Pilmico Foods Corporation, the integrated agribusiness and food unit of the Aboitiz Group, together with the Aboitiz Foundation, distributed food relief packs for 230 families in three barangays in Cataingan, Masbate, overcoming logistical challenges in delivering its first batch of much-needed relief to the stricken province.
The relief packs consisted of rice, canned goods, noodles, coffee and water. They were brought by representatives of Pilmico to the evacuation centers in Barangays Matayum, Madamba and Aguada, Cataingan — the first in a series of donations and support for these communities. These coastal barangays, however, are isolated areas and can only be reached by sea transport.
Despite the difficulties in reaching the area, Aboitiz volunteers immediately heeded the local government unit’s appeal for donations to address the immediate needs of its residents.
“Rebuilding after an earthquake is not an easy task. Nevertheless, we hope that these initial and future assistance will benefit and aid Masbate’s affected residents as they begin on the road to recovery,” said Maribeth L. Marasigan, Aboitiz Foundation President and Chief Operating Officer.
Pilmico, fueled by its vision of feeding humanity, worked with the Aboitiz Foundation in mobilizing the food assistance to the affected families.
“We recognize the difficulty that our Filipino brothers and sisters in Masbate are experiencing right now, especially to go through this calamity in the middle of the pandemic. During this difficult time, the modern day bayanihan is paramount. We want to let our stakeholders know that amid the challenges we currently face, Pilmico will continue to be your Partner for Growth, as we move forward and build on our promise of advancing business and communities,” said Joeben Gamatero, II, Pilmico Vice President for Brand and Marketing, and head of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) group.
Cataingan, Masbate’s top local executive expressed deep appreciation for the generous help they received from Pilmico and the Aboitiz Foundation.
“Our utmost gratitude for the speedy assistance that your team has aided us in these trying times and mishap that our beloved Cataingan has suffered. Through your efforts, on August 22 at least 230 households in our three coastal barangays have been graced not only with their immediate necessities, but a ray of hope as well,” Cataingan, Masbate Mayor Felipe Cabataña said.
Last August 18, a 6.6-magnitude earthquake shook Masbate province and the surrounding areas damaging homes, public structures, and properties.
According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) update last August 24, 2020, the Office of Civil Defense reported damage to Masbate roads, bridges, schools and government infrastructure reaching almost P27 million. The docking area of Cataingan port and municipal public market were also affected.
The Aboitiz Foundation conducts community and school-based disaster risk reduction training sessions to help its host communities prepare for and respond to disasters. Moreover, it helps with post-calamity livelihood recovery projects and plans to extend livelihood assistance to Cataingan after the relief activities.
In addition to disaster risk reduction and response efforts, the Aboitiz Group has also been heeding the call to help amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
To date, the Aboitiz Group has contributed over P2.2 billion for its COVID-19 response efforts nationwide. This excludes various payments waived, reduced, extended, or restructured to help its customers cope with the impact of COVID-19.