AC Motors, formerly known as AC Automotive, the automotive and motorcycle arm of AC Industrials, in cooperation and coordination with Ayala Foundation Inc., donated 10 brand-new Kia 2500 Kargo and Karga utility vans to the provincial government of Batangas on January 20, 2020. Volunteer associates of AC Motors and motoring media also distributed relief goods to six evacuation centers in the province.
The relief operation was AC Motors’ response to the widespread effect of Taal volcano’s sudden eruption on January 12. The subsequent ashfall, earthquakes, and the continuing threat of further explosive eruptions led to the mandatory evacuation of nearly half a million people residing within the 14-km danger zone. Most of the evacuees are now in various centers in Batangas, Cavite, and Laguna provinces.
Thirty members of the motoring media drove the 10 Kia 2500 and 20 other vehicles (from AC Motors’ companies Volkswagen, Maxus, Kia, Honda, and Isuzu) that were laden with relief goods. From the Honda dealership in Makati, the convoy proceeded to the Batangas Provincial Capitol, where the group met their local coordinators and guides to the six evacuation centers in the towns of Alitagtag, Santa Teresita, San Jose, San Luis, Padre Garcia, and Mataas na Kahoy.
At the evacuation centers, the volunteers handed out hygiene kits, towels and blankets, sleeping mats, mattresses, and clothing to at least 1,200 families from different disaster-affected areas. Three other areas — Barangay Madalunot in Calaca, Barangay Caloocan in Balayan, and Barangay Bagong Pook in Rosario – were also identified and would be given relief goods, via the office of the Batangas Provincial Governor Hermilando Mandanas.
After the distribution, the volunteers regrouped at the Batangas Provincial Capitol, where the 10 Kia Karga K2500 units were turned over. The donated vehicles are currently being used to carry relief items from the Provincial Evacuation Center to hard-to-reach areas in the province. These vehicles will later be assigned to affected municipalities that need them most.
Arthur Tan, Group President and CEO of AC Industrials, said during the pre-departure briefing, “The project is a collective effort from everybody, from Ayala Corporation to AC Motors to Ayala Foundation to the motoring media. Special thanks to Kia Philippines for donating 10 brand new Kia K2500 light trucks which can be used extensively for relief operations in Batangas.”
He added, “Moving forward, I hope this is the beginning of how we have to work together in order to help our country in being able to be prepared for natural disasters.”
Ayala Foundation President Ruel Maranan, who addressed the local groups at the provincial capitol, said, “The relief operations are just the beginning. We have a long way to go in the recovery and rehabilitation of the affected areas. Keep the heart. Keep the faith. We are here to help you all the way, as long as you need us.“