AirAsia raises P97M for Yolanda rehab

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AirAsia has raised a total of P97 million, or $2.17 million from its ‘To the Philippines with Love’ campaign in aid of reconstruction efforts in Yolanda-affected areas.

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The company said donations, which came from public-giving, a matching component by the AirAsia Group and contributions by AirAsia partner companies, are to be distributed to four development partners to fulfill the airline’s pledge to support the rebuilding of homes and livelihood for survivors in the hardest-hit areas.

The main recipient, the Philippine Red Cross, will be building 345 homes in Panay, with public contributions amounting to P46 million. From the matching and partner funds managed by AirAsia Foundation, Habitat for Humanity Philippines will be receiving P37.4 million to construct 187 permanent housing units in Tacloban.

The company said that the housing units are designed to be resilient to an Intensity 8 earthquake and 250 kph windspeed.

In a statement, AirAsia Group Chief Executive Officer Tony Fernandes said, “We express our deepest gratitude to guests who contributed generously to this fund-raising effort which exceeded all our expectations.”

“We started this campaign as an expression of Asean unity for survivors who lost so much and we are incredibly touched to find that the campaign received donations from people in 75 countries all over the world,” he added.

Contributing partner companies to this donation drive are Credit Suisse, Tune Insurance, Queens Park Rangers Football Club, CIMB Group and EQ8.

This marks the second phase of AirAsia’s campaign in aid of post-Yolanda relief and reconstruction efforts.

During the initial relief period, AirAsia was one of the first commercial carriers to operate humanitarian flights, carrying close to 5,000 relief workers and survivors as well as 400 tons of aid items to Tacloban, Cebu and Kalibo.

This is in addition to the 250,000 free seats made available across AirAsia’s Philippines network for people to travel in search of missing family members.

Another aspect of rehabilitation funded by AirAsia Foundation is livelihood creation. To this end, a total of P8 million will be allocated to Hapinoy’s Project Bagong Araw.

The company said that a total of 133 women from low-income households in Palo Municipality in Leyte will receive a combination of grant and loan of P60,000 per household to set up home-based convenience stores. This revolving capital is expected to continuously provide loans to other low-income households affected by the typhoon.

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