Following the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation’s (GBF) announcement of the establishment of a P100 million fund to help address the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines, the philanthropic arm of the Gokongwei Group has commenced mobilization of the fund for the immediate use of its target beneficiaries.
GBF earlier bared that the fund will be used to support two key beneficiaries— national and local frontline health providers serving in national and local public hospitals that cater to victims of the dreaded disease; as well as the communities where the group’s various business units operate.
The support earmarked for frontline health providers will be distributed among the following: COVID-19 referral hospitals in the National Capital Region (NCR) identified by the Department of Health, the UP Medical Foundation, and other hospitals who are at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19.
“In these extraordinary times more than ever, we in the private sector recognize the need to complement the government’s programs and efforts by directly ensuring that our health care providers receive all the necessary support for them to be able to carry out their vital duties,” stated Grace Colet, GBF Executive Director.
GBF has started to deploy financial assistance and in-kind donation to the three COVID-19 referral hospitals, namely: the University of the Philippines–Philippine General Hospital in Manila, the Lung Center of the Philippines in Quezon City, and the Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital and Sanitarium (previously known as Tala Leprosarium) in Caloocan City.
The in-kind donation consists of essential personal protective equipment (PPE) such as N95 and surgical masks, face shields, and nitrile gloves for frontline doctors and healthcare workers; hospital equipment such as ventilators; and supplies such as alcohol and vitamins. Some institutions will be receiving cash that will go toward the procurement of the same items and equipment.
Similarly, a cash donation has been turned over to the UP Medical Foundation (UPMF) for the procurement of PPEs for healthcare workers across a network of 300 hospitals all over the country in coordination with UPMF’s partner organization, The Outstanding Women in Nation’s Service (TOWNS).
“As the COVID 19 virus permeates the very fiber of our society, we have to protect those who take care of us—the health care workers. It is time for us to unite to protect them, those who are in big hospitals in the city centers, to the small hospitals in the provinces. The help of the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation will come a long way to provide them with PPEs to protect them… for them to protect us,” said UPMF President Dr. Paulo Maria Pagkatipunan.
Meanwhile, donations of PPEs and supplies will be distributed to other public hospitals who have been attending to a significantly high number of COVID-19 patients and Persons Under Investigation (PUI), namely the San Lazaro Hospital, Quirino Memorial Medical Center, Veterans Memorial Medical Center, Rizal Medical Center, National Kidney and Transplant Institute, Philippine Heart Center, Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, and East Avenue Medical Center.
GBF also donated to Project Ugnayan, a collaboration of some of the country’s largest conglomerates and companies in cooperation with the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation, to kickstart the latter’s initiative of helping Metro Manila’s poor communities who have been greatly affected by the Enhanced Community Quarantine. Project Ugnayan aims to distribute gift certificates worth P1,000 each to more than 1 million households in indigent communities within the Greater Metro Manila area.
GBF’s P100-million fund is over and above the various initiatives being spearheaded by the respective business units of the Gokongwei Group toward the current COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
The Gokongwei Group is one of the largest and most diversified Filipino conglomerates engaged primarily in businesses that serve a growing middle class with rising disposable incomes in the Philippines, Southeast Asia, and Australasia. It is composed of JG Summit Holdings Inc. which has business interests in food manufacturing (Universal Robina Corporation), air transportation (Cebu Pacific), real estate and property development (Robinsons Land), banking (Robinsons Bank), and petrochemicals (JG Summit Petrochemical Corporation); Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc. (RRHI), which is comprised of supermarket, department store, and specialty retail brand operations; and the Summit Media Group.