Here’s how brands are helping during the coronavirus outbreak

Rea Gierran
Here’s how brands are helping during the coronavirus outbreak
McDonald’s Philippines, SM Group, and BGComm Contacts Solutions Inc. give funds to help their employees and support the country’s frontliners

Stories of empty grocery shelves, employees affected by the “no work, no pay” policy, and out-of-touch influencers sharing anti-poor posts on their social media accounts can make us feel hopeless at this time of a public health crisis. But there are also heartwarming stories of people and organizations that have inspired others, proving that humanity always rises to the occasion to do good.

Private groups are stepping up to help those who are affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Brands, for example, are thinking of ways to live up to their purpose. 

Last March 20, Coca-Cola Philippines decided to re-allocate their P150 million budget for commercial advertising to provide protective equipment and food and beverage to health workers and vulnerable families. After two days, Ligo Sardines followed, pledging to donate funds to non-government organizations and independent groups to help in COVID-19 relief and response efforts. Meanwhile, Angkas launched its food delivery services to give their bikers a source of income. They partnered with restaurants and allowed their bikers to get 100% of the profit.

Aside from the mentioned brands, more are stepping up to support communities. Here are some of them: 

McDonald’s Philippines

Golden Arches Development or McDonald’s Philippines announced that they will be releasing P500 million to assist its employees and frontliners.

“Amidst any crisis, people must come first; we do what we can to ensure their welfare. We also have a responsibility to our partners to ensure that they can continue doing business and be able to care for their own people. Finally, as a Filipino company, we have a duty to be a partner of the government in serving the public in whatever way we can,” said George Yang, McDonald’s Philippines chairman and founder. 

They will also give premium pay to crew and managers who can work in the remaining stores open to serve the community. 

BGComm Contact Solutions, Inc.

While some BPOs enforce a “no work, no pay” policy, BGComm Contact Solutions Inc. employees will be receiving a percentage of their salaries despite having no work during the lockdown. The company will also shoulder their government contributions as part of its P24 million Employee Welfare Fund. 

“It’s our employees that make it possible for our business to thrive, so it’s only right to take care of them and their families,” said Elbridge Gutierrez, BGComm Contacts Solutions Inc. Chairman and CEO. To protect their employees, they temporarily closed their Alabang and Dumaguete branches

SM Group

With government hospitals calling for support, SM Group decided to allocate P100 million to provide them protective equipment, surgical masks, and ethyl alcohol. 

“To ensure the safety of medical frontliners, SM is bringing in personal protective equipment – face masks, gowns, visors, hoods, gloves, and shoe covers, as well as urgent medical supplies to help government hospitals who badly need them,” said SM Prime’s Hans Sy. 

SM is also aiming to improve the availability of detection test kits. Once their project with Manila Healthtek Inc. is approved, they will distribute 20,000 free tests to government hospitals. 

It’s normal to be in despair during this moment. We are after all dealing with a disease that has no known cure or vaccine yet. And with the barrage of bad news we wake up to every single day, coping with the current situation has become harder. 

But we must not also forget that there are people and organizations committed to help those in need. This gives us reason to stay hopeful as we brace for the days ahead. –

#GoodRap is a column published every Friday that aims to feature lighthearted yet meaningful stories from here and around the globe. We hope this provides an oasis for anyone who wants to take a quick escape from the gloom and doom of the everyday world. 

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