Group seeks more ‘Yolanda’ rehabilitation partners

By , on June 19, 2014

The devastation left by super typhoon 'Haiyan.' Richard Whitcombe / Shutterstock
The devastation left by super typhoon ‘Haiyan.’ Richard Whitcombe / Shutterstock

MANILA — A business-led social development organization aims helping bolster long-term recovery and rehabilitation efforts in Central Philippines which super typhoon “Yolanda” (international name ‘Haiyan’) ravaged last year.

Through Project New Dawn, the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) targets increasingly generating support for helping ‘Yolanda’-affected families there start new lives.

“The road to long-term recovery and rehabilitation still lies ahead of us — let’s work together to rebuild communities and uplift lives,” PBSP urged its potential new partners.

Launched on Wednesday in Metro Manila, Project New Dawn seeks to promote concerted efforts for addressing health, education, environment, livelihood and enterprise development as well as shelter (HEELS) concerns of families affected by ‘Yolanda.’

“Only by moving as one can we ensure that everyone gets a chance to rebuild their lives sooner,” PBSP noted.

PBSP raised urgency for action, noting ‘Yolanda’ affected around 15 million people, displaced some four million persons and destroyed nearly 1.2 million houses.

‘Yolanda’ struck Central Philippines in November 2013 and nearly destroyed everything in its path.

Experts cited ‘Yolanda’ as among the strongest tropical cyclones to make landfall in the world’s recorded history.

According to PBSP, its network of about 250 member-companies and other partners provided relief packs to ‘Yolanda’ victims in northern Cebu, Samar, Leyte, Iloilo and Panay soon after this typhoon struck.

Those companies and PBSP’s partners also helped in recovery efforts by providing shelter repair kits for the affected families and motorized boats for fishermen to regain their livelihood, the organization continued.

“Though we made some headway in helping the affected areas rebuild their lives, there’s so much more that needs to be done,” PBSP noted.

One of Project New Dawn’s two components — the social investments portfolio — summarizes HEELS initiatives of PBSP and its partners in Cebu, Leyte, Samar, Iloilo and other areas reeling from ‘Yolanda.’

For Project New Dawn’s other component — collective impact site — PBSP reported identifying Bantayan, Madridejos, Sta. Fe and Daanbantayan municipalities in northern Cebu as areas where HEELS can be implemented to help ensure holistic rehabilitation.

“We need Php 160 million to bring our entire HEELS program to northern Cebu — this will help the region build back better and faster,” noted PBSP.

PBSP reported raising, with its partners’ help, half of such funding requirement.

Some Php 80 million more is needed for the undertaking, noted PBSP.

“Together with our 250 small-, medium- and large-scalemember-companies, donors and partners, we’re initiating these responses that will focus on helping rebuild lives of the affected families,” PBSP added.