MANILA - SM Investments Corporation aims to vaccinate thousands of its employees for free as it seeks to boost its recovery from the negative economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Philippines' biggest conglomerate in terms of market value is rolling out its vaccination program to thousands of its employees for free within the year, once supply is available.
At the company's Annual Stockholders' Meeting, SMIC President and Chief Executive Officer Frederic DyBuncio, said the move "will help to build the confidence that our consumer-led economy urgently needs."
"The key is to continue to innovate and operate safely, which we have done and continue to do. We continue to respond and adapt to changing customer needs and touch points to serve our customers better," DyBuncio said.
SM is also offering its facilities as vaccination venues nationwide for use by local governments.
These sites are located in SM malls in Pulilan, Olongapo, Marilao, Cabanatuan, Cauayan, Tuguegarao, Masinag, San Mateo, Paranaque, Muntinlupa, Antipolo, North EDSA, Taguig, Trece Martires, Rosario, Calamba, San Pablo, Lemery, Lipa, Cebu, Iloilo, Bacolod, Ormoc, Butuan and General Santos.
More vaccination sites are expected to be launched in the coming months, while the company is also offering RT-PCR testing in more than 10 malls nationwide, in partnership with Philippine Red Cross (PRC).
SM said it has also donated about 2,000 mattresses and other essentials to PRC’s isolation wards for COVID-19 patients in various universities in the National Capital Region.
This is in addition to converting the Mall of Asia Arena into a mega testing center to boost the government’s testing capacity.
DyBuncio also shared, the group has already provided P30 billion in overall support in the form of waivers, payments, and donations to the thousands of small and medium enterprises in its supply chain.
“Our collective resilience is necessary to safeguard our long-term growth and to ensure we can continue to promote responsible development nationwide," he explained.
ABS-CBN's COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker shows that more than 1.8 million doses of various vaccines have been administered in the Philippines since March. However, only 246,986 Filipinos have so far been fully vaccinated, representing just 0.35 percent of the targetted 70 million Filipinos.