What Are Business Giants Doing During the COVID-19 Crisis?

From distributing medical supplies to providing financial assistance to its employees, here’s how business conglomerates in the country are responding to the alarming pandemic.

There is no doubt every industry is heavily affected by the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak. While the Philippine government has implemented measures like enhanced community quarantine, which entails the suspension of classes and mass public transportation, everyone knows there are still other aspects to address. The workforce remains largely affected by the pandemic and these government-mandated actions. With the temporary closing of businesses, many suffer from having a no-work-no-pay type of employment. So, it has become essential for private companies to properly respond to the situation. Apart from protecting the welfare of its employees, some, especially business giants, are taking social responsibility seriously and reaching out to public hospitals and communities as well.

In this time of crisis, the leaders of these conglomerates recognize the need to act, and their benevolence gives us a ray of hope. These corporations have begun their assistance, and many continue to get inspired to do similar. We are all involved in this crisis, after all, and there remains the call to work through this together.

Scroll below to see the ongoing list of how conglomerates are responding during the Coronavirus outbreak.

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Ramon Ang. (Photo from Phil News)

San Miguel Corporation

Apart from manufacturing disinfectants like 70% ethyl alcohol, the multinational conglomerate commits to provide P500 million-worth of protective equipment. These, together with ethyl alcohol, will be distributed to public hospitals and communities. They are currently using their Ginebra San Miguel plant to produce this alcohol in 20 liter-containers that can reach up to 1000-liter tanks. While medical experts still recommend frequent handwashing with soap and running water, rubbing alcohol can act as a substitute and can be used for disinfecting homes.

Winn Everhart. (Photo from Campaign Brief Asia)

Coca-Cola Philippines

Apart from putting on hold the commercial advertising of Coca-Cola in the country, they will donate the entire advertising budget to help out in the COVID-19 crisis. The P150 million budget is set to provide hydration needs and protective equipment to frontline workers like those in TOWNS Foundation and UP Medical Foundation. Families who are struggling with grocery items will be provided with food packs. Coca-Cola will also support distribution partners like sari-sari stores through expanded credit terms.

Advertising Manager Macky Tung, Vice President Mikko Tung, and Vice-President of Sales Mark Tung. (Photo by Ed Simon of Studio 100)

Ligo Sardines

The giant food corporation pledges to donate its entire advertising budget for the year. They are reaching out to non-government organizations (NGOs), independent groups, and charities that have been especially affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Apart from the funds, they will be donating their classic canned goods to families and offer protective equipment like masks to frontline health workers. The group will coordinate with local government units, ensuring proper distribution of the supplies.

Maridol Ylanan, CEO of Globe Telehealth, Inc. and Ernest Cu, President and CEO of Globe Telecommunications. (Photos from Geni and Business World)

Globe Telecommunications

The telemedicine hotline of Globe responds to the urgent need for medical assistance in the country. KonsultaMD is offering free 30-day access for medical advice. The public can contact KonsultaMD until April 13, without registering for a membership. Through the 24/7 health hotline service, licensed Filipino doctors will provide a medical assessment. This includes healthcare and medication over the phone. This timely response of the Globe certainly helps the government and health sector’s efforts to manage the pandemic. With telemedicine, hospitals can minimize the surge of patients visiting and exposing themselves to further risk of contracting the virus.

You may contact KonsultaMD at 78880 through any mobile network or (02) 779-88000.

Lucio Tan Sr. (Photo from Travel Daily Media)

LT Group

The LT Group of Lucio Tan donated thousands of necessities and protective equipment for frontline workers of the COVID-19 crisis. This includes 19,000 liters of ethyl alcohol, 200,000 liters of drinking water, and 2,000 N95 masks. To distribute these, they coordinated with the Department of Health and GMA Network’s Kapuso Foundation.

Kevin Tan. (Photo from Kevin’s Instagram)

Alliance Global Group Inc.

AGI and Megaworld Corp. released a statement pledging to donate about a million liters of disinfectant alcohol to the national government. They are denaturing 850,000 of these 96% ethyl alcohol for hospitals, Philippine National Police (PNP), and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). The company’s priority in reaching out is to help those in the frontlines fighting against the virus outbreak.

Dennis Uy. (Photo from Forbes)

Udenna Group

To respond to the concern of Batangas farmers not able to distribute their products, the Udenna Foundation provides free logistics connecting the farmers with Malabon local government units. They reached out to AGREA and provided free trucking services carrying 6,000 kg of food packs for families. The group also maintains the salary, benefits, and has given half of the 13th month-pay of its employees across their companies. To further respond to the crisis, the group also coordinates with MyongJi hospital to donate 1,000 COVID-19 diagnostic test kits to the Department of Health. Wendy’s and Conti’s Bake Shop have each sent over 200 packed food to community and health workers, as well as PNP officers.

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Frederick Ong. (Photo from Pepsi Philippines)

Pepsi Cola Products Philippines

One of the largest beverage companies in the country donated over 100 drinks across regions in Luzon. This includes their brands Gatorade, Pepsi, and Premier Water. About 1,000 cases of drinks are also given to checkpoints in Zamboanga, Cagayan de Oro, and Bacolod.

Masatsugu Asakawa. (Photo from ADB)

Asian Development Bank

ADB continues to give financial support to the Philippine government. It has given a $3 million grant to help in purchasing and distributing medical equipment, supplies, and health services. To ensure the timely distribution, ADB will closely work with the Asia-Pacific Disaster Response Fund, World Health Organization (WHO), Department of Health (DOH), and other agencies of the United Nations. This grant is only an addition to ADB’s previous COVID-19 response of donating $200 million to manufacture and deliver medicines.

Arthur Ty. (Photo from Manila Bulletin)

Metrobank and GT Holdings Group

The banking firm pledges to donate P200 million to fund the production of COVID-19 test kits. The University of the Philippines-National Institute of Health will be the recipient of these funds, together with the distribution of PPEs for frontline health workers.

Ernesto Tanmantiong. (Global Restaurant Leadership Conference)

Jollibee Foods Corp.

To support frontline workers and checkpoint personnel, JFC will donate P100 million-worth of food products. This includes food from its brands like Panda Express, Burger King, Jollibee, and Red Ribbon. Through the FoodAID program, Jollibee Group’s foundation, they are cooperating with the distribution of these essentials with public and private organizations.

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Lance Gokongwei. (Photo from JG Summit Holdings)

Gokongwei Group

The philanthropic arm of the Gokongwei Group donates P100 million of funds to support frontline health workers in national and local hospitals. This includes the provision of protective personal equipment (PPE) and surgical masks for priority recipients like the UP Medical Foundation and the Philippine General Hospital. Along with this effort, Universal Robina Corporation (URC) will donate food products like coffee, instant noodles, crackers, and mineral water to workers in different hospitals. As for its real estate arm, Robinson Land Corp. (RLC) will purchase and distribute more test kits, waive rental charges to its tenant establishments, and provide emergency financial assistance to its employees.

Manny V. Pangilinan. (Photo from Smart Communications)

Metro Pacific Investments Corp.

In his social media posts, MPIC President Manny V. Pangilinan announced the continued salary, benefits, non-usage of leaves, and advanced full payment of the 13th month-pay of employees across all companies. They have also ordered around 500,000 vitamin tablets for field personnel and employees who are now working from home. To continue the conglomerate’s service to its clients, they have imposed a 30-day payment extension to PLDT Home, PLDT Enterprise, Smart and Sun Postpaid customers. MPIC has also helped in supplying the lack of alcohol in state-owned hospitals with over 4000 liters coming from Roxas Holdings.

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Fernando Zobel de Ayala and Jaime Zobel de Ayala. (Photos from Business World and Strategy & Business)

Ayala Malls

Jaime Zobel de Ayala and Fernando Zobel de Ayala announced a P2.4 billion-worth of COVID-19 response package for their employees. This includes P600 million for the salary of their employees working in construction sites and retail spaces of the Ayala Malls group and Makati Development Corp. There will also be a rent-free period and a P1.4 billion-worth rent condonation. This is to financially support both the merchants of malls with the temporarily-suspended business until April 14 and its respective employees. Of course, the total package also includes bonuses, leave conversions, and delayed employee loan payments for the entire Ayala Group workforce. This includes a P270 million assistance for retail clerks of Globe Telecommunications.

Republic Cement plant under Aboitiz Group. (Photo from Aboitiz Eyes)

Aboitiz Group

President and CEO Sabin Aboitiz declared a P73 billion in its capital expenditures budget this year. The increase in its CAPEX aims to help stabilize the Philippine economy amid uncertainty and disruptions of the COVID-19 crisis. Half of the budget or about P41 billion will go to Aboitiz Power Corp. to complete power plant units while P16 billion is reserved for Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc. This is for their water estate constructions like Apo Agua set to supply 300 million liters of water to Davao City. As for medical supplies, the Aboitiz Foundation will provide PPEs, masks, and sanitizers to health workers like those in Philippine General Hospital (PGH).

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SM Foundation at the 55th Anvil Awards. (Photo from SM Foundation)

SM Group

To help government hospitals and its frontline workers, the SM group pledged to donate P100 million. This will fund the needs of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), UP Medical Foundation, Inc., and the Research Institute for Tropical Management. The financial allocation addresses the lack of PPEs like gloves, masks, visors, and gowns for healthcare workers and medical researchers. Furthermore, SM Group will distribute over 20,000 free COVID-19 tests to Manila Healthtek, Inc., responding to the urgency of having more people tested.

Filinvest Development Corp.

To increase the supply of COVID-19 test kits and protective personal equipment (PPEs), FDC commits to donating P100 million. The Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM) will be the recipient of this generous donation. The conglomerate has also waived rental fees for Filinvest Lifestyle malls, following the temporary suspension of business operations in Luzon. To help borrowers, EastWest Bank and Filinvest Land Inc., announced a 30-day extension on payment of dues. This includes customers for mortgage, personal, auto, and emerging enterprise loans.

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