Business tycoons assure support to gov't, public amid enhanced community quarantine


Posted at Mar 17 2020 12:13 AM

MANILA - Philippine business tycoons on Monday expressed their support to the government and assured uninterrupted service to the public as the country faces the threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Tessie Sy-Coson of the SM Group said the company has allocated P100 million to support various government hospitals, including the Philippine General Hospital and the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).

The SM Group is providing personal protective equipment (PPE), COVID-19 test kits, alcohol, and other medical supplies for the medical frontliners.

The company said it has coordinated with the producer of the local test kits developed by the University of the Philippines-National Institutes of Health, to distribute 20,000 test kits for free to government hospitals.

SM will also bring face masks, gowns, visors, hood and other personal protective equipment to government hospitals.

Meanwhile, Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala assured all stakeholders that the Ayala Group will implement all necessary measures to ensure uninterrupted services, especially in telecommunications, water distribution, cash availability and pharmacies.

Ayala also said they have implemented various flexible work arrangements for their employees.

"We continue to monitor the pronouncements from the government and will continue to adjust our operations as needed," Ayala said in a statement.

Manuel V. Pangilinan of the MVP Group of Companies said they will maintain the salaries and benefits of their employees throughout the enhanced quarantine period.

He also said their employees are on a work-from-home arrangement, and they will be importing more face masks and PPEs for medical frontliners in hospitals.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday appealed to big businesses to continue paying their workers as the government moved to limit work to “home arrangements” in the whole of the northern Philippine island of Luzon to contain the spread of the new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Duterte, in a public address, called on business firms to give their employees their 13th-month pay even if it’s pro-rated, or even half of their monthly salaries for them to survive the possible loss of income during the “enhanced community quarantine” period in Luzon.