Dindo Manhit, President, Stratbase ADR Institute
The outbreak of COVID-19 has become a societal emergency that challenges the overall operations of the state. Stratbase-ADRi believes that a societal emergency such as this demands a whole-of-society response. All sectors of society must do their part to deliver a coordinated and cooperative response that can minimize further damages to society.
Globally, effective response efforts highlight the role of the private sector in controlling the transmission of the virus and reducing risks of long-term costs on the economy.
Beyond these efforts, it has also proactively extended its assistance in social and labor welfare through the delivery of services, goods and monetary aid.
In South Korea and Taiwan, we have seen the concerted efforts of the private sector to alleviate the issues raised by the global pandemic through mass manufacturing of medical and health-related supplies, increasing connectivity and information accessibility with software development, uninterrupted public services, and ensuring proper flow and delivery of essential goods.
Here in the Philippines, Project Ugnayan, the single largest fundraising initiative led by the country’s top business groups has provided significant support to over 7.6 million Filipino households that were displaced by the ongoing enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) of Luzon. According to business leader Fernando Zobel de Ayala, this initiative represents “an 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.”
In coordination with the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF), the project has given aid to the poorest families in the Greater Metro Manila through the grassroots-based network of Caritas Manila, a non-profit organization that leads the social services and development ministry of the Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Manila. Project Ugnayan has raised over 1.7 billion pesos and has already distributed gift certificates to these 1.5 million vulnerable families for a total of 7.6 million people.
This is a successful model that harnessed the resources of the private sector, the church, and government, in a well-executed door to door distribution in the difficult first weeks of the lockdown. An implementation strategy that can be replicated by other interventions and should inspire more partnership opportunities as we move towards rebuilding the economy.
As stated by PDRF Co-Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan, “the unity in diversity reveals the private sector’s serious commitment to help our country recover from the lost economic momentum because of the pandemic.”
“This is a movement we should nurture as we prepare to let people return to work and to re-start our economy in the post-quarantine period.” said PDRF Co-Chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala.
The Stratbase ADRi believes that all must act positively in helping the country mitigate the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 and in line with the national and global response to end this pandemic.
Image Source: Caritas Manila.