Major business groups raised over P1.5 billion to fund the distribution of grocery vouchers to 1 million urban poor families in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 crisis.
Business groups said in a statement posted online Project Ugnayan plans to distribute P1,000 gift certificates to more than 1 million households in the poor communities of the Greater Manila Area.
“Project Ugnayan is a collaboration with business groups in cooperation with the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation to raise funds in support of ongoing initiatives to help poor families that were economically displaced by the ongoing Enhanced Community Quarantine in Metro Manila,” the groups said.
“In compliance with social distancing guidelines, gift certificates delivered door-to-door will be redeemable for food items from accessible groceries and supermarkets,” they said.
The groups will initially engage with Caritas Manila’s Project Damayan and ABS CBN’s Pantawid ng Pag-ibig program for the door-to-door distribution of grocery vouchers redeemable for food items from accessible groceries and supermarkets. “Distribution is ongoing in four pilot areas and will scale-up in cooperation with project partners,” the groups said.
The business groups supporting Project Ugnayan include Aboitiz Group, ABS-CBN/Lopez Group, Alliance Global/Megaworld, AY Foundation and RCBC, Ayala Corp., Caritas Manila, Century Pacific, Concepcion Industrial Corp., DMCI, Gokongwei Group of Companies/Robinsons Retail Holdings, ICTSI, Jollibee, Leonio Group, Mercury Drug, Metrobank/GT Capital, Nutri-Asia, Oishi/Liwayway Marketing Group PDRF, PLDT/Metro Pacific Investments Corp., Puregold, San Miguel Corp. and SM/BDO, Sunlife of Canada and Suyen Corp.
The groups said talks with more companies that had signified their intention to contribute resources to expand the reach of the project were ongoing.
The International Medical Corps and Heart to Heart International, meanwhile, tapped FedEx Express to deliver 53 pallets of household essentials and medical items from Europe and the US to the Philippines to help COVID-19 patients and Taal victims. .
“We are grateful for the support of the business community and hope that this initiative will inspire more acts of kindness in this time of crisis. Now is the time for our communities to help as one,” said Fr. Anton Pascual, executive director of Caritas Manila.
“The national health crisis that confronts us is instructive of the need to adopt a holistic perspective that enjoins every sector of society to partake in mitigating the adverse effects of this health debacle. We believe that the current national emergency needs pro-active and harmonized intervention of all sectors of society. An inclusive approach that taps all available resources and talents,” Pascual said.