Two of Negros’ biggest locally homegrown companies, CM & Sons’ Merci Bakeshop and Negros Grace Pharmacy took a day off for relief efforts to the areas affected by the 6.9 magnitude earthquake in Negros Oriental. Two teams, one headed by Mr. Jonathan Lo for Merci and the other headed by Ms. Bea Lo Yao for Negros Grace Pharmacy gave canned goods, rice, noodles, bread, gallons of purified drinking water, and vitamins for the residents of Barangay Manghulyawon and Barangay Talayong in the municipality of La Libertad. These areas have been identified by Negros Oriental First District Rep. Jocelyn Limkaichong as in need of relief.
The crew of twenty-eight people at dawn of February 16, 2012 and proceeded to Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental via Don Salvador Benedicto, Negros Occidental. Signages saying “We need food and water” and “SOS” were seen around the areas affected by recent quake at the coastal areas with tent cities rising from vacant spaces available. Such was the scene at the ground zero of the disaster and they were accompanied by Congresswoman Limkaichong’s convoy by ten o’clock in the morning. Brgy. Capt. Neri Timtim met the group with their baranggay officials who have been waiting for them since eight o’clock in the morning for a relief supply.
Kagawad Georgia Camero from Brgy Manghulyawon said that they experienced some aftershock for two nights and residents at the foothills decided to stay in evacuation centers fearing for their life. Some of the foothill communities in the other towns experienced landslides due to ground fissures caused by the strong tremor. While other towns and baranggays had casualties, these baranggays had no lives lost but crops damaged beyond recovery and some houses were irreparable. It will take some time before the baranggay can recover and for their situation to be back normal from the most terrible disaster that damaged their homes and livelihood.
After dispensing relief goods at Brgy. Manghulyawon, the team headed out to Brgy. Talayong to distribute more relief goods. Teams were met by Brgy. Capt. Teresita Gallosa at almost noon when they arrived in the area. It was pouring hard when they arrived at the site but the teams braved cold pouring rain to distribute goods to the residents. The volunteers were warmly received by the residents that were thankful for the help. After the rendezvous at Brgy. Talayong, the team headed out to Guihulngan City headquarters of the Philippine Red Cross to drop relief goods to help with the efforts since there are more inaccessible area there unreached of aid.
Mr. Ulysses Sannoy from the National Headquarters of the Philippine Red Cross Disaster Management Services met the team at the Red Cross Tent Grounds and received packs of relief goods, bottles of 1-liter and 5-gallon purified drinking water. The relief effort is the first of its kind as a joint effort of Merci and Negros Grace Pharmacy. Merci grows as a favorite breads, fastfood and pasalubong establishment in the island, the company gives back to the community. The inspiration meanwhile for Negros Grace Pharmacy is a legacy of Dr. Manuel Lo, the founder of the company, for forty years who has helped out for friends, customers and the needy.