Caritas distributes grocery vouchers

Over 7.6 million of the poorest Filipinos in Greater Metro Manila have received grocery support from “Project Ugnayan,” the single largest private sector-led fund-raising collaboration to aid households that were displaced by the ongoing enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) of Luzon.

Led by top business groups in cooperation with the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF), Project Ugnayan has reached 5.44 million of the poorest families through the grassroots-based network of Caritas Manila, a church-based non-profit organization that serves as the lead social service and development ministry of the Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Manila through its “spiritual frontliners” of priests, nuns and lay volunteers.

Project Ugnayan has distributed a total of about P1.37 million worth of gift certificates to these 5.44 million families for a total of 7.6 million people.

“The true spirit of Easter is about hope and has special significance in these difficult times. We thank all the generous benefactors of Project Ugnayan for this opportunity to fulfill a great mission of compassion for our vulnerable brothers and sisters. Your gifts have warmed their hearts and uplifted their spirits,” said Father Anton Pascual, Caritas Manila executive director.

“By coming together in a Bayanihan spirit so quickly, we were able to create a program of this scale and importance. This unprecedented assembly of so many of the country’s corporations and business families coming to the assistance of the most vulnerable in our society illustrates and speaks of the heart and generosity of the business community,” said Project Ugnayan lead convenor Fernando Zobel de Ayala.

Zobel thanked the 10 Bishops of the Dioceses in Metro Manila, Rizal, Bulacan, Cavite, and Laguna, as well as Caritas Manila, and the network of parish priests, volunteers, and barangay captains who distributed the gift certificates door-to-door in the lowest-income communities of Greater Metro Manila “under very difficult conditions and over very long hours each day.”

“We are grateful for this opportunity to be part of this business community effort to help people in a time of crisis. This is a movement we should nurture as we prepare to let people return to work and to re-start our economy in the post-quarantine period,” said PDRF co-chair Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala.

“The unity in diversity demonstrated by Project Ugnayan reveals the private sector’s serious commitment to help our country recover from the lost economic momentum because of the pandemic. We are proud to be part of this extraordinary collaboration of industries which will prove most valuable in getting the economy back on track,” PDRF co-chair Manuel V. Pangilinan said.

The donors of Project Ugnayan are (in alphabetical order): Aboitiz Group, ABSCBN/First Gen, Alaska Milk Corp., Alliance Global Group & Megaworld, AY Foundation & RCBC, Ayala Corp., Bench/Suyen Corp, Bonifacio West Devt Corp. Carmelray Group, Cathay Land, Inc, Cebuana Lhullier, Century Pacific, Coca Cola Philippines, Concepcion Industrial, Consuelo “Chito” Madrigal Foundation Inc., Daiichi Properties, DMCI Group of Companies, Dowell Container and Packaging Corp., Far Eastern University, First Life Financial Co., Focus Global, Inc., Global Food Group, Glorious Commercial Exports, Inc., Gokongwei Group of Companies/Robinsons Retail Holdings, ICTSI, JAKA Group 1, Jollibee, J.P. Morgan, Kawit Prime Holdings, Inc., Leonio Group, Mercury Drug Corp., Metrobank, Mumuso Group, National Grid Corp of the Philippines, New World Hotel, Nutri-Asia, Oishi/Liwayway Marketing Group, One Meralco Foundation, Penshoppe, People R People, PepsiCo/PepsiCo Foundation, Philippine Racing Club, Inc, PLDT/Metro Pacific Investments Corp., Puregold, Ramon S. Ang & Family, RRK/Lee Jeans, Shang Properties Inc., SM/BDO, Sta. Elena Construction, Sugar Junction Inc.. Sunlife of Canada, Super Prime Holdings, Inc, Supreme Steel Pipe Corp, The Alpha Suites Inc., Unilab, and Wilcon Depot.

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