A fund-raising initiative led by top business groups in cooperation with the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF) and non-profit Caritas Manila pooled P1.62 billion in cash and in-kind donations for impoverished households in Greater Metro Manila who have been hit hard by the lockdown of Luzon.
Apart from helping families most vulnerable to the coronavirus crisis and consequent quarantine measures, PDRF and business partners also rolled out a separate initiative to raise over P100 million to procure much-needed medical equipment such as personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilators for hospitals across Metro Manila.
“We are absolutely grateful by the overwhelming response of the private conglomerates in extending their support to those who need help the most. This has enabled us to raise our initial target of helping one million to 1.5 million families and make a difference in the lives of some 7.5 million individual residents that have been economically displaced by the ongoing enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Greater Metro Manila,” Guillermo Luz., project spokesperson and chief resilience officer of PDRF, said in a press statement on Wednesday.
The first initiative, Project Ugnayan, aims to deliver P1,000 worth of grocery vouchers to poor families that have lost their livelihood because of the ECQ.
“In the last 10 days, our partner Caritas Manila was able to distribute grocery vouchers to 218,119 families in economically-vulnerable communities in Greater Metro Manila as of end-March, reaching some 1,090,595 individual residents. We hope to reach over 300,000 families in the coming days,” Luz added.
The network of Caritas Manila – the lead social service and development ministry of the Catholic Church in the Philippines – includes the Dioceses of Manila, Antipolo (Rizal), Cubao, Imus (Cavite), Caloocan, Malolos (Bulacan), Novaliches, Paranaque, Pasig, and San Pablo (Laguna) covering 628 parishes.
Aside from the project’s first two channels – Caritas’ Project Damayan and ABS-CBN’s Pantawid ng Pagibig, the project has tapped the Asian Development Bank and the government to expand its distribution reach.
The first wave of donor companies in the Ugnayan Project are (in alphabetical order): Aboitiz Group, ABSCBN/First Gen, Alliance Global Group & Megaworld, Ayala Corp./Zobel family, AY Foundation/RCBC, Bench/Suyen Corp, Century Pacific, Concepcion Industrial, DMCI Group of Companies, Gokongwei Group of Companies/Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc., ICTSI, Jollibee, Leonio Group, Mercury Drug Corp., Metrobank, Nutri-Asia, Oishi/Liwayway Marketing Group, PLDT/Metro Pacific Investments Corp., Puregold, Ramon S. Ang and family, SM/BDO, Sunlife of Canada, and Unilab.
Additional donors are: Alphaland Corp., Cebuana Lhullier, Chito Madrigal Foundation, Coca Cola, Glorious Commercial Exports Inc., Far Eastern University, First Life Financial Co., Focus Global, One Meralco Foundation, Penshoppe, PepsiCo/PepsiCo Foundation, Shang Properties Inc. and TAO Corp.
To help bring immediate aid to healthcare professionals and hospitals fighting to contain COVID-19 pandemic, PDRF, Zuellig Pharma, ABS-CBN, Metro Drug, and Go Negosyo launched a separate fund-raising called “Kaagapay: Protect our Healthcare Heroes project.”
“Franklin Roosevelt said that ‘courage is not the absence of fear but the assessment that there is something more important than fear.’ Our medical frontliners demonstrate this every day they are at work saving lives while putting their own at risk. Let us support these heroes in any way we can,” said PLDT/Smart Communications chair Manuel V. Pangilinan.
“Just as the business community has banded together to feed the economically-vulnerable, we are also working in concert to support our healthcare frontliners with PPEs, test kits, and medical supplies through this project,” said Ayala Corp. chair and CEO Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala.
Due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases, the Philippines is facing a medical equipment shortage, which puts the lives of front-liners at risk and interferes with the provision of care for those that are seriously ill. Kaagapay seeks to address this need by utilizing pooled procurement mechanisms and supply chain processes in providing at least 50 ventilators and 30,000 PPEs for the healthcare sector. The initiative, which began its initial run last March March, will include test kits and other life-saving medical equipment as well.
“Project Kaagapay is an opportunity for us as a nation to rally together and show our support to our healthcare heroes and patients in their fight against COVID-19. By pooling our donations as a whole community, we can provide timely access of critical equipment to those who need them most. Join us in this fight and together make a difference and save precious lives,” said Zuellig Pharma chair Raymund Azurin.
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