Published on : Thursday, March 27, 2014
If the massive global effort to provide aid to victims of super typhoon “Haiyan”(Yolanda in the Philippines) in the Visayas and Southern Luzon regions is any indication, then many people all over the world can answer in the affirmative in the meaningful way.
After all, the destruction caused by the strongest typhoon in the world to ever make landfall was simply unimaginable: more than 6,000 dead and about 30,000 injured in the coastal areas of Leyte, Samar, Aklan, Capiz, Cebu, Iloilo, Palawan and neighboring provinces; more than four million individuals displaced and countless children suddenly orphaned.
As images of the aftermath of the catastrophe made their way to local and foreign media, the global response was overwhelming: Donations of food, medicines, and other critical relief supplies and aid poured in, and droves of medical and rescue workers and volunteers came, all resulting to a concerted relief effort that is unparalleled in recent history.
Philippine Airlines, the country’s national flag carrier, was at the forefront of these relief efforts. Being the very first airline to fly to Tacloban soon after Yolanda struck, PAL soon took a lead role in flying in aid to affected areas, assisting government agencies and non-government organizations in the airlift of volunteers and relief.
The PAL Foundation, the carrier’s corporate social responsibility arm, immediately activated its humanitarian program, which allowed for the free airlifting of relief, provisions, equipment, and medical, rescue, and security teams to Tacloban and other affected areas. It likewise coordinated the airlifting of volunteer and goods from other donor countries.
To date, the PAL Foundation has facilitated the airlift of about 300 tons of supplies and 2,000 medical personnel and rescue and relief volunteers to affected areas.
Last December, the PAL Foundation also hosted a Christmas program for family-evacuees from the Visayas who took shelter at the improvisedTentCityinside Villamor Air Base inPasayCity.
The evacuees were entertained by PAL pilots and flight attendant and star basketball players of the Bgy. Ginebra Gin Kings.
The evacuees were entertained by PAL pilots and flight attendant and star basketball players of the Bgy. Ginebra Gin Kings. The program included a puppet show, parlor games and a gift-giving activity for children and their parents.
PAL also gave assistance to employees who were affected by the typhoon and the recent earthquake inBohol. Financial aid and donations in kind helped them and their families rebuild their lives.
More than seven decades since it first took flight, PAL continues to stay true to its commitment of being a partner in nation-building, through meaningful social development programs.