippines and CEMEX Philippines Foundation Executive Director. “It is devastating to see so many families lose their homes and livelihood, and so we reached out to all CEMEX employees and some of our partners in order to gather donations and mobilize volunteers for the Project Yakap relief operation. We are very happy to have been able to offer at least some form of aid to several evacuees in Batangas, and we are still continuing the Project Yakap effort to help more of the affected families.”
The Project Yakap relief operation was also made possible through the cooperation of the Batangas City Local Government, Acro Distribution Network, Inc., Vouno Trade and Marketing Services Corporation, University of Santo Tomas–TALA and Unilever Philippines.
In attendance during the distribution of relief goods were Batangas City Councilor Aileen Montalbo, CEO of Acro Distribution Network Alfred Tumacder, CEMEX Philippines Foundation Executive Director Chito Maniago, CEMEX Batangas Terminal Logistics Operations Superintendent Esteban David. Jr, and volunteer-employees from CEMEX.
“Nation-building also involves being ready and available to help others recover, especially in times of calamities like the Taal eruption,” says Maniago. “Recovery won’t happen overnight, but when we are helping one another, I believe we can recover and rebuild what was lost.”
CEMEX has a rich history of improving the welfare of those it serves through innovative building solutions, efficiency advancements, and efforts to promote a sustainable future in more than 50 countries worldwide. In the Philippines, CEMEX subsidiaries Apo Cement Corporation in Cebu and Solid Cement Corporation in Rizal produce and market a broad product mix of building solutions. These cement manufacturing plants carry the well-established cement brands Apo and Rizal. More information is available at www.cemexholdingsphilippines.com.