Typhoon Rai/Odette hit the shores of the Philippines in December, leaving many people in the province of Cebu—including Amazon employees and the wider community—in a state of peril.
As part of Amazon’s commitment to its employees and the communities in which it operates, Amazon has implemented a series of initiatives to help the Filipino community through these difficult times. The initiatives include financial support, mental well-being programs, and partnerships with nonprofits driving relief efforts.
Financial support for our people
To aid our associates and employees in Cebu, we have created the Amazon Philippines Rai/Odette Relief Fund to offer an Emergency Response Grant and Property Damage Grant. With these programs, impacted employees and associates can administer repairs to their home, pay security deposits for new homes, replace damaged appliances and furniture, and repair or replace their vehicles.
Amazon has also extended its Social Security Systems calamity loan assistance package to cover those impacted in Mimaropa, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Northern Mindanao, and Caraga regions of the Philippines. Those areas are under the state of calamity due to Typhoon Rai/Odette, according to a declaration from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
Ensuring physical and mental well-being
Amazon has extended its group medical insurance to ensure that associates are able to get relevant medical treatments for any aliments or injuries sustained due to the typhoon. Furthermore, the typhoon’s impact on the mental health of our community is also of utmost importance to us. In line with this, we have extended our Employee Assistance Program to provide our associates and their loved ones with free and confidential support, resources, and counseling.
Employees coming together
Apart from arranging for and distributing care packages consisting of essential food items, toiletries, and drinking water in Cebu, Amazon teams in Manila collected essential supplies and helped deliver them to their affected colleagues in Cebu. Realizing the need for access to cash, teams also worked with Amazon’s local bank partner to temporarily station a mobile ATM in Amazon’s Cebu office for cash withdrawal.
Partnerships with nonprofits to drive relief efforts
We recognize the support given to us by the communities in which we operate. We have partnered with two organizations, Gawad Kalinga and the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation, to provide monetary support to drive their relief efforts.
Amazon's cash donation will contribute towards Gawad Kalinga's goal of rebuilding 5,000 homes. The orgranization will also provide over 2,500 relief kits containing food, hygiene items, sleeping mats, and other essentials.
"We are grateful to Amazon and their employees for extending support to our relief efforts. When such disasters hit us, most of the focus is placed on alleviating short-term, immediate issues. While that is a critical component, it is also important for us to act on the longer-term relief efforts such as housing and livelihood to help the victims get back on their feet sooner after such a devasting event,” said Dan Bercasio, executive director of Gawad Kalinga.
The Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF) will be using a cash donation from Amazon in providing high-quality shelter repair kits and in supporting the local government in the early recovery phase by restoring public infrastructure. Amazon’s partnership with PDRF will directly support approximately 5,000 individuals. While those 5,000 Filipinos will receive direct assistance, the efforts will also have a positive impact on up to 250,000 Filipinos.
"PDRF’s partnership with Amazon has provided major support for our typhoon Odette (Rai) recovery initiatives. We are grateful to the company and its employees for their help during this critical time," said Rene Meily, president of PDRF.