PHAP members donate P125M for COVID-19 response

    The Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines (PHAP) has contributed about P120 million monetary and in-kind donations to the country’s COVID-19 response.

    The donations benefitted more than 1.5 million families and over 155 hospitals nationwide.

    Employees of PHAP member-companies are also volunteering in community efforts to support frontline health workers and patients impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

    In-kind donations of PHAP members consist of personal protective equipment sets (coveralls, N95 masks, surgical masks, surgical gloves, face shields, goggles, shoe covers), test kits, ventilators, medicines, vitamins, vaccines, personal hygiene items, disinfectants, food packs for frontline health workers, and transportation assistance for patients. Beneficiaries include government and private hospitals, charitable institutions, government agencies, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), among others.

    “Even as the global biopharmaceutical industry is leading the way in developing COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and diagnostics, we are taking concrete actions to support the Philippine government’s COVID-19 response. We are working round the clock to ensure an uninterrupted supply of life-saving medicines despite global lockdowns,” said PHAP executive director Teodoro Padilla.

    Aside from their respective company’s COVID-19 response initiatives, PHAP members also contributed a total of P8.5 million monetary and in-kind donations to the PHAPCares Foundation, the social responsibility arm of PHAP dedicated to help improve the health and lives of Filipinos disadvantaged by sickness, poverty and disasters.

    The PHAP Members that have so far contributed to the country’s COVID-19 response are Abbott Laboratories Philippines; Astellas; AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals (Phils.) Inc.; Bayer Philippines, Inc.; Boehringer Ingelheim (Philippines), Inc.; GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Philippines Inc.; Hi-Eisai Pharmaceutical, Inc. (Philippines); Johnson & Johnson; Merck Group, Inc.; MSD Philippines; Mercury Drug Corp.; Metro Drug Inc.; Mundipharma Distribution GmbH (Philippine Branch); Novartis Healthcare Philippines, Inc.; Novo Nordisk; Otsuka (Philippines) Pharmaceutical, Inc.; Pfizer Philippines, Inc.; PHILUSA Corporation; Qualimed Pharma Inc.; Roche Philippines, Inc.; Sanofi; Taisho; Takeda; The Generic Pharmacy (TGP) Pharma Inc.; and Zuellig Pharma Corp.

    ASA PH Foundation joins ReSTART

    Microfinance institution and non-government organization (MFI-NGO) ASA Philippines Foundation has joined hands with the government’s Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and multinational beverage company Coca-Cola, to collaborate and implement the Retailers’ Rebuild Bridge Loan Component of the Rebuilding the Sari-Sari Stores Through Access to Resources and Trade (ReSTART) Program.

    The collaboration will see all participating parties pool a fund to be loaned out to qualified community-based micro retailers, to help them restart their businesses. The collaboration will also work to convert the beneficiary businesses into safe-store operations, amidst the continuing threat of the coronavirus.

    ASA’s participation in the ReSTART Program will benefit nearly 13,000 community-based micro retailers across the archipelago that have been severely affected by the pandemic and the quarantine measures implemented to curb its spread. These borrowers are projected to generate P12.3 billion in sales, and are estimated to earn P1.5 billion over two years.

    The beneficiary community-based micro retailers will initially be chosen from the following areas: the Central Greater Manila Area in Metro Manila; Bulacan, Cebu, Davao del Sur, Ilocos Norte, Rizal, Laguna, and Batangas provinces; and Quezon City, Valenzuela City, Cotabato City, Jolo, and Marawi.

    ASA Philippines Foundation is allocating P60 million for lending to the community-based micro-retailers.

    Coca-Cola for its part is donating P30 million in products, and will also allow for its re-use to continue assistance to other retailers. It is also funding grants, for business development training and the capacity build-up of the borrower-businesses.

    Another MFI, Alay sa Kaunlaran Microfinance Social Development (AKMSD), is allocating another P5 million, to also be used for lending to the micro-retailers.

    Both ASA and AKMSD will implement the Retailers’ Rebuild Bridge Loan program on the ground.

    Western Union expands with TrueMoney in PH

    Western Union announced a collaboration with TrueMoney,  enabling customers in the Philippines to receive money from their loved ones around the world.

    Customers will initially be able to receive money at select TrueMoney locations, easily identifiable by the Western Union signage indicating service availability, and eventually at more than 5,000 locations across the country.

    “At Western Union, we are committed to doing everything we can to serve our customers and communities, here in the Philippines and across the world,” said Jeffrey Navarro, head of Network, Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Indochina, Western Union. “We are continuously adapting our operations and business, to offer customers the best service and experience. We are excited by the launch of our service with True Money, enabling customers to now access money transfer services at more locations across the country.”

    “With the speed at which things are changing around us, we are dedicated to serve our customers, facilitating reliable and convenient money transfers for them. Money movement is essential – often, livelihoods and financial survival are directly linked to it. Hence, it’s critical in these times to move money responsibly, and we are glad to do so with Western Union,” said Eugene Go, chief executive officer and country managing director, Philippines.


    TELUS sets up learning sessions 

    TELUS International Philippines (TIP) has partnered with Plan International to set up virtual learning sessions for members of their team to educate them on issues related to gender-based violence and online sexual exploitation of children.

    Through the learning session organized by TELUS International Philippines and Plan International, team members gain a wider perspective on the impact of a lockdown on these statistics.

    Within TIP are gender-empowering groups  such as Connections Women’s Network, TIP’s resource group for women, and Spectrum Philippines, their dedicated LGBTQIA+ resource group.

    “Understanding the complexities of the issues helps us to develop more effective community initiatives that target the root cause so we can prevent abuse from happening and help the most vulnerable people,” said Pia Gajasan, TIP Communications Manager and member of Connections Women’s Network.

    SM tests over 140,000 in its workforce

    SM has done repeated rounds of rapid testing and rt-PCR testing for their employees and agency workers, so far covering more than 140,000 individuals across its supermarkets, retail stores, malls, residential and property companies.

    The group tests against COVID-19 regularly to assure the continuous delivery of its services to customers and to protect its workforce.

    Even prior to easing of the enhanced community quarantine in May, SM took the initiative to conduct COVID-19 antibody rapid testing for its employees and agency front liners, including janitors and security guards.

    SM has also undertaken additional measures to protect the safety of its workforce. Employees are provided with face masks and face shields. Frontline employees are also properly geared for the safety of customers and are provided alcohol in spray bottles. Spaces are regularly and thoroughly disinfected, and cash counters and bathrooms are disinfected throughout the day.

    Information campaign on safety and social distancing were undertaken nationwide through posters, videos, and digital channels. Testing and quarantine protocols are strictly observed. Temperature checks through infrared thermometers and thermal cameras are conducted in all points of entrance and exit. Employees fill up health check forms daily. Safe distancing is observed in office areas, including layout changes and screen dividers. Safe distancing markers have also been placed in all elevators.

    To support more widely accessible PCR testing in the country, SM donated over P30 million worth of rt-PCR test kits, equivalent to over 20,000 tests, to major testing centers like the UP-NIH laboratory and directly to local government units of cities around Metro Manila, as well as in Baguio.

    SM Foundation has donated over P300 million worth of PPEs, medical equipment, and facilities to meet the needs of some 150 hospitals and health facilities nationwide.

    Spotify to unveil untapped opportunities found in digital audio

    Spotify is inviting brands and marketers to their Audio Amplified conference, where the untapped opportunities found in digital audio will be discussed and unique insights about the changing behaviour of Millennials and Gen Zs will be revealed.

    To be held on July 29, the online conference explores what the growing audio streaming trend means for marketers and how the platform can help enable them to be a part of their consumers’ culture.

    The event will be led by Sea Yen Ong, regional head of Ad Sales at Spotify, Jan-Paul Jeffrey, Spotify head of Marketing in Southeast Asia. Attendees will learn about the future of audio in Asia and how brand storytelling through digital audio can help resonate and connect with consumers in a very personal and intimate way.

    JAAF awards scholarships to Bago City valedictorians

    The J. Amado Araneta Foundation (JAAF), the social responsibility arm of Araneta City, will provide four-year college scholarships to Bago City’s top Grade 12 graduates of school year 2019-2020. The scholarships will be given to deserving awardees from the city’s public senior high schools.

    Bago City in Negros Occidental is the birthplace of J. Amado Araneta, whose mission was to bring the best of the world within reach of the ordinary Filipino. JAAF, the foundation named after him, continues his dream of bringing the good life to the people, with his children (Jorge, Maria, and Judy) continuing his philanthropic legacy.

    The scholarship program will be instrumental to ease transition of the students to the “new normal” through stipend allowance per semester, student support, and enrichment activities.

    JAAF recognizes that education is one of the cornerstones for broad-based and inclusive growth, pathway out of poverty and inequality, and nation building.