THE BREADWINNER | Mario F. Fetalino Jr.
One important thing this pandemic has taught us is the value of cooperation during a crisis.
Whether they call it ‘bayanihan’, teamwork or partnership, helping one another enabled Filipinos to survive the catastrophe this far.
Bringing the meaning of cooperation to a higher level is the business community that took part in our united stand against the deadly virus.
Leading the corporate armada in answering the government’s call for help is San Miguel Corporation which has been very charitable in many of its Covid 19 responses.
At the start of the outbreak when many workers lost their jobs due to closure of establishments, SMC preserved jobs in response to the government’s drive to protect employment.
Then, in the absence of sufficient testing facilities when Covid 19 was raging in the country last year, the conglomerate launched its sophisticated and world-class laboratory to determine the presence of the virus in people — whether they are employees of SMC or not.
Early this year, SMC announced it was spending P1 billion on a program that would vaccinate 70,000 direct and indirect employees nationwide. While waiting for its own supply of vaccines, the company wasted no time as it hired and deployed medical professionals to vaccinations sites of various LGUs to boost the government’s inoculation program.
With the government’s directive to prioritize vaccinating Category A4 workers, it has also partnered with LGUs in the meantime to enable the vaccination of its essential workers.
SMC also looks to establish 13 vaccination sites in Laguna, Cavite, Batangas, Albay, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Isabela, Bataan, Cebu, Iloilo, Bacolod, Davao, and Cagayan de Oro.
Meanwhile, SMC’s nationwide “Ligtas Lahat” vaccination drive for A4 workers now covers major cities outside Metro Manila, where the company has significant operations and employees, in support of government’s aggressive efforts to immunize essential workers and fast-track the country’s economic recovery.
From July 2 to July 8, the company, through partnerships with government agencies, local governments, and local medical facilities, had vaccinated close to 2,500 employees from outside the National Capital Region, bringing SMC’s total number of A4 workers vaccinated to 7,189.
This was after 500 San Miguel employees received their vaccines yesterday in coordination with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases and the City of San Fernando at the Green City Medical Center in San Fernando. After Pampanga, Laguna, and Davao City, SMC employees based in Bulacan and Cavite are scheduled to get their jabs next week.
“Considering that most of our major facilities in food and beverage, packaging, power, fuels, and infrastructure are located outside Metro Manila, getting as many of our employees in the regions vaccinated as possible is key to making our workplace much safer. We thank our partners in government and the private sector for their unwavering support,” Ang added.
“These numbers are not that big yet but once our vaccine supplies arrive we will be contributing more to our national goals. Even now, we’re moving fast and vaccinating as many of our employees as we can. This is the best way we can help make sure that our economic recovery will be more sustainable,” Ang added.
Despite Ang’s humble remarks, one can’t deny SMC’s already huge and still growing contribution to the country’s anti-Covid 19 campaign.
SMC’ s extended arms may be called cooperation but I think it’s benevolence.
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