SM Foundation Inc., together with Japanese clothing company Uniqlo, distributed food packs to almost 900 families in residents of SM Cares Villages in Bogo City, in Cebu province, Concepcion in Iloilo, Ormoc City, and in Tacloban City. Recipients 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 900 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 COVID-19 pandemic.
“Thank you, SM Foundation and Uniqlo, for bringing these relief packs to our place,” said Neralyn Montejo, one of the beneficiaries of the SM Cares Village in Bogo City, Cebu. “Thank you for not abandoning us during this time of crisis.”
It can 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 200 beneficiaries last November 9, 2014 in Bogo City, Cebu. This was followed by SM Cares Villages in Concepcion, Iloilo (200 houses), Tacloban (400 houses), and Ormoc City (200 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 streetlights, 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 plants, materials recovery facilities, rain-catchment system and provisions for water and electricity.