Big businesses raise over P1.5B to aid urban poor amid Luzon quarantine
MANILA, Philippines — Some of the country’s top business groups have raised over P1.5 billion to fund the distribution of grocery vouchers to poor residents in Metro Manila amid the Luzon-wide lockdown due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVD-19) crisis.
In a statement, Project Ugnayan, a collaboration of business groups and the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF), said it aims to distribute P1,000 gift certificates to over 1 million households in the poor Metro Manila communities.
“In compliance with social distancing guidelines, gift certificates delivered door to door will be redeemable for food items from accessible groceries and supermarkets,” the group said.
The distribution will be coursed through Caritas Manila’s Project Damayan and ABS CBN’s Pantawid ng Pag-ibig program.
Distribution is ongoing in four pilot areas and will scale-up in cooperation with project partners.
The business groups supporting Project Ugnayan are: Aboitiz Group, ABS-CBN/Lopez Group, Alliance Global/Megaworld, AY Foundation and RCBC, Ayala Corporation, Caritas Manila, Century Pacific, Concepcion Industrial Corp, DMCI Group of Companies, 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 Corporation, Puregold, San Miguel Corporation, SM/BDO, Sunlife of Canada, Suyen Corp.
The group said it is also in talks with more companies who have signified their intention to contribute more resources to expand the reach of the project.
President Duterte placed the entire island of Luzon under enhanced community quarantine until April 13 due to the COVID-19 crisis.
To date, the Philippine has a total of 380 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 25 of whom have died while 15 recovered.
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