Food untainted by the rains and mud for themselves and their families, and construction materials for rebuilding their homes destroyed by the typhoon. These were the immediate needs of the typhoon victims in the aftermath of Odette, a super typhoon that wreaked havoc on Mindanao and the Visayas just a few days before Christmas last year.
Responding quickly, the Association of Carriers and Equipment Lessors (ACEL) immediately raised funds from its members and supporters which it then sent to its two provincial chapters that operate in the areas devastated by the typhoon. On Dec. 28, 2021, shortly after Odette exited the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR), a check for P100,000 was sent to the Association’s Cebu Chapter, while a check for P150,000 was remitted to the Davao Chapter.
The Cebu Chapter used the funds to buy construction materials and tools which were distributed to the typhoon victims in the region. The Davao Chapter, on the other hand, bought sacks of rice which it brought to the evacuation centers in Dinagat Island, Siargao and Surigao del Norte where thousands of families made homeless by Odette were staying.
Making its first landfall in Mindanao on Dec. 16, 2021, Odette, intenationally named Typhoon Rai, brought torrential rains, violent winds, mudslides and storm surges in Northern Mindanao, the Caraga, Davao and Soccsksargen regions, the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, as well as the Zamboanga peninsula.
The strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines last year and the costliest in the country’s history in terms of the damage it caused (US$1.02 billion as of the last estimate), it also made landfalls in Eastern, Central and Western Visayas. The provinces of Southern Leyte, Bohol and Cebu borne the brunt of Odette’s fury.
“I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to our Cebu and Davao Chapters, headed by Segundino Selma III and Dino Mae Suelto, respectively, for their quick action and selfless act of assisting the typhoon victims in their areas,” J. Eladio Angeles, ACEL president, said. “We should keep in mind that, although many of their members were themselves affected by the typhoon, they still chose to prioritize extending much needed help to those more seriously impacted by Odette.”
For his part, Juan Lorenzo Luis Banson, chairman of ACEL’s Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) which handled the fund-raising for the typhoon victims, thanked the Association’s members who promptly responded to the appeal for financial assisstance. These included Olympic Engineering & Sales Corporation, First Philippine Skills and Equipment Testing Corporation, Equiprime Optimum Solutions Inc., Livan Trade Corporation, KCD Builders Corporation and ACEL Manila Chapter. Since part of the fellowship sponsorships given to ACEL is used to fund the Association’s CSR programs, Banson also thanked the following fellowship sponsors for their contributions: Olympic Engineering & Sales Corporation, Trelleborg Marine and Infrastructure, Civic Merchandising Inc., RMD Kwikform Phils. Inc., JAP Construction & Development Corporation, Inframachineries Corporation, Megawide Corporation, CM Pancho Construction Inc., Faequip Corporation, Equiprime Optimum Solutions Inc., Manitowoc Crane Group Inc., Anseca Development Corporation, Benedicto Steel Corporation, and Uptime Earthmoving Solutions Inc.