Interventions by the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. Humanitarian Disaster Preparedness and Response (RAFI HDPR) directed toward ameliorating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic for various beneficiaries have now reached a total value of P220M.

Among other interventions, RAFI was able to extend aid to over 442 passengers mostly returning residents of Negros Oriental, who were stranded in Samboan, Cebu, following the closure of the port there. The passengers were required to complete a 14-day quarantine in a public school before proceeding to Negros, and as part of its program of delivering relief to the LGUs, RAFI provided the Municipality of Samboan with food, sleeping mats, sanitation kits, medicines and other relief goods for their use.

 “Thank you RAFI for supporting the stranded passengers of Negros Oriental and Occidental who were stranded in Samboan.  The municipality is forever grateful for your generosity in providing relief goods, sanitation kits, bread, banig and medicine, you are truly a hero of philanthropy in these trying times.  They are now leaving for Negros after successful negotiations with the Provincial Government of Negros.  Thank you so much for being our champion of corporate social responsibility.”  shares Vicky Calderon from the Samboan LGU.

Meanwhile, RAFI Micro-finance Inc. (RMF) is supporting the seamstresses among its clients or “Nanays” by contracting these micro-business owners to produce about 4,000 sets of personal protective equipment (PPE), with over 900 already distributed to hospitals and organizations.

Nanays whose businesses involve distribution on supply of dried fish and vegetables were also contracted to provide some of the 53,000 food relief packs to be distributed to different LGUs throughout Cebu and Masbate. The banig or sleeping mats distributed to street-dwellers and the stranded passengers in Samboan also came from RMF clients. Some RMF clients will also receive RAFI-funded relief goods through their respective LGUs.

Such humanitarian interventions to LGUs, RMF clients, the homeless, and elderly and children centers account for P195M of RAFI’s P220M total contribution to date.

A total of P25M was allotted to interventions focused on measures for the treatment of COVID-19 cases, primarily a partnership with DOH and OPAV for the Bayanihan Center in Cebu and additional partnerships with LGUs and various barangays to help prepare isolation areas of the COVID-19 patients; prevention initiatives including provision of PPEs; the #HUNAW handwashing campaign; the Komunidad Kontra COVID communication campaign; and partnerships for provision of various medical medical supplies to DOH for its COVID-19 massive rapid testing in various LGUs.

Kind individuals and organizations who wish to join fight COVID-19, may visit and RAFI’s Facebook Page or e-mail at for more details.

Leading During Crisis

by Jasmynne Crispo and Elisabeth Baumgart

 The world is facing a global crisis.

As the COVID-19 pandemic steadily spreads across the globe, it continues to put nations to a slow standstill and people at risk. Global communities rush towards protecting its people and making sure that everyone is safe and taken care of.

Globally, organizations face disruptions. With countries implementing quarantine and stay-at-home orders, organizations have developed new modalities in effectively running their operations and ensuring the safety of their people.

Over the last few weeks, organizations have seen a flurry of changes. Schools have taken on online learning approaches, delivery services now offer contact-less deliveries, work-from-home work arrangements have been implemented as the whole world has been forced to adjust to a “new normal.”

With the global pandemic threatening how organizations operate, leaders are now challenged to find new ways of effectively managing their operations and putting the safety of their people first. The global crisis has demanded leaders to think on their feet and develop solutions to a landscape that changes daily. Effectively leading during a crisis has required leaders to quickly adapt and think fast through a global crisis that has affected millions.

On its website, the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) shares “Crisis Leadership” author Gene Klann’s 5 actions to help leaders in effectively preparing and responding to a crisis:

  1. Seek Credible Information.
  2. Use appropriate communication channels.
  3. Explain what your organization is doing about the crisis.
  4. Be present, visible, and available.
  5. Dedicate organizational resources for future crises.

CCL stresses that effective leaders “determine the most reliable, up-to-date information from trustworthy sources.” As the pandemic continues to affect millions of lives, trustworthy information is key for leaders in making sound decisions, action steps, and rolling out adaptive measures in times of a crisis. CCL highlights the importance of sharing information and building a culture of transparency in the organization.

CCL adds the importance of taking action and leadership over the problems the organization is facing during the crisis. Taking active steps in addressing the crisis involves making sure these benefit both the organization and its people. “As you make decisions and take action, communicate those actions truthfully and honestly,” shares CCL.

As the crisis continues to affect the organization and its people, leaders have to be accessible and present. Whether it be physically or virtually, leading through a crisis highlights the importance of building strong relationships and the assurance that leaders are easily accessible for updates and questions. As organizations battle through the crisis, leaders need to assure their people of their plans, measures, and recovery plans.

Despite the struggles of the global, we hear of shining examples of leading through a crisis. At the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (RAFI), the organization took active measures in responding to the crisis by taking care of both its people and the communities it serves.

“RAFI, based on the 3Cs of leading in times of crisis showed clarity by using credible and actionable information that helped clear the everyone’s assumption and fears, connected with all team members and ensured their wellbeing, and effectively collaborated local government units and organizations for implementation of relief operations,” said Leomil Urpiana, Training Team Lead for Corporate Professional Development Programs of the RAFI Center for Leaders. Through its efforts, RAFI has responded both to the needs of the communities it serves and its people.

At the RAFI Center for Leaders, the organization remains committed in helping effectively lead through a crisis. While the center continues to be on a course break, the RAFI Center for Leaders is currently  developing content to equip leaders and their organizations through these challenging times.

To kick-off its learning series for Leaders Leading during Crisis, the RAFI Center for Leaders will host a “Work-From-Home Hacks: Survival Tips & Best Practices in RAFI” series to help leaders and their organizations in building a stronger work-from-home culture. More information on the learning series may be found on the RAFI Center for Leaders Facebook Page.

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The RAFI Center for Leaders provides learning and development programs that equip leaders and enable communities through world-class, safe, powerful learning experiences. It has its own adventure education facility, the Kool Adventure Camp, the country’s first and fully-dedicated adventure education facility.

Touching people through charity and shaping the future with hope—an undertaking that the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (RAFI) has been carrying out especially in this trying time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 Through the activation of its Humanitarian Disaster Preparedness Response (HDPR) team, the foundation has helped communities across the city by distributing food, health kits, hygiene products, masks and non-contact digital infrared thermometer guns to partner organizations including Gasa sa Gugma, Ramon Durano Foundation Home for the Aged, Missionaries of the Poor (Little Lambs Center and Elderly Home), Missionaries of Charity, Albert Schweitzer Familienwork Foundation Philippines Inc, SOS Children’s Village, Agak Foundation, Abtanan sa Kaluoy, Sto. Niño Foundation and Little Bamboo Foundation.

  These efforts have reached over 1,285 children and elderly beneficiaries. In collaboration with World Vision, RAFI has also provided hygiene kits to 600 families. Social distancing and wearing of masks were strictly observed during the distribution of these relief goods.

To help lower the risk of our medical professionals and health workers handling COVID-19 patients, RAFI has provided personal protective equipment (PPE) sets and face shields, masks, alcohol and surgical gloves to hospitals including Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, Glory Reborn Organization, Cebu City Medical Center, Talisay District Hospital, Sacred Heart Hospital, Eversley Child Sanitarium, Cardinal Rosales Memorial Hospital, Sugod Public Hospital and Cebu City Emergency Medical Services. In partnership with All-Terrain Medical Relief Organization (AMRO), RAFI has provided 2,000 PPE sets to over 97 hospitals in Visayas and Mindanao as of March 31, 2020.

“Knowing that colleagues in and out of the country are sick or dead because of COVID-19, we just had to do something rather than hide away from it. This (intervention) should have affected our local curve as we protected the care givers early on in the said curve.” said Dr. Wyben Briones, founder of AMRO.

 RAFI will also be distributing 53,000 packs of relief goods to various local government units (LGUs) in the province starting next week.

 To amplify these efforts and reach additional communities, RAFI has allotted a budget of ₱58M for its HDPR initiatives. Kind individuals and organizations who wish to join the fight against COIVD-19 may email or visit or RAFI’s Facebook page for more details.

TOUCHING PEOPLE, SHAPING THE FUTURE. RAFI is a non-government non-profit organization, since 1966, whose mission is to elevate lives by championing best practices in community development in the Philippines. 

Following the declaration of Cebu City for its one-month state of enhanced community quarantine last March 28, the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (RAFI) continues to respond to the situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving a significant impact on the most vulnerable populations especially the ultra-poor and the homeless. RAFI, together with Sto. Niño de Cebu Augustinian Social Development Foundation (SNAF), has identified interventions to reach the homeless adults, street children, and families currently situated in Brgy. San Roque Gymnasium. This includes a 30-day response for meals to 200 street dwellers, hygiene kits, sleeping mats, drawing sets for children, and mobile shower areas through Sakyanan sa Kaluoy of the Archdiocese of Cebu. Food packs will also be distributed to uniformed men on duty around the checkpoint areas in the city. Meanwhile, RAFI will be providing the initial provision of 3,000 packs of relief goods to various local government units (LGUs) in the province and 1,125 packs will be distributed to families in Masbate, with the support of RAFI Micro-finance Inc’s (RMF) Nanays for the supply of dried fish and vegetables. Relief is expected for distribution starting next week with 53 more LGUs to also be extended aid. Last week, RAFI commenced the first batch of intervention and is now on its second batch distribution of 7,200 personal protective equipment (PPE) and face shield to healthcare workers (includes 4,500 sets produced by RMF Nanays); 9,900 pieces of surgical masks; 204 gallons and 1,200 bottles of alcohol; 2,500 pieces of N95 masks; 500 pieces of surgical gloves; and 800 pieces of protective goggles. Also, together with Department of Health (DOH) and Bayanihan Cebu, RAFI is set to open its first infirmary or field center for mild to moderate COVID cases in Cebu, while the provision of accommodation, meals, and training facility for healthcare workers will be established at the Bayanihan Cebu SHS Field Center. RAFI continues to expand these interventions to reach more communities with the activation of its Humanitarian Disaster Preparedness and Response (HDPR) team and the RAFI COVID-19 Donation Hub. Kind individuals and organizations who wish to join fight COVID-19, may visit and RAFI’s Facebook Page or e-mail at for more details.