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The Synergy of Tulong Kapatid

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According to experts, the Philippines ranks second among the most vulnerable countries in the world in terms of threats posed by natural disasters. Not only do we have the regular visitation by typhoons but the country sits astride the Pacific “Ring of Fire” which makes us prone to earthquakes and volcano havoc as well. So the main thing that our countrymen have to deal with is how to prepare when disaster strikes; or once it hits us, as in the recent habagat, torrential rains that inundated about half of Metro Manila and heavy flooding in other provinces as well — how to come together and work in providing relief to our brethren whose homes, lives and personal well-being had been damaged or devastated.

The synergy of Tulong Kapatid

KAPATID DAY By Peachy Vibal-Guioguio (The Philippine Star) | Updated September 2, 2013 - 12:00am

According to experts, the Philippines ranks second among the most vulnerable countries in the world in terms of threats posed by natural disasters. Not only do we have the regular visitation by typhoons but the country sits astride the Pacific “Ring of Fire” which makes us prone to earthquakes and volcano havoc as well. So the main thing that our countrymen have to deal with is how to prepare when disaster strikes; or once it hits us, as in the recent habagat,  torrential rains that inundated about half of Metro Manila and heavy flooding in other provinces as well — how to come together and work in providing relief to our brethren whose homes, lives and personal well-being had been damaged or devastated.

Past typhoons and other disaster-related experiences have shown us, that the Filipino could well rise to the challenge of the moment and unselfishly devote time, money and effort in coming to the aid of our stricken countrymen. We are a charitable and caring people and the spirit of bayanihan has never been more alive particularly, when our people face the challenges that Mother Nature had posed on our fair islands. One such collective endeavor that I am proud to be a part of is Tulong Kapatid, the relief operations of the entire MVP group of companies acting as one in bringing together the caring and services that our people most need in their times of distress.

Tulong Kapatid takes its initial impulse from TV5’s Alagang Kapatid which is the network’s first response to any disaster or call for help. When the scope of damage escalates, Tulong Kapatid comes in. According to Menchie Slivestre, Alagang Kapatid Foundation’s executive director, “Once the scale of disaster has been assessed, the different MVP group of companies are tapped to help.“ During the last typhoon, Alagang Kapatid Foundation, PLDT Smart Foundation, One Meralco Foundation, NLEX, Maynilad, Philex Mining Corp, MVP Sports Foundation, Gilas Pilipinas team members and Metro Pacific Investment Corporation, the MPIC Hospital Groups and of course, TV5, were involved. The whole set-up is unique because it combines these different companies with their areas of specialization into a synergistic whole in terms of relief and solutions to problems being experienced by disaster victims who are being assisted.

For example, in the last habagat/Maring floodings, Tulong Kapatid, led by MVP himself went to the evacuation centers in Mandaluyong and Taguig to reach out to our kababayan who were evacuated from their homes. “Maynilad brought bottled waters, NLEX provided trucks to transport the donation and SMART set up a libreng tawag booth at the site,” says Silvestre. The result was that displaced families received not only food and essential non-food items like blankets, mats, etc. but also much-needed services like water and free calls, among others.

But beyond the immediate relief, Tulong Kapatid is also looking into the mobilization of the group’s competencies should a big disaster happens. Silvestre continues, “We spoke with MMDA and Phivolcs, and the burning issue is when a big earthquake happens. Our stand is that we cannot take one week before we restore services: It has to be within hours or within a day. “

From the relief operations for flood victims huddled in classrooms being used as evacuation centers to a strategic overview of how to restore the life systems of a bustling metropolis such as Metro Manila, Tulong Kapatid demonstrates the will and fortitude of the Filipino in the face of adverse circumstances and disasters.
Synergy is when the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts. For Tulong Kapatid, it is not just the individual companies and the people behind them; but more of the spirit of helping and caring for each other — the bayanihan principle that makes one proud to be Filipino.