Cebu Pacific (PSE: CEB), the Philippines’ leading airline, is joining the roster of international airlines and logistic partners that provide airlift, logistical solutions, and support to disaster nonprofit Airlink (www.airlinkflight.org) in its mission to help communities respond to and recover from disasters.
Airlink is a global nonprofit organization that delivers critical aid to communities in times of crisis. It leverages the power and speed of aviation, with the support of logistics partners, to get aid to distressed communities for more than 130 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) worldwide. Airlink makes that possible through partnerships with more than 50 airlines across the world, which now includes Cebu Pacific. Since its founding in 2009, Airlink has mobilized aid in more than 70 counties, moved more than three million kilos of supplies, and transported more than 10,000 responders.
On June 6-7, 2023, Airlink, in conjunction with its partner, the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF), hosted a two-day workshop at the PDRF Emergency Operations Center at the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga, Philippines. Through the workshop, which focused on logistics preparedness for nonprofits responding to humanitarian crises in Asia and the Pacific, Airlink aims to equip the participants with the awareness of how to organize quickly and effectively any logistical response following an emergency. Another objective is fostering better relationships, resources, processes, and technical capacity to increase preparedness ahead of any emergency.
“Disaster relief and humanitarian assistance are areas that Cebu Pacific has actively contributed to and supported over the years. We have always believed that air transport allows for an efficient and quick mobilization of necessary resources, both personnel and cargo, in responding to disasters or crises. Hence, Cebu Pacific is proud to be one of the key partners and sponsors of the APAC workshop organized by Airlink for capacity-building towards disaster resiliency and response in the Asia-Pacific region,” said Alex Reyes, Cebu Pacific’s Chief Strategy Officer.
More than two dozen representatives from 19 Airlink NGO partners, including Anamatangi Polynesian Voices, Bayat Foundation, Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, Children International, Disaster Relief Australia, Human Initiative, Mercy Relief, RSG Relief Singapore, RE:ACT Disaster Response, Save the Children, and ShelterBox attended the first post-pandemic workshop.
“This event gave us an opportunity to reconnect with our NGO partners face-to-face and provide a platform for them to network and draw lessons from each other’s experiences. Our partners cover disaster response in a very diverse area ranging from Afghanistan to Vanuatu in the Pacific, Sri Lanka to Ukraine, Turkiye to New Zealand. They shared the challenges they faced or overcame, giving valuable insights on how we can improve processes and responses to prioritise impacted communities,” said Jennifer Torner, Humanitarian Programs Manager for Asia and the Pacific for Airlink.
“Airlink is working to improve regional responses by collaborating with local and regional actors to deliver aid more effectively. Forging new partnerships with PDRF and Cebu Pacific is a step in strengthening our Regional Response Framework. Regional training for our NGO partners also helps focus on collaboration with local and regional actors,” said Claire Leow, Airlink’s Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific.
About Cebu Pacific’s Humanitarian Response
Staying true to its mission of providing humanitarian assistance through its BayaniJuan efforts, Cebu Pacific, with its long-standing partner Waves for Water, provided and transported water filter kits to various typhoon-struck locations in the Philippines in 2022.
Water filters mitigate the risk from water-borne illnesses and facilitate proper hygiene and access to clean water. Its importance is heightened more so during typhoons when access to clean water is compromised. During Typhoons Odette (2021) and Agaton (2022), CEB’s continued partnership with Waves for Water ensured clean water access for local communities.
The airline’s wide domestic network in the Philippines was the key to transporting help on the ground to the communities that needed it most. CEB transported water filters to seven typhoon Odette-stricken provinces, namely Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental, Palawan, Southern Leyte, and Surigao del Norte. Parts of Eastern and Western Visayas where typhoon Agaton made landfall also received water filters.
Cebu Pacific’s sustained efforts resulted in 1.81 tonnes (1,447 units) worth of water filters being delivered, free of charge, to the communities.
Cebu Pacific transported more than 21 million doses of life-saving COVID-19 vaccines from January to December 19, 2022 to 31 destinations, namely: Bacolod, Basilan, Boracay, Bohol, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Cauayan, Cebu, Coron, Cotabato, Davao, Dipolog, Dumaguete, General Santos, Iloilo, Jolo, Kalibo, Legazpi, Masbate, Naga, Ozamiz, Pagadian, Puerto Princesa, Roxas, San Jose, Siargao, Tacloban, Tuguegarao, Tawi-Tawi, Virac, and Zamboanga.
Cebu Pacific has airlifted more than 80 million COVID-19 vaccine doses across the country since 2021.
During the pandemic, CEB also helped repatriate fellow countrymen and led donations for vulnerable children. In 2022, CEB assisted in the repatriation of 385 distressed Filipinos from Beirut and Kuwait via a charter flight arranged by the Department of Foreign Affairs. CEB coordinated with the Philippine embassies in Beirut and Kuwait to bring home 119 passengers from Beirut, and 266 passengers in Kuwait, on March 31.
In partnership with UNICEF Change for Good, CEB also raised more than PHP 10 million (US$178,000) in 2022, thanks to the generosity of its passengers and the support of its employees, to improve the situation of children in need. CEB has been a proud partner of UNICEF Change for Good since 2016, with the goal of raising funds through the collection of spare change from passengers. CEB is the first and only airline in the Philippines to partner with UNICEF for the Change for Good initiative.
Airlink is a global humanitarian nonprofit organization delivering critical aid to communities in crisis by providing free airlift and logistical solutions to nonprofit partners, changing how the humanitarian community responds to disasters worldwide. Its network includes over 150 aid organizations and more than 50 commercial and charter airlines. Since its inception in 2010, Airlink has flown over 10,000 relief workers and transported nearly 8,000,000 pounds of humanitarian cargo, directly helping over 35 million people impacted by natural and man-made disasters.