SM, Gokongwei, LT groups intensify inoculation drive
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine businesses have intensified their COVID-19 vaccination programs for economic front-liners amid the global race against time to achieve the much-desired herd immunity and ease restrictive quarantine protocols.
Big conglomerates like the SM, Gokongwei, Lopez, LT and Phinma groups are among those that recently launched their own vaccination programs. Sy family-led SM ordered over 500,000 COVID-19 vaccines for its employees and for donation to the government.
With the arrival of some of these vaccines on June 25, SM immediately rolled out free vaccination for thousands of its employees. Two-thirds of its employees have already been vaccinated through local governments, SM said.
The vaccination program is a joint effort of all the SM companies, which include SM Investments, SM Prime Holdings, SM retail and portfolio companies, BDO Unibank Inc. and China Banking Corp. The vaccination is being conducted at SMX Convention Center in Pasay City and several SM malls in Metro Manila.
The Gokongwei group’s “COVID Protect” program is set for implementation this July, in partnership with Reliance United.
“We believe that our people are our most valuable asset as they are the lifeblood of our organization, and we recognize that health and safety is a primary concern,”
Lance Gokongwei, president of JG Summit said. A total of 27 Robinsons Malls partnered with local governments nationwide to serve as vaccination sites. The group’s aviation arm, Cebu Pacific, has flown in 9 million COVID-19 vaccines from China.
The airline also ferried more than 1.8 million doses to key cities nationwide.
Lopez-led First Philippine Holdings (FPH) also started its vaccination program this week, said Ricky Carandang, vice president of FPH. FPH earlier procured AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines in partnership with the government.
The Philippine National Bank, in partnership with parent LT Group Inc., opened its first vaccination center on July 3 at PNB Financial Center in Pasay City. The center targets up to 1,500 vaccines per day. The Phinma Group also launched its group-wide inoculation initiative on July 5.
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