By Noreen Jazul
The Gokongwei Brothers Foundation (GBF) has started the distribution of a P100-million fund earmarked for the fight against COVID-19.
The GBF said it has started to turn over financial assistance and in-kind donations to COVID-19 referral hospitals in the National Capital Region, namely the University of the Philippines–Philippine General Hospital in Manila, the Lung Center of the Philippines in Quezon City, and the Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital and Sanitarium (previously known as Tala Leprosarium) in Caloocan City.
The in-kind donations include personal protective equipment (PPE), N95 and surgical masks, face shields, and nitrile gloves.
The foundation also donated ventilators, and a supply of alcohol and vitamins for frontline health workers.
The UP Medical Foundation (UPMF) likewise received a cash donation from GBF which will be used to procure PPEs for healthcare workers in over 300 hospitals in the country.
UPMF President Dr. Paulo Maria Pagkatipunan expressed gratitude to GBF.
“As the COVID-19 virus permeates the very fiber of our society, we have to protect those who take care of us—the health care workers. It is time for us to unite to protect them, those who are in big hospitals in the city centers, to the small hospitals in the provinces. The help of the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation will come a long way to provide them with PPEs to protect them… for them to protect us,” Pagkatipunan said.
Other public hospitals that have been attending to a huge number of COVID-19 patients and persons under investigation (PUIs) also received PPEs and medical supplies from the GBF.
Among the hospitals were San Lazaro Hospital, Quirino Memorial Medical Center, Veterans Memorial Medical Center, Rizal Medical Center, National Kidney and Transplant Institute, Philippine Heart Center, Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, and East Avenue Medical Center.
Indigent communities affected by the enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila will also receive assistance from the foundation through Project Ugnayan.
Project Ugnayan is a collaboration between some of the country’s largest conglomerates and companies together with the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation, which aims to “distribute gift certificates worth P1,000 each to more than 1 million households in indigent communities within the Greater Metro Manila area.“
“In these extraordinary times more than ever, we in the private sector recognize the need to complement the government’s programs and efforts by directly ensuring that our health care providers receive all the necessary support for them to be able to carry out their vital duties,” GBF Executive Director Grace Colet said.