Motoring sector pulls together for flood victims


RISKING their own lives to save more, the members of the Rescue Boy team bring flood victims to safer ground.

TOYOTA Motor Philippines Corp. president Michinobu Sugata turns over a donation of P1 million to Santa Rosa Mayor Arlene Arcillas as Toyota Motor Philippines Foundation president Dr. David Go looks on.

As tropical storm “Maring” and the accompanying monsoon rains pummeled Metro Manila, Laguna, Bulacan, Pampanga, Cavite and the surrounding provinces, rescue squads and aid groups were preparing for the worst. These included not only government agencies, but private groups which are often the first to respond during disasters. Each of the private groups responded with their own unique set of skills and resources.

Entrepreneur and custom-car designer extraordinaire Atoy Llave sped into action, bearing not the latest drift machine but rather an emergency vehicle called “Rescue Boy.” Using his expertise in designing and manufacturing fiberglass parts, Llave developed a lightweight boat that mounts on top of a minitruck. The boat can be transported quickly and deployed where it is most needed. In the days following the storm, Rescue Boy made its way to such areas as Malolos, Bulacan, and San Mateo, Rizal. Rescuers were able to use the boat to bring people to safety.

THE RESCUE Boy team is all smiles after accomplishing another community service.

For the members of Land Rover Club of the Philippines (LRCP), the days following the storm presented an opportunity to extend a helping hand using the hardy off-road capabilities of their namesake vehicles. The club members actually practice fording deep floodwater and traversing muddy trails to reach communities that may otherwise be cut off from the rest of civilization. To help the Enderen College community drive, LRCP acted as first responders. From Aug. 19 to 21, they helped pack and distribute more than 8,700 meals and three truckloads of relief packages of water, food, shoes and clothing. They helped people in Taytay, Pasay, Marikina and Cainta.

Civic organizations and individuals also did their part to help flood victims. Entrepreneur Sam Liuson of Wheel Gallery joined the effort of Christ’s Commission Fellowship to gather and distribute relief goods. JP Tuason of Tuason Racing School and his family, including motioncars-Inquirer columnist Jeanette Ipapo-Tuason, assisted with the De La Salle-Zobel relief drive, packing several crates’ worth of goods in their reliable BMW X1 SUV.

FOR THE Land Rover Club, the spirit of “bayanihan” comes to fore in an emergency situation.

THE WHEEL Gallery team of Sam Liuson “at work” for affected families in San Juan.

Auto manufacturers were also quick to mobilize their resources for relief operations. Honda Cars Philippines donated P1 million to help assist in relief and recovery efforts. The funds will be used to provide relief goods to families affected by the storm in the National Capital Region and nearby provinces. Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) also contributed a total of P1 million to rehabilitation projects in Laguna province, where its factory and offices are located. Half of it, or P500,000, was given to the city government of Santa Rosa, and an equal amount to the provincial government of Laguna. The donation was made through TMP’s social and humanitarian arm Toyota Motor Philippines Foundation.

CATS Motors will donate to flood victims P10,000 per car sold in its upcoming three-day sale of preowned Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Mercedes-Benz vehicles.

Automotive companies will likewise extend discounts to assist customers whose vehicles were damaged by the week’s deluge. Subaru distributor Motor Image announced a 30-percent discount on labor and 20 percent on parts, as well as a 30-percent discount on detailing jobs. Toyota is providing discounts also for repairs of flooded Toyota vehicles: 40 percent on engine ECU, 20 percent on labor and selected flood-affected parts.

One of the bright spots of a disaster is how people reach out to help their neighbors in need. As these civic groups, entrepreneurs, car clubs and automotive companies show, the spirit of “bayanihan” and selfless love for others is alive and well.

RELIEF goods ready for delivery by the military and Land Rover Club.

THE BMW X1 answers the urgent call of public service.

LLAVE’S lightweight boat mounted on top of a minitruck put to use

THE CUSTOMIZED Mitsubishi Evo Pajero 4X4 of Sam Liuson makes its way on a flooded street, offering help to residents.

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