Tech firms extend funds, resources to ‘Yolanda’ survivors

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The unprecedented damage wrought by Typhoon Yolanda in Central Visayas has pushed global IT companies to rush to the aid of residents severely affected by the disaster.

While local telcos Bayan Telecommunications, Smart Communications, and Globe Telecommunications are still doing their share to reestablish communication links in the affected areas, local subsidiaries of multinational IT companies are also providing cash donations and deploying their own technologies to help the survivors.

For instance, South Korean tech giant LG Electronics has pledged $500,000 (approximately P22 million), which it is coursing through the Philippine Red Cross.

To address the issue of electricity shortage, LG Electronics has also committed to install its Solar Power System worth $100,000 (approximately P4.3 million) in major evacuation centers.

Upon installation, LG Solar Panels can directly convert sunlight to electricity, while the accompanying charge controller, batteries, inverter, and loads will be able to sustain it. This activity will be done in cooperation with the Department of Energy.

In addition, LG employees have made their own individual contributions and raised a total of $10,000.

When the situation stabilizes, LG said it will conduct community rehabilitation with ?LG Service Camp?, an annual CSR program dedicated to victims of calamities. Now on its third year, LG Service Camp will offer free appliance and mobile phone cleaning and repair to all affected LG customers.

LG employee volunteers will also extend services to Medical Missions and free Labada Days. Donations of LG TVs and washing machines to evacuation centers will help make the evacuees? stay more comfortable while waiting for their homes to be restored.

US tech giant Dell, meanwhile, said the company and its team members have so far contributed more than $400,000 (about P17.5 million) of financial and technology support to disaster relief efforts in the Philippines.[/caption]

Dell team members also are helping victims of Typhoon Haiyan through a critical-items collection drive and volunteer activities on the ground.

Included in the company’s contribution are:

  • A corporate donation of $50,000 to UNICEF, which is rushing critical supplies to Filipino children.
  • A $150,000 contribution to NetHope for laptops used by first responders at organizations like CARE, Oxfam, the International Committee of the Red Cross, Mercy Corps, Save the Children and Water Aid.
  • Contributions of more than $100,000 by Dell team members, with Dell matching those contributions dollar-for-dollar.

Japanese tech titan Epson, on the other hand, announced that it is increasing its aid for the survivors of typhoon P6.372 million. The additional support was presented by Seiko Epson’s global president Minoru Usui to the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP).

The combined donation of Epson employees ? from employee cash donations and employee initiatives (budget from Christmas party and Family day) amounted to P2.372 million. An additional P2 million was made by the company from its initial donation of P2 million last November 12.

French tech colossus Schneider Electric, meanwhile, said its employees and Foundation have mobilized themselves to bring their support to affected populations and prepare for reconstruction.

Schneider Electric has decided to coordinate its actions toward emergency help and reconstruction and to launch a ?250,000 (about P14 million) emergency and rebuilding program as well as an international call for donation.

These actions will be organized around two main axis:

  • Emergency: The Schneider Electric Foundation will donate ?70,000 to fund food packs for 20,000 families (100,000 people);
  • Rebuilding: on the mid-term, Schneider Electric will focus its efforts on projects contributing to restore or bring energy access and projects involving the construction, reconstruction and rehabilitation of technical training centers dealing with energy management. Schneider Electric will propose to employees to volunteer in the framework of the Schneider Electric Teachers NGO.

All of these initiatives will be coordinated by the Schneider Electric Foundation and its 120 delegates? network and a dedicated project team based in the Philippines

For its part, German software behemoth SAP announced that it provided free international SMS services for the Philippine telecom operators to enable Filipinos with overseas family and friends to reach each other in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda.

From November 11 through November 25, international SMS messages that were delivered through SAP Mobile Services? SMS interconnection network were at no cost for subscribers from Globe Telecom, Smart Communications, and Sun Cellular.

As part of SAP’s commitment to its social responsibility in the Philippines, SAP Mobile Services partnered with the three Filipino operators in support of their relief efforts to facilitate Filipino citizens’ overseas SMS communication during this critical period.

In addition to the international SMS partnership supporting local telecom operators, SAP Asia Pacific Japan and the global SAP network are actively aiding in relief efforts for Filipino citizens affected by Typhoon Yolanda.

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