Coca-Cola, Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity campaign for continuous relief and rebuilding initiatives post-Yolanda

COCA-COLA PHILIPPINES, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), and Habitat for Humanity have teamed-up to campaign for volunteer round-up and donation drive for Yolanda-recovery, dubbed RebuildPH.

The tripartite movement takes inspiration from the kindness of the Filipino people. Motivated by the idea that no action is too small to make a difference, Coca-Cola has been helping raise awareness and public participation in the rebuild efforts, Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity serve as recipients of monetary and in-kind donations culled in the process.

“What typhoon Yolanda brought in struck a very strong emotional response in everyone. We wanted to give Filipinos an avenue to help others through our partners Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity. Each has his part to play in rebuilding the country, after all” says Guillermo Aponte, General Manager of Coca-Cola Philippines. “Since the beginning of the relief efforts, Coca-Cola has provided 200,000 families with drinking water and other beverages through the Company’s humanitarian initiatives. The Coca-Cola System has also committed to divert its advertising resources, including Php10-M worth of cell phone load, to aid survivors of the super typhoon. This year, it commits to rebuild schools, water systems, provide nutrition to school children, and entrepreneurial opportunities through its flagship programs: Little Red School House, Agos Ram Pump, Nutrijuice, and the 5by20 STAR Program.”

Coca-Cola also donated more than $2.5 million to aid in the relief operations for Typhoon Yolanda last November. Its social development arm, Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines also obtained donations amounting to more than Php 4-million from the company’s employees, used in various humanitarian efforts.

Among other Coca-Cola assets that have been used for relief are trucks lent to the Department of Social Welfare and Development and Red Cross, and the Tacloban bottling plant, which was used by UN World Food Program as a warehouse.

“Our partnership with Coca-Cola Philippines has enabled both parties to act fast and send relief after the typhoon struck. With water and other goods ready since September, all we had to act on was logistics,” said Red Cross Chairman Dick Gordon.

To date after a full transition from relief to the rebuild stage, there are seven priority sectors identified by the government namely, Samar, Leyte, Cebu, Negros, Capiz, Aklan, and Palawan that need both humanitarian and resettlement aid.

Prior to the recent partnership with Coca-Cola, Habitat for Humanity had already been acting since November distributing shelter kits and building homes for those affected by the typhoon.

“At present, Habitat for Humanity is targeting to build 30,000 core houses and distribute 30,000 shelter repair kits for Yolanda victims. We want to achieve this in the next three years but it would take an estimated P6-billion for the construction of the core houses alone. We thank Coca-Cola Philippines for taking this endeavour with us, because we certainly won’t be able to do it alone,” says Charlie Ayco, CEO and Managing Director of Habitat for Humanity.

“Yolanda came last November but everyone still remembers it so vividly. Picking up from one of the worst natural disasters in history, it’s going to take a lot of effort from both individuals and big business. While our partners have done much already, we’re positive that our teaming together can make an even bigger difference”, adds Dick Gordon, Chairman of the Red Cross.

Gordon, along with Ayco and Guillermo Aponte, President and General Manager of Coca-Cola Philippines, led the RebuildPH volunteer round-up at Araneta Center last January 30.

Coca-Cola is helping in the rebuild and recovery process of the Philippines, brought about by the typhoon Yolanda. It has embarked on a landmark partnership with Philippine Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, and its other partner organizations to rally volunteers, raise money for sustainable rebuild program and community rehabilitation such as rebuilding schools, water systems and infrastructure, and assist small independent customers with reconstruction of their businesses throughout the year.

Earlier in December, Coca-Cola Philippines launched the RebuildPH donation and volunteer portal to gather additional support subsequent to the rechanneling of its committed advertising space to support relief and rebuilding efforts. Those who wish to help may go to The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) and Habitat for Humanity welcome volunteers, cash, and in-kind donations.

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