MANILA, Philippines— Leading downstream LNG and infrastructure development firm, Atlantic, Gulf & Pacific (AG&P Group), recently joined hands with private group Balay Mindanaw Foundation Inc. to rebuild communities in Dinagat Island, among the hardest-hit provinces in the southern Philippines devastated by Typhoon Odette last year in December.
Typhoon Odette, internationally known as Rai, swept through Southern Philippines shortly before Christmas, affecting 16 million people and leaving seven provinces severely damaged. By certain estimates, areas ravaged by Rai will need humanitarian assistance throughout this year.
Said Anupam Ahuja, SVP, Strategic Services, AG&P Group, “In the face of heavy casualties, broken communication, and power lines, destroyed public and private sea vessels that made access to medical aid, food, and clean water a challenge, temporary shelter emerged as one of the most critical and ongoing needs for the communities of thousands of people who have been displaced.”
As one of its initiatives, Ahuja said that AG&P and its employees pooled funds to help rebuild homes for the affected residents in Dinagat–specifically affected barangays of Sto. Nino Basilisa and Loreto–with the help of its on-the-ground partner, Balay Mindanaw Foundation Inc. “We hope to restore over 100 homes soon. Alongside, AG&P is also supporting the reinstatement of power and communication lines and will continue to look at ways in which we can participate to help alleviate the suffering to the most extent possible,” Ahuja added.
Dinagat Island, a province that depends on mining and agriculture, faced the worst of Typhoon Odette which affected 34,000 residents in Dinagat, as well as destroyed over 14,000 houses, and partially damaged 15,000 others. Government estimates suggest Dinagat sustained $1.1 billion worth of damage to agriculture and infrastructure, while the province was still recovering from the hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.