Manny Pangilinan companies lead crowdfunding in aid of Bohol, Zamboanga

Corporate tycoon Manny Pangilinan. Photo by NPPA Images

Corporate tycoon Manny Pangilinan. Photo by NPPA Images

The Philippine Disaster Recovery Foundation (PDRF), together with the companies led by Philippine business magnate Manuel V. Pangilinan, launched on October 25 a crowdfunding campaign to gather donations in response to the recent disasters that have devastated the Philippines, including the earthquake in Bohol and Cebu and the fighting in Zamboanga.

Butch Meily, former president of the Philippine American Chamber of Commerce and currently the executive director of PDRF, said the fundraising known as Brick by Brick is spearheaded by the MVP Group of Companies such as PLDT, Smart, Metro Pacific, First Pacific, Meralco, Philex, Maynilad, Metro Pacific Tollways Group, Makati Medical Center, and TV5.

PDRF was started in 2009 following the devastation caused by Typhoon Ondoy and is made up of several private sector companies and NGOs.

To jumpstart the rebuilding effort, P1.5 million have been contributed by employees of PLDT through PLDT Senior Vice President Butch Jimenez. PLDT Smart Foundation and One Meralco Foundation have each pledged P1 million while the First Pacific Group in Hong Kong will add US$20,000. Metro Pacific Foundation has allocated P1,000,000 while the Metro Pacific Tollways Group will give P500,000. Philex Foundation will donate P300,000. They will be joined by other private institutions in the Philippines and abroad.

“A donation of P10 earns the donor a brick on the site which spells out the names of the three affected areas – Bohol, Cebu and Zamboanga,” said Meily in a statement. “A running total of the money raised will be posted on the site with the campaign scheduled to end on December 5, 2013.”

Among the other donors to the crowdfunding effort are Loida Nicolas Lewis, former CEO of TLC Beatrice International who has given $5,000 and Henry Howard, CEO of U.S. Education Finance, one of the largest educational loan companies in the U.S., who has also pledged $5,000.

Land Bank of the Philippines through its President Gilda Pico has also pledged P1 million to Brick by Brick. Landbank is making available all of its 340 branches around the country to accept dollar and peso donations for the PDRF rebuilding effort under the following account numbers: 3404-0323-39 for dollar deposits and 3402-1037-51 for peso donations.

Other partners in the campaign include Western Union, the Commission for Overseas Filipinos, the National Federation of Filipino-American Associations (NAFFAA), NATTCO, the largest federation of cooperatives in the Philippines, and the Philippine American Chamber of Commerce of New York. The PhilAm Chamber is making available its PayPal account to transmit donations to the PDRF. NATTCO will encourage its 2.1 million members to donate to the cause.

“Our Tulong Kapatid Foundation has been sending relief goods to the areas affected by disasters. However, we wanted to do more. We wanted to use an innovative way to raise funds to help rebuild these cities. It is our hope that companies and foundations from every sector of the country and the world will join this fund-raising effort,” said Pangilinan.

As of today, total donations have reached around P7.6 million or approximately $176K.

Crowdfunding relies on donations from individuals and groups to support a variety of causes such as responding to disasters, starting a company or investing in creative projects such as movies. Tribal DDB, one of the world’s top digital ad agencies, worked with PLDT and Smart to develop the Brick by Brick concept and website where donors from around the world can give money via PayPal, SmartMoney or Pasaload to rebuild the devastated areas “brick by brick.”

All funds raised will be turned over to various groups in these cities, including Gawad Kalinga, Caritas and local government units. The money will be used mainly for the rebuilding of houses, schools and churches.

Check out the Brick by Brick website to make a donation.

Zamboanga residents displaced as heavy fighting raged are housed in one of many evacuation centers like this one.

Zamboanga residents displaced as heavy fighting raged are housed in evacuation centers like this one.

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