SM Investments vice chair Teresita Sy-Coson (second from left) and Henry Sy Jr. (third from left)

The SM group has scaled up its coronavirus (COVID-19) assistance program as total donations reached P170 million so far, exceeding its initial budget of P100 million.

The donation through SM Foundation seeks to boost medical front-liners’ arsenal of personal protective equipment (PPEs) – full protective suits (including for ICU use), face shields, gloves, N95 masks, surgical masks, goggles, and raincoats as requested by some hospitals as back-up alternatives.

In a statement on Tuesday, SM said the increased spending seeks to ensure that healthcare workers in hospitals nationwide would be well-armored while COVID-19 testing would be made more widely available.

To expand the country’s testing capability, SM is supporting and donating the local Manila Healthtek test kits developed by the the UP-National Institutes of Health team, upon Department of Health approval. It is also providing the testing needs of RITM, as well as donating Food and Drug Administration-approved testing kits sourced from Korea.

SM has also been providing ICU-grade ventilators to help hospitals manage patients with severe cases. 

Among the hospitals that have received PPE donations from SM as of March 27 are designated COVID hospitals University of the Philippines PGH, Lung Center of the Philippines and Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital.

The group has also other major government hospitals, such as Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), National Kidney and Transplant Institute, San Lazaro Hospital, East Avenue Medical Center, Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center, Philippine Heart Center, National Children’s Hospital and Rizal Medical Center.

Among other hospitals supported by SM are Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital, Chinese General Hospital, University of the East Ramon Magsaysay (UERM) Memorial Medical Center, Manila Doctors Hospital, University of Sto. Tomas Hospital, Makati Medical Center, The Medical City, Ospital ng Muntinlupa.
 
Several shipments of PPEs are also on their way to provincial hospitals nationwide, including Rizal, Pampanga, Bataan, Quezon, Pangasinan, Catanduanes,  Cebu, Iloilo, Samar, Tacloban, Surigao del Sur, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, Marawi and Zamboanga, SM said.
 
“SM has committed to be of service to the Filipino public, its hospitals, and its government, in ensuring that we all contain and overcome the COVID-19 crisis together,” the group said.

Earlier, the group’s property development arm SM Prime agreed to waive shopping mall rental fees in all of its 74 shopping malls nationwide.

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