By Rommel Bong R. Fuertes Jr.
With millions of Filipinos needing help at such a difficult time, private sectors and corporations have ramped up their roles as companies that take pride in their Corporate Social Responsibilities.
CSR efforts aren’t focused on one certain problem, though, as corporations lend help on various fronts.
San Miguel Corporation, for instance, is more than just a manufacturer of liquor, coffee and food as its initiatives are laid out on its “World We Want” website that shows their efforts in helping citizens in need.
One of the most recent CSR works SMC did was when lockdowns resurfaced in the Metro in the face of the Delta variant surge.
SMC launched “Project Pearls”, which provided the poor with much needed food. In cooperation with the NGO One Tondo, it sent out food for the poorest of the poor.
“We will operate our food facilities 24/7. This isn’t about making profits. We have a responsibility to make sure that food is made available to as many people as possible,” SMC president Ramon S. Ang said.
Meanwhile, SM Foundation has helped health care workers tremendously over the past year, as well.
With over P400 million in donations, SM provided workers with Personal Protective Equipment but the most notable one was its purchase of 25 ICU-grade ventilators to hospitals treating more COVID-19 patients.
Other than these equipment, SM has also established Emergency Quarantine Facilities to ease the burden of overflowing patients in Metro hospitals.
These EQFs are located at cities with high numbers of COVID-19 cases, particularly in Camp Crame, Quezon, Villamor Air Base, Pasay and at the AFP Health Service Command in V. Luna.
Universal Robina, a leading food production corporation, has also helped HCWs since April of last year.
Other than food donations with the help of the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation, URC also helped hospitals in need of vital medical tools by donating to several hospitals a number of BOPP films.
“The BOPP films serve as a barrier between the healthcare worker and the PUI/COVID-19 positive patient. This is set up at the triage, where the first patient encounter happens,” Dr. Marieta Julia Germar of the UP-PGH Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology explained.
Last September 14, PLDT extended its helping hand to Cebuano frontliners, with smartphones being donated to LGUs and their vaccination operations center. PPEs were also given including surgical masks, medical gowns and vitamins.
Jimmy Chua, the Head and Vice President of PLDT’S Customer Relationship Management, explained their help to the city of Cebu the day after donations were made.
“As we all know, this COVID crisis is far from over. In fact, we are experiencing another surge in cases. We at PLDT and Smart are helping all the agencies tasked to roll out the vaccinations as much as we can.”
Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation (RTNMC), on the other hand, has also helped several COVID-19 response efforts.
Their assistance, made in collaboration with Coral Bay Nickel Corporation, donated over six million pesos in relief assistance to families struck by the pandemic. The deal was made in July of last year.
It may still be a long way to go before we reach herd immunity, or for the global pandemic to be put to rest, but these private sectors and their CSR efforts are of big help in getting our sense of normalcy back in the country.