Whenever calamities strike, communities come together to rescue the afflicted and carry on with relief and rebuilding efforts.
Although emergency response is always imputed on the government, there are organizations and private corporations adept in providing assistance. Disaster and risk management is imperatively a public-private partnership,
One entity able and capable of providing manpower and resources for this initiative for its sheer size is LBC.
“Most people are aware of the active role that non-profit organizations take in disaster relief or emergency response. But private organizations that are willing to engage their internal team and resources often play a role that’s just as important,” says Chris Guidotti of LBC Express, who spearheads the LBC Emergency Response Team.
“Private companies have the manpower and funding, which can easily align with government and NGO goals to mobilize a more responsive approach to emergency situations,” he adds.
Recognized as one of the largest companies in courier and cargo logistics in the country with an employee base of 7000, LBC is adroit to mobilize individuals within the organization who share the company’s views on giving back to the community.
“We are fortunate to have a team of people behind this initiative who readily volunteer their time and effort for this project, making them some of the most reliable people to call during emergency situations,” Guidotti notes.
The company has a group called LBC Heroes—a 25-man team of volunteers from across LBC’s different business units from the frontliners to executive management—readily giving their time, expertise and resources to ensure that communities are able to respond to emergency situations with their help. Members undergo training with the Philippine Red Cross and Philippine Coast Guard, emphasizing just how integral the public-private partnership can be.
Among their primary resources is a fully equipped Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV), allowing the team to easily navigate around the city and position themselves in areas where they can lend a hand.
The ERV is deployed whenever there is a storm warning. A long-standing partnership with www.weather.com.ph allows the team to be alerted of high-risk areas during heavy rains or storms. This allows them to easily pinpoint and deploy their resources accordingly—as in the case of last year’s Category 4 Typhoon Lando, where the LBC Heroes were deployed to Barangay San Roque in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija. They were able to provide medical assistance onsite for over a hundred people affected by the calamity.
“But it’s not everyday that there’s a natural disaster to take care of, and we wanted to maximize our resources for communities so we also make an effort to be present to provide emergency response during significant events,” he adds.
In more recent efforts, the team joined festivities for the Black Nazarene, where the LBC Heroes combined with resources from a total of 57 private and government medical groups addressed the medical emergencies for one of the biggest religious festivities in the country. The team was also present during the Pahiyas Festival in Lucban, Quezon providing basic first aid to participants.
Guidotti explains that he spirit of collaboration is central to their efforts—from the volunteers to government partners to community leaders.
“Whether it’s a major disaster or simply the fact that we want to be there to mitigate emergencies, we are fortunate to have a team of people behind this initiative who has demonstrated an admirable level of commitment,” Guidotti states.