Business tycoon Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, chair and chief executive officer of the country’s oldest business house Ayala Corp., expressed full support to the government’s decision to extend the lockdown of Luzon till end-April.
“We are fully supportive of the latest pronouncement by President Duterte on extending the enhanced community quarantine to April 30. This is consistent with the research data on past pandemics, evaluation of initiatives in other countries and various statistical analyses that we have been studying to help break the COVID-19 pandemic,” Zobel said.
While awaiting new guidelines from the national government on the extension, Zobel said the Ayala group would continue to take care of its employees as a priority and extend support as much as it could to our partners and communities through collaborative efforts.
In partnership with over 30 private conglomerates, the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation and Caritas Manila, Ayala is heavily involved in Project Ugnayan, an initiative that seeks to feed 1.5 million urban poor families or 7.5 million individual residents greatly affected by the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Greater Metro Manila.
“We are also completing the conversion of some 8,000 square meters of the World Trade Center in Pasay into a 500-bed quarantine facility for COVID-positive patients with the ICCP group. This will be turned over to the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines), as the medical operator next week,” Zobel said.
The group’s property arm Ayala Land was the first to announce rent-free period for malls that are not allowed to operate during the community quarantine.
For the first month of the ECQ, the group unveiled a P2.4 billion package for its employees and stakeholders, including P600 million in salary continuance for displaced workers from construction sites, shuttered malls and retail space of Makati Development Corp. and the Ayala Malls group.
Meanwhile, the Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP) also reiterated its commitment to do all necessary measures to support the government in fighting against COVID-19.
“We will endeavor to operate in the same manner as we did these past three weeks of the enhanced community quarantine and trust the industry’s resiliency and the cooperation of all sectors to overcome this health crisis,” the BAP said.
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