Good samaritans | Inquirer Business

Good samaritans

Amid COVID-19, companies, organizations go the extra mile to help others
By: - Reporter / @neltayao
05:30 AM March 22, 2020

It’s still three long weeks until the end of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine, and most likely longer until finally we hear of the last COVID-19 case.

When that much-anticipated day finally comes, would you be able to answer this question: What did your business do to help?


Perhaps, while we’re still in the thick of this crisis, more organizations can look to these groups, as well as the large conglomerates, and see how they can do their part for their employees, customers and communities:

The UPS Foundation. The global philanthropic arm of United Parcel Service has provided over $6 million in grants to organizations that bring medical assistance, food, housing support and financial aid to those affected by COVID-19.


These include new allocations for agencies, such as Uni­ted Way Worldwide (gives families, children and the elderly critical support, including food and financial assistance to aid in recovery); American Red Cross; Salvation Army (for shelter and feeding programs); Operation Hope (for national counseling centers that will provide emergency budgeting consultation and creditor management guidance to workers placed at risk by income interruptions); Center for Diseased Philanthropy (strategic council on private sector engagement efforts, including home food delivery and medical assistance to the elderly and other vulnerable indivi­duals; Good 360 (materials for health care providers); Unicef; World Food Programme; and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

J. Amado Araneta Fou­n­da­tion. The so­cial de­v­e­lop­ment arm of Araneta Center Inc. (ACI) has pledged to donate local COVID-19 test kits, developed by the University of the Philippines-National Institute of Health to the Quezon City government.

PDRF leads efforts to provide free transportation to front-liners

Philippine Disaster Resi­lience Foundation (PDRF). On Friday, PDRF—in partnership with the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Admiral Transport, the Department of Labor and Employment, and Phoenix Petroleum Philippines—deployed 10 buses to provide transportation to health care workers. The private sector disaster risk reduction and management network has also partnered with fintech companies GCash and Paymaya, digital finance group Fintech Alliance Philippines, and online crowdfunding platform Gava Gives to help purchase essential protective gear for health care institutions in need of immediate support.

Medical and government front-liners receive tasty treats in the form of Scout’s Honor cookies. —CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS

Scout’s Honor. The restaurant known for its cookies treated hospital staff from UST Hospital, Philippine General Hospital and East Avenue Medi­cal Center to their sweets last week.

Citi. For their credit card holders, the company has issued a one-month extension on payment due dates from March 16 to April 12. Late fees have also been waived for this period.

Eastern Communications. The connectivity solutions company is extending for its clients payment deadlines by 30 days after their respective due dates. Their existing Fiber1 clients in Metro Manila and Cebu—particularly banks, hospitals and other essential establishments—will be offered speed boost and three free pie­ces of Wi-Fi Mesh, a that device spreads a network connection across a workplace, allowing users to connect to the Internet wherever they are in the pre­mises (i.e. no dead spots). Hospitals that utilize their Internet Direct Service can also expect a 30-percent cost reduction, plus free Office 365 (cloud-based subscription to Microsoft programs) under a special renewal program.

Shell Philippines. The company has labeled their response to the COVID-19 pandemic as “Project Shelter.” Under this program, employees are affor­ded flexible working arrangements, financial assistance, 24/7 telemedicine and virtual counseling services, and temporary accommodation and transportation support.


To help medical and government front liners, the company is donating: N95 face masks to the Department of Health and the Philippine General Hospital; Select Water to seven hospitals; food packs, biscuits and water, through Shell retailers. They have also assisted the municipality of Pasacao, Camarines Sur, in purchasing relief goods for indigent families. Since they, too, have their own front-liners (stations will continue to operate), Shell is providing these staff with accommodations and transportation to and from work, meals, as well as face masks and alcohol.

Anthill Fabric face masks

Anthill Fabric face masks

Anthill Fabric. The Cebu-based traditional weaves fashion brand has made use of its scrap fabric to create “zero-waste” reusable masks. Each comes with two washable filters, and is designed according to standard face mask safety requirements. According to their Instagram post (@anthillfabric), Anthill will donate their first 100 pieces to the Vicente Sotto Memorial Hospital in Cebu City. The production of these masks will also ensure that their production team will not lose their livelihood, as this allows them to work from the safety of their homes.

Bread pudding donated by The Caravan Food Group.

Caravan Food Group. The company behind food stalls such as OverDoughs and Elait! is working on providing food to medical front-liners by converting all their custard cream bases, which they use for their hand-rolled ice cream, to bread pudding, to lengthen its shelf life, making the products easier to distribute.

The Caravan Food Group staffers prepare bread pudding to donate to health workers and government front-liners

“If we still have enough, we want to expand our donations to help feed others affected by the lockdown since many jobs were affected and many are also homeless,” says CEO and founder Francis Carl Reyes. “We are also currently working on our yoghurt to be able to give yoghurt drinks with fruits, our OverDoughs cookies, and coffee as well. We’re only working with a few volunteers from the company so we can’t roll everything out at once, but we will be doing it every day till our supplies last.”

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The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .

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