We are proud to count among our Philippines customers companies that are working hard to help the country deal with the Covid-19 emergency. Numerous initiatives have been taken, for example, by San Miguel Corporation, Pilmico Foods Corporation and Universal Robina Corporation to produce and supply health devices and equipment, to distribute food goods to the poorest communities and to support small local businesses.
Not Just Cash Donations
Numerous initiatives are being undertaken by several biggest businesses in the Philippines to help the country get out of the Covid-19 emergency more quickly. From some of these we have direct news such as our customer San Miguel Corporation (SMC) who is activating every possible form of solidarity. The Company has carried out a mapping of all suppliers of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to verify their production and distribution capacity which, now, seems to be insufficient to guarantee protection for all doctors, nurses and other health care workers. In this regard, it launched an invitation to all national producers, large and small, to make their contribution by retooling, as far as possible, their own facilities to produce this equipment. Currently SMC has managed to purchase 50,000 sets of personal protective equipment, 10,000 of which from a local clothing manufacturer and others from China. For its part, SMC – which we remember to be the largest producer of food and drinks in the country – has made its plants available to run 24/7 and it started producing nutribun-inspired breads to be donated to poor communities.
The company also organized the free distribution of flour to local government units (LGUs) and bakeries struggling to stay afloat. Shown below the most important donations, updated at April 15, from the company: PHP 500 million worth of PPE; PHP 38.4 million worth of rice (approximately 1.1 million kilos); PHP 64.9 million worth of 70-percent ethyl alcohol (approximately 864,740 liters); PHP 227 million worth of canned goods, meat products, biscuits, bread, coffee, and milk etc. And SMC has committed itself to allocating resources in food and money as long as necessary. “What is more important are lives, not money. We can make money again, but life, one you lose it, it’s gone forever. So, between life and money, I’d choose life”, stated the SMC president and chief operating officer, Mr. Ramon S. Ang.
Pilmico Food Corporation, the Aboitiz Group food business unit, has donated sacks of flour for nearly 60,000 pieces of bread that are being distributed by Duterte’s Kitchen (a non-government organization) to the frontliners in hospitals, checkpoints, and underprivileged communities. Furthermore, Pilmico has donated the excess flour sacks to many cooperatives to produce cotton masks destined for ordinary citizens. “Our hardworking frontliners in the field deserve our confidence and support, and we in the Aboitiz Group are behind them for the long-term. With our donation of bread flour, we hope to be able to meet their immediate nutritional needs to ensure the continuation of their valuable service moving forward” stated Sabin M. Aboitiz, Aboitiz Group President and Chief Executive Officer. “Every day, as the uncertainty associated with the threat of COVID-19 grows, those of us in a position to help, have an obligation to do so… It is these moments when our mission to help advance the communities we operate in matters the most” also said Tristan Aboitiz, Pilmico President and CEO.
Another important Filipino customer, who is giving its huge contribution, is Universal Robina Corporation (URC), one of the largest branded consumer food and beverage product companies in the Philippines. The company through the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation have been distributing to several checkpoints and hospitals dealing with COVID-19 cases products such as Great Taste Coffee, Magic Crackers, Nissin Noodles and C2 ready-to-drink. Of great importance is an initiative created to compensate for the exhaustion of personal protective equipment. Worthy of remark the initiative created to compensate for the depletion of PPE. URC has donated Biaxially Oriented Polypropylene (BOPP) films to hospitals and to offices open to the public. In that sense patients and healthcare workers, but also banks workers and customers, can interact without incurring contagion risks. “We will do our best to help our communities during this difficult time, not only through keeping our products available for the people we serve, but also with initiatives from other parts of our value chain”, stated the URC president and CEO, Mr. Irwin Lee.
It is in these moments that companies show their love. We are constantly in touch with many of our customers and every day we receive news of virtuous gesture and initiatives that fill us with pride because it’s nice to find that solidarity is a common thread that binds most Ocrim customers. These are companies that know how to go beyond business, demonstrating a high human value that makes us proud to be their partner.