PBSP starts Project New Dawn

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Sunday, June 22, 2014

THE Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) together with its 250 plus member-companies and partners launched Project New Dawn, a collective response to help rebuild the lives of typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) survivors in the Visayas.

Project New Dawn aims to restore vital infrastructure and services in the affected areas in the sectors of health, education, the environment, livelihood and enterprise development, and shelter (Heels).

The project has two main components: the Social Investments Portfolio, which lists all the intervention packages available to help rebuild devastated areas around the Visayas region; and a Collective Impact Site (CIS), which will bring the entire Heels program in northern Cebu. The Collective Impact Site will initially focus on the towns of Bantayan, Sta. Fe, Madridejos and Daanbantayan.


According to Madridejos Mayor Salvador Dela Fuente, “Typhoon Yolanda left my constituents and others in the Visayas roofless and homeless but never hopeless because of the immediate support shown by organizations like PBSP.”

What’s needed?

“We need to repair our health centers and schools, plant more mangrove trees and provide livelihood opportunities to our constituents,” the mayor added.

PBSP needs to raise P160 million to help the affected families in these areas restore their health centers, schools and learning facilities, plant new mangrove trees, jumpstart their livelihood and rebuild their homes that were damaged when Yolanda struck the region last Nov. 8, 2013.

Mangrove reforestation along the shorelines of coastal communities is one of the key components of the project that will help reduce the impact of storm surges or tsunamis, while at the same time restoring the breeding and spawning grounds for marine life.

“Currently, PBSP already has P80 million to bankroll the programs under Project New Dawn in northern Cebu but we need to raise another P80 million to finance the holistic rehabilitation of these towns,” said Rafael Lopa, PBSP executive director.

Immediately after typhoon Yolanda struck, PBSP member-companies and partners also conducted relief efforts and early recovery programs.

“After the typhoon last year, our network and partners immediately distributed relief goods to thousands of victims in Northern Cebu, Samar, Leyte, Iloilo and Panay,” he said.

Shelter repair kits and motorized boats were also distributed to fishers who lost their homes and boats to Yolanda.


PBSP realized that its initial efforts to bring relief in Visayas were short to meet the required holistic rehabilitation of basic services and livelihood.

“The road to long-term recovery and rehabilitation lies ahead of us,” Antonio Aboitiz, a trustee of PBSP from Cebu, said. “Project New Dawn is a collective response to the long-term rehabilitation needs of the Visayas region.”

The launch of Project New Dawn was attended by chief executives and officers of PBSP’s member-companies, officials of different donor organizations, and representatives from the government sector including the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery (OPARR).

“The Office of the Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery supports Project New Dawn as it will provide a showcase on how development sponsorship should be,” OPARR Undersecretary Danilo Antonio read from a prepared speech on behalf of Secretary Panfilo Lacson.

“We encourage more organizations in the private sector to help us in rebuilding the affected areas. This will allow these towns to build back better and faster,” added the undersecretary.

During the launch, PBSP member-companies and other partners immediately made initial pledges to support the installation of potable water systems, repair and equipping of health stations, setting up of corn seedling facilities, and support for various other programs under Project New Dawn.

PBSP expects it will take up to 18 months to lay the foundation for the full recovery of these towns. For more information about Project New Dawn, please go to http://www.pbsp.org.ph/newdawn.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 23, 2014.


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