Free meals, stores on wheels, load cards where most-needed

Free meals, stores on wheels, load cards where most-needed

By: Malaya Business Insight | April 3, 2020

INITIATIVES to mitigate the effects of the pandemic now include– aside from critical medical supplies and equipment– free meals, bus services for health workers, stores on wheels, smartphones for quarantine facilities, and load cards for AFP personnel on the front lines. Barangays are also benefiting from disinfection drives.

10,000 meals, and more

The Lucio Tan Group Inc. and its affiliates recently partnered with local Filipino fastfood chain Binalot to cater meals to doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers.

The company has donated a total of 10,000 meal packages so far to the National Children’s Hospital, Rizal Medical Center, Quirino Memorial Medical Center, Rosario Maclang Bautista General Hospital, Philippine Heart Center, Novaliches District Hospital, and the Quezon City General Hospital.

Michael Tan, president of the Lucio Tan Group of Companies, said the company decided to directly support the doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, hospital administration staff and even the security guards of different hospitals around Metro Manila.

The Group has provided advanced life cardiac support system equipped ambulances, radiology equipment, respiratory machines, protective suits, and other personal protective equipment (PPE) such as N95 masks, protective goggles, shoe covers, boots, disposable gloves, and the like.

Medical supplies

SM Foundation said the second batch of medical supplies and other medical equipment has arrived in Manila on April 1 to be distributed to hospitals nationwide.

The packages to be delivered will include N95 masks, surgical masks, alcohol, goggles, medical gloves, personal protective equipment, raincoats, shoe covers and hygiene kits.

SM distributed the first tranche of donations last week to support several hospitals’ medical workers and front liners.

The newly arrived shipment forms part of the P170 million allocation previously pledged by SM.

Operations continue

Security Bank said it has activated enhanced measures to ensure that most branches will be open. Vehicles have been deployed to ferry employees from selected points to their branches of service.

The bank has also waived all ATM transaction fees until further notice and extended due dates for all loan and credit card products without any interest or penalty.

Security Bank also recently partnered with 88Tuition, a Singapore-based learning company, to provide parents and guardians free access to quality video-based education materials for kids. Free access to learning courses is available for primary and secondary students until June 30, 2020.

ECQ Facility

MFT Group, together with its healthcare arm—Mondial Medical Technologies—will help build Emergency Quarantine Facilities (EQFacility) to be donated to the Philippine Heart Center in Quezon City, the Fernando Air Base Hospital in Lipa, Batangas and Ospital ng Maynila.

The EQFacilities, designed by WTA Architecture and Design Studio, can be constructed in five to 7 days. The design, which can be replicated by others free of charge, is a horizontal structure that makes use of protective skin of transparent, translucent, and opaque plastic enveloping each wooden structure.

Stores on wheels

San Miguel Corp. has expanded its Manukang Bayan on Wheels program in strategic and accessible locations around the country.

Initially, reefer vans selling poultry and other refrigerated meats are located in Katipunan, Quezon City (Petron La Vista Katipunan corner Mangyan road); Commonwealth (Petron Commonwealth avenue corner Atherton Fairview,); Litex (Petron Litex road, Violago Parkwood, Payatas); JP Rizal Marikina (Petron JP Rizal corner Spain streets, Concepcion Uno); Santolan, Pasig (Petron Dona Aurora Village, Marcos Highway, Santolan, Pasig City); Boni Serrano (Petron Katipunan Avenue corner Boni Serrano, QC); and C5 Diego Silang (Petron C5 Diego Silang, Ususan, Taguig City).

For most of last week, the company had mobilized 1,129 trucks to bring food directly to consumers in various barangays nationwide. It has served a total of 144 metric tons of meat products to date. This is on top of ongoing efforts to offer food to consumers straight from its facilities all over the country.

Team up

The Aboitiz Group, via its corporate social responsibility arm Aboitiz Foundation, and on-demand logistics company Lalamove are working together to quickly and safely deliver medical supplies to different areas around Metro Manila.

The donations include nitrile gloves, goggles, personal protective equipment gowns, 70% alcohol, and surgical masks.

As of March 31, the Aboitiz Group has allotted more than P 24.8 million in donations for its COVID-19 assistance to different hospitals and communities nationwide. This is on top of the P100 million donation for the benefit of urban poor communities in Greater Manila through Project Ugnayan led by the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation.

Comms support

PLDT wireless arm Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) has extended communications assistance to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine General Hospital (PGH).

Smart is donating free Smart and TNT SIMs and load cards to more than 1,000 AFP personnel deployed across Metro Manila.

Smart has also donated smartphones and load to support the PGH’s newly opened COVID-19 ward, as well as to the Northern Mindanao Medical Center, the designated COVID-19 hospital in Cagayan de Oro.

Previously, PLDT-Smart has also supported the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the AFP with free Wi-Fi. In partnership with PLDT Enterprise, Smart supplied LTE pocket Wifi units for buses deployed by DOTr, while Wi-Fi kits were also supplied to the AFP to augment the unit’s command and control requirements.

Smart has also donated e-load to the Department of Health (DOH) personnel, as well as smartphones with Smart SIMs and one month free unlimited calls and text plus data allocation for the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM)’s emergency communication hub.

PLDT, Smart and ePLDT also developed COVID-19 emergency hotlines in partnership with the DOH and the Department of Interior and Local Government for Filipinos seeking consultation and forwarding concerns about the disease. The 24-hour help line may be reached at 02-894-COVID (02-894-26843) and 1555.

Free bus service

The Department of Transportation in partnership with Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Inc. has rolled out a fuel subsidy program to sustain the continuous operation of free bus service for health workers for the duration of enhanced community quarantine.

For the initial implementation of the fuel subsidy program, 60 private bus companies will each be given an allocation of 50 liters of fuel daily.

Seven Phoenix gas stations have already identified where the participating private bus units can avail of the subsidy. These are located in Timog Quezon City, Bahay Toro in Quezon City; Mall of Asia in Pasay City; NAIA road in Parañaque City; Malanday 1 in Valenzuela; Potrero in Malabon; and Filinvest-Northgate in Alabang, Muntinlupa.

Barangay disinfection

In keeping its nearby communities safe and disinfected, the Sandari Batulao team, in support of the initiatives of Brgy. Kaylaway and Brgy. Aga, conducted chlorine spraying and distribution activities from March 17 to 20 and on March 23 as well. Brgy. Captains Ruel Fenol (Kaylaway), and Norbetro Apolonia (Aga), lead the team that went around the different neighborhood. Sandari Batulao provided the sanitation materials and distribution vehicle for the said project. For inquiries on Sandari Batulao, please send your emails at

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