As of last month, June, both the San Miguel Corporation (SMC), of which he is president and COO, and his personal pandemic-related donations to the medical sector and hard-hit communities have amounted to a staggering P1.25 billion, including medical equipment, food products, alcohol, fuel, free toll fees for medical frontliners, and cash assistance.
To help our farmers who are besieged by the coronavirus, the SMC purchased excess carabao’s milk, which was then donated to impoverished areas and feeding centers in Metro Manila. It procured some 70 million kilos of corn, and opened so-called “Kadiwa” stores at Petron stations throughout the country which enabled our poor farmers to sell their products.
And to help ensure that funds are available to the government as it carries out its pandemic-related programs, the SMC paid “P8.77 billion in advanced taxes, concession, and contractual fees” to the government.
Ramon Ang announced at the SMC’s annual stockholders’ meeting held via teleconferencing some two weeks ago that all the company’s projects will continue, among which are “12 feed mills of one million annual tons capacity each, expanded poultry farms and a poultry processing facility, new breweries in Cagayan de Oro and Sta. Rosa in Laguna, the new unit of Masinloc Power Plant, Skyway 3, Skyway Extension, Skyway 4, MRT-7, and TPLEX.”
“With more manufacturing facilities in key regions that provide direct jobs and downstream employment, infrastructure that increases mobility and ease of trade, and sufficient and reliable access to power and fuel, we hope to help our economy through this crisis and boost our nation’s recovery,” he said.
We note that we in the SMC honored our late Chairman and CEO, Ambassador Eduardo Cojuangco Jr., for his vision and leadership which, with his associate, Ramon Ang, enlarged and diversified the company into the largest food, beverage, and industrial conglomerate in the Philippines and Southeast Asia.
We also wish to thank the SMC stockholders for electing this columnist and the following as directors of San Miguel Corporation, namely: Ramon Ang, Leo Alvez, Aurora Calderon, Joselito Campos, Jr., Menardo Jimenez, Estelito Mendoza, Alexander Poblador, Thomas Tan, Inigo Zobel, Ramon Villavicencio, and, as independent directors, Reynaldo David, Reynato Puno, and Margarito Teves.
We commend UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and the UN Security Council for urging a worldwide immediate ceasefire as the international community battles the COVID-19 pandemic that, as of this writing, has claimed more than half a million lives and infected more than 11 million people in 216 countries worldwide, and they are increasing.
The resolution, which the 15 member UN Security Council unanimously adopted, “calls all parties to armed conflict to engage immediately in a durable humanitarian pause for at least 90 consecutive days, in order to enable the safe, unhindered and sustained delivery of humanitarian assistance.”
The resolution does not apply to military operations against the ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and other terrorist groups designated by the UN Security Council.
As we have underscored in our much earlier columns, defeating Coronavirus, which is both a health and economic crisis, requires global solidarity and cooperation.
We hope that this 90-day “cessation of hostilities” may be built upon to strengthen confidence-building measures among parties to conflict.