No storm can truly weather the bayanihan spirit as, despite being victims themselves, SM employee-volunteers from the affected areas of Typhoon Lando (international name: Koppu) stepped forward to help distribute 7,500 kalinga (relief) packs under SM Foundation’s disaster response program Operation Tulong Express (OPTE).
The kalinga packs from the SM group and partners were immediately distributed to the affected areas of Benguet (Baguio), Nueva Ecija (Cabanatuan and Talavera) and Bulacan (San Ildefonso and San Miguel).
SM Foundation’s OPTE focuses on bringing help to victims of calamities faster through SM’s numerous malls nationwide. Upon public warnings of typhoons or natural disasters, SM malls prepares relief packs for easier and immediate distribution to the affected areas. Each kalinga pack contains mineral water, rice, ready-to-eat food packs and instant noodles.
SM malls are also built to be disaster resilient. As such, SM malls, Supermarkets, Hypermarkets, and Savemores are kept open to serve as temporary shelters for victims in times of disaster. Charging stations are also made available to the public in instances when there is no electricity in the affected area.
The SM group remains committed in empowering communities through its programs under SM Foundation. From sustainable environment, health and wellness, food security and sustainable agriculture, education, shelter and care for people with special needs, SM Foundation will continue to help create a cycle of positive change wherever it goes.