Google aids recovery efforts for ‘Odette’ survivors

January 13, 2022 - 6:54 PM
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Residents build makeshift shelters following the destruction of their houses due to by typhoon Rai, in Surigao City, Surigao del Norte, Philippines, December 21, 2021. Picture taken December 21, 2021. (Jilson Tiu/Greenpeace/Handout via Reuters)

Search engine Google pledged to give financial aid to the survivors of Typhoon “Odette” (international name: Rai) as part of its commitment to support the disaster response in the country.

In a statement, the company announced that its philanthropic arm, Google.org, set a grant worth $150,000 (more than P7.6M; $1=PHP51.13) for the ongoing recovery efforts for typhoon-hit communities in the Philippines.

This grant was coursed through the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, a resource hub that helps in the distribution of donations to nonprofit organization to affected countries or regions.

Google.org also launched an internal fundraising “Giving” campaign where its employees in the country and from abroad are encouraged to donate.

So far, they have gathered $7,409 (P378,811.06; $1=PHP51.13) in donations.

These funds will go to iVolunteer, a non-government organization for natural disaster response in the country.

“Unless specified by the donor, the iVolunteer will split the donations equally between Citizens Disaster Response Center and Solar Hope,” Google said.

“Both organizations will use the funding to provide food, drinking water, medicines, clothing, solar power kits, face masks and alcohol among others for the affected families and communities,” it added.

YouTube, a subsidiary of Google, is currently part of ABS-CBN’s fundraising program called “Tulong-Tulong sa Pag-ahon: Isang Daan Sa Pagtutulungan.”

It will run for 100 days from January 9 to April 18.

The activities involve different groups, shows and celebrities within ABS-CBN.

The goals include providing assistance to 100,000 affected families of Odette.

Bernadette Nacario, Google Philippines country director, said that she hoped Google’s contributions would help rebuild the lives of thousands of families still reeling from the wrath of the typhoon.

“It is painful to ponder the devastation caused by Typhoon Odette to many families, communities, and livelihoods in Western Visayas just before Christmas. This is yet another challenge to our nation but our solidarity will always be stronger,” Nacario said.

“We hope that through our response, we’re able to aid in the ongoing recovery efforts. Google is one with our kababayans in standing up again, starting anew, and hoping for better days ahead,” she added.

According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, damage to public infrastructure due to Odette has reached over a staggering P17.71 billion.

Apple, UNICEF, and other countries have also previously pledged contributions to help the country recover from Odette.

READ: Apple’s pledge to help in recovery, rebuilding efforts of Philippines, Malaysia sparks worries on corruption