SMC to launch quarterly blood donation drive

Published September 18, 2020, 6:00 AM

by James A. Loyola

San Miguel Corporation (SMC) has launched a quarterly blood and convalescent plasma donation drive across its facilities nationwide in response to the urgent need to replenish blood supply at the Philippine Red Cross and contribute to the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

SMC, which is marking its 130th anniversary, is the first private company in the country to undertake such an initiative with the Red Cross.

SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang

“Fewer people are donating blood since the pandemic started to date, yet there is a growing demand for blood to be able to perform transfusions needed in emergent cases,” SMC president and COO Ramon S. Ang who will donate blood for the launch today (September 18).

He added that, “I can’t think of a more meaningful way to mark San Miguel’s 130th anniversary than to help replenish the Philippine Red Cross’ blood bank. While we’re still dealing with a pandemic, many more non-COVID-19 patients are in need of blood to get the care they need.”

Blood donations are commonly used in the treatment of cancer patients, accident victims, and people with blood disorders. Dengue season has also set in, and PRC’s blood reserves also plays a vital role in treating dengue patients.

“We just want to help in any way we can. This is a San Miguel group-wide effort that we will do every quarter. Our employees across the country are encouraged to donate. I believe, together, we can all make a difference,” Ang said.

Meanwhile, extracting convalescent plasma from a person who has recovered from COVID-19, then transfusing it into a patient still battling the virus, has proven to be a valuable alternative therapy.

People who have recovered from COVID-19 and who volunteer to donate convalescent plasma have a unique ability to help up to three patients currently suffering from the virus.

“We feel very honored to be supporting and collaborating with the Philippine Red Cross and Senator Richard Gordon on their efforts to help not just COVID-19 patients but also the many other patients who require blood for various purposes.  We hope that through this partnership we can contribute to efforts to save lives,” said Ang.

The drive will be launched simultaneously via ZOOM in six different SMC facilities around the country.

Among these ae the Purefoods Hormel Plant in General Trias, Cavite; the Manila Toll Expressway Systems, Inc. facility in Silangan Laguna, San Miguel Brewery’s community clinics in San Fernando, Pampanga; Mandaue, Cebu, and Sta. Cruz, Davao Del Sur, and the SMC Head Office Complex in Mandaluyong, Metro Manila. 

Ang will donate blood simultaneously with PRC Chairman and CEO Senator Richard Gordon, in their respective offices. The event will be participated in by over 400 SMC employees. 

“We also want to help address the stigma of testing positive for COVID-19. As we’ve seen, anyone can contract the virus. When you treat someone like an outcast just because they’ve contracted the virus, you not only treat that person unfairly, you make it less likely for people to come forward and test, or quarantine. I hope our employees who have recovered will donate plasma and see this as an opportunity to help others who are still fighting it,” said Ang.