No more rubbing alcohol? Ramon Ang finds a solution and it’s for free
MANILA, Philippines – Amid the shortage in alcohol sanitizers, the head of San Miguel Corp. said on Monday that the country’s largest conglomerate is looking to produce 70 percent ethyl alcohol at one of its facilities and distribute the product for free to communities through their local government units.
Aside from ethyl alcohol, Ramon Ang said the company is also donating to local government units its own brand of disinfectant powder, which is safe for humans and can easily be deployed as extra protection against the virus.
“While hand-washing is still the best defense, hand sanitizers with 70 percent alcohol can be your next best option where soap and water are not available,” Ang said.
“We have the means and capability to produce this, and make it available for free to LGUs and public hospitals. We are working on getting the necessary clearances from the relevant government agencies, to produce this for public use. We ask that they help expedite clearances.
Ang added that SMC subsidiary Ginebra San Miguel Inc. had already begun initial production of the alcohol over the weekend, for use in its facilities and for thousands of employees, initially.
On worries about the supply chain disruptions caused by the COVID-19 crisis, Ang said that the company can produce as much as half a year’s supply of food products with its existing inventory of raw materials.
In a mobile message to the Inquirer, Ang reassured the public that its production facilities will run around the clock so that grocery shelves will remain well-stocked with its food products.
“Our raw materials are good for six months’ worth of food manufacturing,” he said, stressing that the conglomerate’s supply chain is stable and that it has more than enough inventory to satisfy Filipinos’ demand nationwide.
“As far as the food supply is concerned, we have the capability to produce enough for everybody and deliver to supermarkets,” he said, adding the company is already working on distributing food donations to poor communities where daily paid workers have been especially hard hit.
San Miguel will also supply food to public hospitals and select government centers.
Despite widespread implementation of flexible work-from-home schemes — which San Miguel has already adopted for its offices throughout Metro Manila — Ang assured the public that the company will maintain operations of its food manufacturing facilities, with heightened precautionary measures, to ensure a continuous supply.
“We will operate our food facilities 24/7,” he said. “This isn’t about making profits. We have a responsibility to make sure that food is made available to as many people as possible.”
Ang added that he was given assurance that the government, through its Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Department of the Interior and Local Government, will lend assistance in securing its food facilities to allow for continuous operation and supply of raw materials to produce food for the country.
He added that other vital SMC businesses, such as fuels, through Petron Corporation, and power generation, through SMC Global Power Holdings Corp., and SMC Infrastructure, will also continue to operate.
The San Miguel chief urged Filipinos to unite and help one another.
“It is our sense of duty and obligation, pagkakaisa and malasakit that will see us through these difficult times,” he said. REPORT FROM DAXIM LUCAS
Edited by AC
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