Victims of Typhoon Mario receive kalinga (relief) goods from SM employee-volunteers.
Over 17,400 families affected by Typhoon Mario (international name: Fung-Wong) received immediate aid through kalinga (relief) packs distributed by SM Foundation’s quick-response system Operation Tulong Express last September 19 to 20.
“SM Foundation’s Operation Tulong Express prioritizes bringing help to people faster,” said Cristie Angeles, Assistant Vice President for Livelihood and Outreach Programs. “Days before Typhoon Mario, the Foundation has already allotted relief packs for immediate disaster response to those who had been affected.”
Hours after Typhoon Mario made landfall, Operation Tulong Express was immediately put into motion. By September 20, a total of 17,437 kalinga packs were distributed to 30 barangays in Marilao, Bulacan; San Jose, Bulacan; Bacoor, Cavite; Rosario, Cavite; Angono, Rizal; San Mateo, Rizal; Novaliches; Antipolo City; Marikina City; Quezon City; Valenzuela City; Laog, Ilocos Norte; and the Sto. Domingo Parish in Metro Manila.
During typhoons, SM Supermarkets, Hypermarkets and Savemore lead the distribution of relief goods under the banner of the Operation Tulong Express. They are also kept open to serve as temporary shelters for victims in times of calamities. In addition, charging stations are made available to the public in instances when there is no electricity in the affected area.
In 2013, Operation Tulong Express immediately provided relief goods and medical assistance to the victims of Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan). Aside from the 148,030 kalinga packs that were distributed, victims were also provided with medical and emotional assistance through the Foundation’s medical missions. Ten months after Yolanda hit the country, the Foundation continues to help out Yolanda-stricken areas through college scholarship grants, construction of school buildings and wellness centers, medical missions, livelihood farmers’ training and the development of houses for those left homeless by Yolanda.