In times of national disasters and difficult situations, numerous individuals, organizations, and private companies, along with the government, are stepping up to lend a hand especially to those gravely affected. This bayanihan culture has long been practiced in the country, showing the resiliency and compassion of every Filipino despite any hurdle.
Putting the Filipinos first has also always been a long-standing commitment of Coca-Cola in the country for 108 years now. At the present when the world is suffering from a health crisis, Coca-Cola Philippines donated thousands of liters of beverages, along with other necessities such as food and personal protective equipment (PPEs), to frontliners and vulnerable communities. It is also currently working on other initiatives to help Filipinos restart with their livelihoods or small businesses.
"At a tough time like this, we know the value that Coca-Cola products bring to Filipinos. It is an honor for us to help ease the unprecedented trials everyone is going through and we hope that in our small ways, we are making a positive difference," Coca-Cola Philippines General Manager Winn Everhart said.
Moreover, Coca-Cola immediately instituted additional stringent protocols and systems to take care and prioritize the safety and total well-being of its 10,000 direct employees in 19 plants and over 70 distribution centers nationwide—from fleet drivers, plant workers, delivery personnel, and all other associates involved in its operations. The company also mobilized its available resources and workforce to ensure the consistent supply of its products in retail outlets.
Some of the additional measures imposed in its sites nationwide include the use of thermal scanning upon entry in all Coca-Cola locations, installation of foot and truck baths in compliance with stricter ingress and egress procedures, and provision of PPEs and point-to-point shuttles for employees.
Adjusted work arrangements, comprehensive health support through HMO coverage in the unfortunate case that an employee is diagnosed with the disease, mental and psychological health support, and advanced disbursement of 13th month pay, among other incentives and benefits, have also been enacted by the company.
"Global health and safety protocols have always been in place in our facilities, and they inform every step of our procedures. With the institution of the community quarantine—where Coca-Cola was considered as belonging to the essential manufacturing sector—our sites rigorously followed the regulations set by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Department of Health (DOH), and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). We are also making sure that our employees are well cared for, and that they can continue providing for their families," Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines, Inc. CEO Gareth McGeown said.
Coca-Cola PH has been working alongside its key partners namely: TOWNS Foundation, UP Medical Foundation, the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation, Caritas Manila, McDonald's Kindness Kitchen, Rise Against Hunger-Philippines, Philippines Business for Social Progress, and Jollibee Foundation to continuously provide its beneficiaries with beverages, food packs, and PPEs.
To date, nearly 500,000 liters of beverages have been provided to 125 public and private hospitals, 99 local government units, 53 national government agencies, and 50 non-government organizations and foundations. Frontliners in 305 medical institutions were already provided with PPEs, while 33,000 families were supplied with food packs.
"We will do our best to continuously care for our people and serve communities—leveraging on our resources and our huge nationwide footprint—we will make sure that we will get to those who need our support. We will also continue to serve and support our customers and partners, especially small and medium enterprises like sari-sari stores, to help preserve their livelihood. Our people, our very own frontline heroes, make this possible—they are the strength of this company," McGeown added.
All these charity efforts initiated by Coca-Cola PH were followed by the devastation brought by Typhoon Yolanda in 2013, when the company provided 130,000 cases of portable water to various communities and worked toward the opening of the Tacloban plant, which allowed them access to water for daily use.
In the wake of the Marawi siege in 2017, hydration was also made available to both soldiers and displaced families. Coca-Cola PH also extended a helping hand after the Mindanao earthquake in 2019 by deploying a water filtration system, and during the recent Taal eruption this year as well.
To help survivors get back on their feet, it also went beyond providing beverages by establishing a business and gender sensitivity training called "5by20 Sari-Sari Store Training and Access to Resources" (STAR) program for women in Tacloban and Marawi. The Coca-Cola Foundation also extended a US$500,000 grant to aid in the recovery of about 10,000 displaced individuals with temporary shelters, non-food supplements, and other necessities after the Mindanao earthquake onslaught.
As the Philippines is Coca-Cola's first market in Asia to begin local bottling operations with, the company continues to #GOBEYONDGOOD as a business by supporting water replenishment programs in over 180 communities in the country, empowering over 200,000 women entrepreneurs through training and peer mentoring, and accelerating packaging collection and recycling under its global World Without Waste initiative.
"For more than 100 years, Coca-Cola has been committed to making a positive impact in the lives of the millions of Filipinos we serve. We believe that we are only as strong and as sustainable as the communities we serve and thus, will continue to do the same, as a part of the Filipino community, in the next hundred more," Everhart added.
Know more about Coca-Cola Philippines by visiting its official website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.
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