Corporate social responsibilities amid calamities

Every year, an average of 20 typhoons slam the Philippines, causing a lot of destruction to life, properties and the environment.

In 2019, earthquakes took center stage among the natural disasters. In fact, in Mindanao alone, there has been a concentration of land movements in the southern part in scary succession, causing people to flee out of their homes.

In 2020, we were visited by the strongest typhoon recorded for that year, Typhoon Rolly, followed by Siony and Ullyses.

Medical professionals such as doctors and hospital personnel, technical professionals such as architects and engineers from the private sector, and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) mobilized to prepare for the typhoons. Emergency measures were put into operation and shelters for the less fortunate were provided by the local governments and the private sector. 

UAP Daraga Cagsawa chapter, headed by president Ana Capuno and assisted by the Philippine National Police, helps families affected by Typhoon Rolly in Guinobatan, Albay.

The United Architects of the Philippines through the UAP Emergency Architects and the Bayanihan Arkitektura stepped up their corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts to provide food, shelter, clothing, comfort, convenience and work especially for the less fortunate.

During the early part of the COVID-19 pandemic, the UAP Emergency architects teamed up with the Malabon government in providing isolation facilities for patients. The Bayanihan Arkitektura Committee also donated basic necessities to the San Andres Sports Complex Quarantine Facility. 

Today, the 183 UAP chapters all over the world do CSR projects and even work together with the local governments during calamities in order to save more lives or uplift the living conditions of affected communities. 

In the course of these projects, the architects always put a premium on the welfare of people living in communities, especially in disaster-prone areas. The UAP is active and focused on their CSR projects as it is imbued in their culture to plan, design and construct resilient communities.

They understand how and where to build, help identify the natural systems of the land, find ways to overcome vulnerabilities and anticipate disaster resiliency for communities. 

In Albay, UAP district director for B5 Bicol region, architect Arrjay Joquico organized a district relief operation of members to reach out to devastated families especially in Catanduanes. This has been delivered already and is now on the second phase of providing relief assistance to chapters whose members were affected directly. The rest of the assistance goes to CSR projects of the various chapters for communities in their localities. 

Leading the Pamaskong Handog for the less fortunate families of Daraga, Albay.

The UAP Legazpi chapter headed by president Darryl Funelas started Tara Bangon: Tulong Handog para sa Bangon ng mga Albaýano, making calls and donations from members for assistance to communities affected by Typhoon Rolly. 

Other architects in Albay such as president Miguel Imperial of UAP Tabaco chapter and immediate past president, architect Kristine Lagman started a donation drive and relief operations for 279 families in Barangay Bariis in Tiwi, 222 families in Barangay Buan, 222 families in Tabaco, and 140 families in Barangay Mataas in Bacacay.

The UAP Daraga Cagsawa chapter, headed by its president, architect Ana Capuno, initiated an outreach program in Barangay Busay. Together with UAP national auditor, architect Delfin Mirabete, they brought relief goods, clothing, basic necessities and PPEs. Capuno reached out to displaced families in the municipalities of Daraga, Camalig, Guinobatan, Ligao, Tabaco, and Malilipot, providing the needed relief goods immediately after the onslaught of Rolly and Siony.

They also partnered with the Office of the Vice President and the UAP Elliptical chapter in putting up low-cost housing shelters in Guinobatan, Albay through the Bahayanihan project of Vice President Leni Robredo. 

In Iriga, the UAP Iriga Rinconada chapter headed by Ronel Descarga helped raise funds despite the limited resources for Baao, the town of Vice Mayor Jose Malazarte. The area was badly devastated. 

The calamities left houses covered by mudflow coming from Mayon Volcano. Lives have been lost and coastal towns swept away.

Thus, the UAP is always collaborating with the government and various sectors. Its members always put a premium on safety to protect the welfare of people living in communities especially those in disaster-prone areas.