SM Group sets ‘Yolanda’ rebuilding


The SM Group, led by the country’s richest man Henry Sy, is gearing up for house  rebuilding efforts in areas hit by Super Typhoon Yolanda.

“We will start soon [on the initiatives]and we will focus on rebuilding houses,” Hans Sy, president of SM Prime Holdings Inc., said after the Top Leader Forum held in Pasay City on Friday.

According to him, the group has deployed a team in the areas badly hit by the most powerful storm in the world this year to make preliminary study so the group  can create a masterplan on its rebuilding efforts.

“Hopefully, in one to two weeks, I should be getting firm reports on what should we do,” Sy said.

“I cannot really divulge what we will do yet, but we will do something. As I said, I’ve already sent people to make a complete report on the situation and with that, we will know what to do,” he reiterated.

Asked to confirm if the plan is to rebuild typhoon victims’ houses, Sy only said “that’s also possibility.”

SM Prime, in cooperation with United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, held the Top Leader Forum on Friday, which aims  to provide a platform for business owners to discuss possible incen-tives for their investments in achieving resilience.

“As we are all aware of, the effects of climate change is coming sooner than expected. In the Philippines alone, we had experienced 104 significant typhoons and 72 floods since 2002 with a total cost of destruction amounting to P7.8 billion,” Sy pointed out.

“At this day and age, disaster resilience is no longer prioritized only to protect commercial interests. It has now become bigger than that. It has become a humanitarian imperative and a commitment to contribute to economic sustainabi-lity of the communities beyond our corporate walls,” he added.

According to Sy, 10 percent of the  SM Group’s yearly capital expenditure is being poured in to its disaster response efforts.


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