As the world’s battle against the Covid-19 pandemic rages on, developing economies such as the Philippines are at greater risk of the long-term consequences of this ongoing public health crisis.
While the national government continues to provide the mandated healthcare services and rehabilitation efforts for its citizens, the private sector has also stepped in to do its share, improving the odds for the recovery and sustainable progress for the entire nation.
The Gokongwei Group commits to this role through the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation’s Juan Communities program, a corporate social responsibility program that seeks to strengthen the country’s resilience against the physical, economic, and societal impacts of Covid-19.
Robinsons Retail Holdings, Inc. and the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation supported hospitals and barangay health centers in Cebu City and Talisay City. Representatives of the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu (above) are pictured with the GBF Juan Communities donation. IMAGE Gokongwei Brothers Foundation
Juan Communities expands the GBF’s mission to attain sustainable national development. Apart from its flagship educational and scholarship programs, GBF’s focus now includes the rehabilitation and recovery of Filipinos—particularly in the area of healthcare—as a result of the pandemic, as well as disaster relief operations.
As the program name suggests, the core strategy of Juan Communities is to extend assistance to communities in the Gokongwei Group’s sites of operation, which span most regions across the country.
GBF Executive Director Grace Colet said that working hand-in-hand with the Gokongwei Group and fellow advocates, GBF aims to make a real difference in uplifting the lives of Filipino families and improving the state of education in their communities.
“By way of our Juan Communities program, we aim to contribute in building the nation through education, one community at a time, but given the extent of this pandemic, we need to include health to address the most pressing community concerns,” Colet said.
Through the wide network of business units in the Gokongwei Group’s JG Summit Holdings, namely Universal Robina Corporation, Robinsons Land Corporation, Cebu Pacific, Robinsons Bank, and JG Summit Petrochemicals Group, and from sister companies Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc. and the Summit Media Group, GBF’s Juan Communities is able to deliver on its vision of building recovery and resilience one community at a time.
Mitigating public health risks
Apart from providing community residents with food assistance, a core component of the Juan Communities’ Covid response is focused on building resilience against the risks of the ongoing pandemic as well as from any future public health threats.
Robinsons Land President & CEO Frederick D. Go and GBF Executive Director Grace Colet present a donation of computers to Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto and City Administrator Atty. Jeronimo U. Manzanero. IMAGE Gokongwei Brothers Foundation
Strategic partnerships with local government units addressed the need for more efficient and automated contact tracing and better management of their medical records. In partnership with RLC, GBF donated computers and related equipment to Pasig City and Quezon City, bolstering the public health operations of these LGUs. In the capital city of Manila, GBF donated nucleic acid diagnostic kits and provided financial assistance for the LGU’s Covid management initiatives, likewise in conjunction with RLC.
Juan Communities also bridges supply gaps for vital medical items such as personal protective equipment, disinfectants, medications, and medical equipment such as syringe pumps, cardiac monitors, defibrillators, medical beds, and the like.
In Cebu, GBF and RLC identified the Cebu City Medical Center as one of the program’s main beneficiaries, while RRHI and GBF partnered with hospitals and barangay health centers in Cebu City and Talisay City.
in Cavite, GBF and URC coursed their donations through major healthcare institutions such as the De La Salle Medical Center and Langkaan Barangay Health Center in Dasmariñas City.
Representatives of the Southern Tagalog Regional Hospital in Bacoor, Cavite, pictured receiving a Juan Communities donation from Robinsons Bank. IMAGE Gokongwei Brothers Foundation
Other key areas for URC-backed initiatives include Laguna, Batangas, and Rizal, where barangay health care units and hospitals received significant donations of medical equipment and supplies.
RBank, meanwhile, ensured that donations were received by stakeholders in Rizal and Cavite.
To date, Juan Communities has reached a total of 54 LGUs, barangay health centers, hospitals, and public schools across the country, distributing more than 270,000 PPEs, medications, and medical equipment, and around 2,300 assorted school supplies and equipment.
At the start of the pandemic early last year, the Gokongwei Group responded immediately to the emerging crisis by earmarking P100 million meant to secure personal protective equipment and medical supplies for hospitals and frontliners, as well as to fund its participation in a consortium of Philippine businesses geared toward widespread Covid-19 testing.
To date, Juan Communities has distributed more than 270,000 PPEs, medications, and medical equipment, and around 2,300 assorted school supplies and equipment at 54 LGUs across the country. IMAGE Gokongwei Brothers Foundation
In the latter part of 2020, GBF allocated an additional P50 million as it recognized the need for continuous support in mitigating the adverse effects of the pandemic. This fund serves the needs of Juan Communities in their ongoing battle with Covid-19 and in adapting to the new normal.
Another integral component in building resilience against Covid-19 is proper vaccination. To date, the Gokongwei Group has committed to procure an estimated 130,000 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine through “A Dose of Hope,” a tri-partite agreement between the national government, local government units, and the private sector in support of the government's goal of vaccinating 70 million Filipinos this year.
While there may be no clear end yet in sight for this challenging pandemic, the Gokongwei Group hopes that with its commitment to provide support to communities across the country, the nation’s journey to full recovery becomes a swift, successful, and sustainable one.
This article was originally published on jgsummit.com.ph.