As we eagerly listened to the day to day newscasts on television, we noticed that more and more people placed under Enhanced Community Quarantine air their pleas for relief goods, especially those who have stopped working due to the quarantine.
It is such a relief to know that many organizations and private groups have answered the call for assistance, especially of the less fortunate sectors in the community. One such entity is the SM Foundation Inc., who, together with Japanese clothing company Uniqlo, recently brought smiles to residents of SM Cares Villages when they distributed food packs to almost nine hundred families in Bogo City, in Cebu province, Concepcion in IloIlo, Ormoc City, and in Tacloban City.
Like us, many of them are homebound by the enhanced community quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and they were happy to receive kilos of rice, cup noodles, cans of sardines and tuna, and bottles of distilled water.
The SM Foundation and Uniqlo Philippines responded to the needs of almost nine hundred beneficiaries of the SM Cares Village who are unable to continue their livelihood brought about by the enhanced community quarantine by the local government units due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Neralyn Montejo, one of the beneficiaries of the SM Cares Village in Bogo City, Cebu says “Thank you SM Foundation and Uniqlo for bringing these relief packs to our place. Thank you for not abandoning us during this time of crisis.”
It will be recalled that SM Cares Villages were built to help survivors of Super Typhoon Yolanda in 2013 rebuild their lives. It is a joint undertaking of SM and its service providers, tenants, business partners, employees, and communities.
The first SM Cares Village was turned over to two hundred beneficiaries last November 9, 2014 in Bogo City, Cebu, followed by SM Cares Villages in Concepcion, Iloilo with two hundred houses, Tacloban with four hundred and Ormoc City with two hundred houses.
The disaster-resilient houses were given to the beneficiaries for free, with SM working with several NGO partners for its community development, including livelihood and values-formation activities.
Each village has utilities, basic amenities like street lights, as well as a community center, and a basketball court. There are also chapels and convenience stores for its residents.
Aside from the houses, the SM Cares Village also has amenities such as street lamps, sewage treatment plant, materials recovery facility, rain-catchment system and provisions for water and electricity.
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