MANILA -- Over 7.6 million from the poor communities in Metro Manila have received aid through a fundraiser led by the biggest names in business aiming to help those severely affected by the enhanced community quarantine imposed in Luzon because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Project Ugnayan," established through the cooperation of the biggest names in business, Caritas Manila, and the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF), aimed to distribute P1,000-worth of grocery gift certificates on top of food packs and relief aid to more than 1 million households in poor communities, Ayala Corporation said in a statement.
Some 1,070,854 families, or 5,354,270 people, were able to receive the gift certificates through Caritas Manila, which was tapped to distribute the gift certificates to the poor communities, and was poised to reach its April 15 target.
The Lopez firm First Philippine Holdings Corporation contributed P100 million as seed fund for "Pantawid ng Pag-ibig," the campaign of its sister company ABS-CBN for poor communities affected by the quarantine, which has also contributed to the Project Ugnayan.
Pantawid ng Pag-ibig has reached 238,854 families or 1,194,270 people through food packs delivered by its partner local government units. They will reach a total of 631,921 families or 3,151,605 people by the end of their program.
The Pantawid program has likewise done a fundraising digital concert which earned a record 3.7 million online views, raising some P237 million to bolster its relief operations for the campaign. It had raised P256,663,658 as of March 23.
The Gokongwei group has also started dispensing P100 million fund for its frontliner relief efforts, with some of the funds channeled to the Project Ugnayan campaign.
The Aboitiz Group, meanwhile, said it has donated P100 million for those affected by the quarantine.
Jollibee has also pledged ready-to-cook chicken to low income families through its FoodAID program, delivering so far to 199,491 families with the target of reaching 500,000 families by the end of April.
Fernando Zobel de Ayala, lead convenor of the project, said the number of recipients will rise after partners have organized the deliveries of food, certificates, and other items to be donated to the communities.
He likewise thanked donors who have made contributions.
"By coming together in a Bayanihan spirit so quickly, we were able to create a program of this scale and importance. This unprecedented assembly of so many of the country’s corporations and business families coming to the assistance of the most vulnerable in our society illustrates and speaks of the heart and generosity of the business community," Zobel de Ayala said.
Caritas Manila executive director Fr. Anton CT Pascual said the initiative was praised by Prelates of the Suffragan Dioceses of Manila such as Archdiocese of Manila Apostolic Administrator Bishop Broderick Pabillo and San Pablo Bishop Buenaventura Famadico.
"We thank all the generous benefactors of Project Ugnayan for this opportunity to fulfill a great mission of compassion for our vulnerable brothers and sisters. Your gifts have warmed their hearts and uplifted their spirits," Pascual said.
Please go here for the full list of donors of Project Ugnayan.
News.abs-cbn.com is the news website of ABS-CBN Corporation.