By Alexandria San Juan
More groups and companies have stepped up their donations and fundraising initiatives to help provide medical supplies for patients and healthcare workers as the confirmed cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country continue to rise.
Mobile wallet GCash, the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF), the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), World Vision, UP Medical Foundation, PGH Foundation, Inc., ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation, and Ayala Foundation, have initiated its own digital donation drive dubbed #FightCOVID19.
The online donation drive aims to help provide medical gears to front line health workers in the country due a scarcity of stocks of medical supplies including face masks, personal protective equipment, and disinfectants such as alcohol and hand sanitizers.
To send support, GCash users simply have to click on the “Pay Bills” icon on their GCash apps, choose the “Others” tab, and click on “FightCOVID19.” GCash users have to enter their name and the amount that they are donating to confirm their donation.
The groups said that the #FightCOVID19 campaign has raised roughly P3.52 million in individual donations.
“While we encourage GCash users to support our fundraising, it is encouraging for us to see our mobile digital wallet being used by individuals and other organizations as a conduit of good, especially during trying times,” GCash President Anthony Thomas said.
“We hope that as Filipinos digitally band together as a nation, we can quickly eradicate the virus and go back to normalcy,” he added.
Apart from this, several donation drives facilitated through mobile phones and e-wallets are also happening across the country initiated by non-government organizations and individuals, as strict home quarantine and social distancing protocols are being enforced during the month-long enhanced community quarantine in Luzon.
According to Thomas, mobile digital finance has made it easier for individuals to support causes, as they now have an avenue to practice their generosity through their mobile phones.
Friends Shary Laiz, Erika Ente, and Alyana Singian, members of religious group Agape Christian Church International, took to social media site Twitter their plea to help in combating the spread of the disease by encouraging users to donate at least P20 to their mobile wallets to purchase hand sanitizers and soaps for the homeless.
Quezon City-based professional alliance Save San Roque is also seeking donations in cash and in-kind to help the community of Sitio San Roque cope with the effects of the virus. The group aims to gather as many goods as they can to distribute to the citizens of the barangay
People for Accountable Governance and Sustainable Action also took to social media the call for donations for the purchase of a weekly “survival pack,” which includes rice, canned goods, coffee, powdered milk, sugar, bread, and vegetables for the communities in Tatalon, Talayan, Pinyahan, and Payatas as well as for the mothers in Tondo and Commonwealth.
Youth-led movement Zero Hunger Philippines is also gathering monetary donations to provide food bags to over 10,000 families in select provinces in Luzon.
Tulong Kabataan, a youth movement, is also building up funds to supply food and hygiene kits to relocation sites and urban poor communities in Tacloban, Quezon City, and Manila.
Medical interns of Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center have also launched their social-media-based donation drive for the staff of the hospital, which is in need of masks, caps, alcohol, gloves, and disposable gowns for front line employees who are treating suspected COVID-19 cases.
Other non-profit groups such as Project Tanglaw, Caritas Manila, and Tayo Kabataan are pooling donations to provide food and hygiene kits to the less fortunate and those who are most hit by the threat of the virus, as well as to donate PPEs to hospitals in need.