April 2016

US Embassy and SM Cares follow through on regreening of Hinulugang Taktak

Mr. Michael Klecheski, Deputy Chief of Mission of the US Embassy (with cap) and Ms. Liza Silerio, Director of SM Cares Program on Environment and Sustainability, lead the planting of 1,000 bamboos in Hinulugang Taktak in celebration of Earth Day 2016.

Mr. Michael Klecheski, Deputy Chief of Mission of the US Embassy (with cap) and Ms. Liza Silerio, Director of SM Cares Program on Environment and Sustainability, lead the planting of 1,000 bamboos in Hinulugang Taktak in celebration of Earth Day 2016.

In celebration of Earth Day 2016, the US Embassy, SM Cares, the City of Antipolo, and the local government of Rizal held a bamboo planting activity at the Hinulugang Taktak in Antipolo last April 22. The event is also in support of the Ynares Ecosystem Program (YES Program) of Governor Nini Ynares, which focuses on recycling, cleaning and regreening of the province of Rizal. 

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Around 300 volunteer families and employees from the US Embassy, SM Masinag, SM Taytay, SM Angono, and members of the local community banded together to help rejuvenate this old tourism destination. The US Embassy donated 1,000 bamboo saplings, augmenting SM’s donation of 6,000 from last year.

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“We share the community’s goal of caring for Hinulugang Taktak, which is a very important part of our history and culture,” said Liza Silerio, Program Director for SM Cares for Environment and Sustainability. “We commend all the volunteers who generously gave their time and effort to join us today for this common cause.” 

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Fully-grown bamboos that will be harvested in the future may be sold to the bamboo processing center in Cardona, Rizal under the supervision of the Department of Trade and Industry. Bamboo products that will be produced and sold will benefit the People’s Organization of the province.  

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SM and Donors Turn Over Its Biggest Housing Village for Yolanda Survivors in Tacloban City

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SM Prime officials headed by its President Hans T. Sy led the turnover ceremony accompanied by Tacloban City officials headed by Mayor Alfred Romualdez.

For 64-year old pedicab driver Rogelio Palma Consalida, November 8, 2013 is one date he will never forget for the rest of his life. It was when super typhoon Yolanda made land fall in his hometown of Tacloban City in Leyte, and in just an hour he had lost all his possessions which took him several decades to build.

Nawala sa amin ang lahat,” (“We lost everything,”) he declared and for over two years, he and his wife, Lolita, also 64, had to live in a cramped government housing site.

But life seems to smile on them once more as the couple are among the 400 family-beneficiaries of SM Supermalls’ biggest SM Cares Village for survivors of super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).

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SM and its donors awarded 400 new houses in Tacloban City, Leyte to families who were hardest hit by the super typhoon in 2013. The village will be called “Pope Francis-CFC ANCOP Canada Community – SM Cares Village.”  It is the biggest of all the four SM Cares housing project as the other villages only have 200 houses each.

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The first village in Bogo, Cebu has been turned over to beneficiaries in November 2014 while the second village in Iloilo City was inaugurated in October 2015. The fourth and last village in Ormoc City is undergoing construction and will be turned over in July this year.

The SM Cares Village in Brgy. New Kawayan in Tacloban is the third batch in the 1,000-house SM Cares Village housing project which was launched in the aftermath of Haiyan in 2013.

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SM Prime officials headed by its President Hans T. Sy led the turnover ceremony accompanied by Tacloban City officials led by Mayor Alfred Romualdez.

Guests who attended the event included Leyte Archbishop John Du, Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines Neil Reeder, Mrs. Yedda Romualdez (representing Leyte 1st District Representative Martin Romualdez), Ricky Cuenca and Jimmy Ilagan of Couples For Christ-ANCOP, Mikee Romero of Global Port and Julian Payne of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

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400 houses were awarded to chosen beneficiaries for free. Aside from the houses, the SM Cares Village also has amenities such a basketball court, street lamps, sewage treatment plant, materials recovery facility, rain-catchment system and provisions for water and electricity.

SM Cares, a division of SM Foundation and the corporate social responsibility arm of SM Prime Holdings, Inc., launched the housing project shortly after the onslaught of super typhoon Yolanda in November 2013 to give permanent and disaster-resilient houses to survivors of the typhoon in the Visayas region.

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Through its tenants, business partners, service providers, employees and local communities, SM was able to raise the money needed to build the 1,000 houses, a moving proof of the people’s accord in times of emergency. Some of the donors for the SM Cares Village in Tacloban include Zonta Club, Duty Free Philippines, Forever 21, ANCOP, New Golden City Builders & Development and Philippine Daily Inquirer. Global Port and Sultan 900 donated the basketball court.

All the houses in the SM Cares Housing Village are disaster-resilient and have roofs made of concrete slab. Vetiver grass, with leaves that can be used for handicrafts, were used in the village to control soil erosion and for better slope protection. Its roots reach up to 3 meters long.

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To ensure sustainability of the project, community development programs have been put in place to make the change work for all beneficiaries. For the Tacloban housing project, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Palo (RCAP) and Couples For Christ-ANCOP (CFC-ANCOP) were the  partners in charge of selecting the beneficiaries, training, livelihood and values formation to enable the new residents start a new life in their community.

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SM said the SM Cares Housing Village is a testament to the solidarity that Filipinos and people all over the world have shown to help the survivors of super typhoon Yolanda. It is also personifies SM’s commitment to nation-building.

“SM has always been supporting communities and this project exemplifies our commitment to nation-building,” SM Supermalls, in a statement, said.

SM Cares Receives Highest Award in Environmental Management

PMAP Bayani ng Kalikasan award(L-R) Orlando Pena, DPM, Chairman Emeritus, PMAP; Pilar Alvira, DPM, President, PMAP HRM Foundation; Steven T. Tan, Senior Vice President for Operations, SM Supermalls; Joaquin L. San Agustin, Senior Vice President for Marketing, SM Supermalls; Chito Bauzon, Senior Marketing Manager, SM Supermalls; Hon. Herminio B. Coloma Jr., Secretary, Presidential Communications Operations Office; and Jesse Rebustillo, National President, PMAP

People Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP) recognizes SM Cares with the 2016 PMAP Tanging Bayani ng Kalikasan Award (Non-Government Category) for its outstanding achievement in the area of clean air and climate change, the highest environmental management honor given by organization.

Steven T. Tan, Senior Vice President for Operations of SM Supermalls and Joaquin L. San Agustin, Senior Vice President for Marketing personally received the recognition at the awarding ceremonies at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza in Pasay City.

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PMAP, founded in 1956 as organization of human resources management oriented companies and professionals, said the many environmental initiatives of SM Cares have made a deep impact not only in the communities  where SM malls operate but the country and society as a whole.

Thanking PMAP for the recognition, Steven Tan said SM “employs a holistic approach in its programs for the Environment and Sustainability (which) includes initiatives on solid waste management, energy and air efficiency, water conservation, climate change mitigation and disaster risk reduction.”

“This award serves as an inspiration for us to do more programs to protect the environment for future generations. We will continue to promote sustainability and environmental awareness in our malls,” Tan stated.

Some of SM’s Environmental and Sustainability Efforts include: the (1) Regular Trash to Cash recycling market; (2) The SM Supermalls eco-bag; (3) Park light facilities; (4) Green Film Festival for public high school students; (5) Green Retail Agenda that cascades best environmental practices to all SM tenants and employees; (6) Automated Weather Stations across all SM Supermalls that provide accurate weather forecast for the community; (7) Flood control water catchment basins in some SM Malls; (8) tree planting activities in various local communities in support of the SM Supermarket’s “Grow A Million Trees” project; (9) Solar rooftops located at SM City North Edsa and the SM Mall of Asia; (10) Coastal Clean Up; (11) the annual Top Leaders Forum; and (12) various global celebrations like the Earth Day and Earth Hour events.

Several malls have also embarked on other energy saving systems such as the use of ice-based cooling systems, switched to the use of LED lighting and installed Big ASS fans.

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Tan said SM Cares was formed to organize the sustainability efforts into a comprehensive program that tackles a wide range of initiatives – from giving a voice to the underrepresented, marginalized sectors of our society, to preserving the environment, promoting disaster resiliency and creating innovative but sustainable avenues of growth.

“We would not have done this without the help of our partners. We are sharing this recognition with our partners, stakeholders and to the men and women who join us in all our CSR advocacies,” Tan stated.

Aside from environmental protection and sustainability, SM Cares has other advocacies for Persons with Disabilities, Senior Citizens, Women & Breastfeeding, Children & Youth and OFW (or SM Global Pinoy).