26 March 2012

Philip Morris starts medicine supply program for Ayta tribe in Subic Freeport

In a gesture of its commitment to support the community service program of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), Philip Morris International (PMI) provided the indigenous Ayta tribe in the Subic Bay Freeport with medicines worth P125,000, the first batch to be given under the firm’s medicine donation program.

Philip Morris, which operates its regional leaf tobacco warehouse in this free port, turned over several boxes of various medicines and vitamins to the Aytas of Pastolan Village here through Atty. Wilma Eisma, manager of local regulatory affairs and community relations of Philip Morris Phils. Manufacturing Inc. (PMPMI).

The donation was received on behalf of the tribesmen by Armina Belleza-Llamas, manager of the SBMA Public Relations Department.

Belleza said that Philip Morris also committed to replenish the medicine supply on a quarterly basis for the next five years.

SBMA Chairman Roberto Garcia said that the PMI medicine donation clearly manifests the continuing commitment of the company, in partnership with local delivery service provider Air21, to help the indigenous people living inside the Freeport area.

“Philip Morris, along with the Air21, has always been a partner of the SBMA in its many community service projects that seek to expand health and educational assistance to the communities around the Subic Bay Freeport,” Garcia noted.

Eisma said meanwhile that the donation “is only part of our commitment to the community in support of the health and wellness program of the SBMA for the Ayta tribal community in Pastolan, especially the children.”

In August 2011, some 200 children and 100 mothers in the Pastolan Ayta village received free medical check-up and medicines during the launching of a medical clinic program initiated by the SBMA, Philip Morris Philippines Inc., Air21 and Jaycees International.

In January 2008, PMPI also donated textbooks and computer sets to public schools in Pastolan, as well as barangay Kalalake in Olongapo City in partnership with the Knowledge Channel .

PMI has established a multi-million dollar PMPMI regional warehouse in the Subic Bay Freeport in an area which is recognized as a part of the Ayta ancestral domain. The warehouse stores 25 million tons of the best-quality tobacco leaf harvests for distribution to other Asian manufacturing facilities in Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia, among others. (RAV/MPD-SBMA)