Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion yesterday said more than 200 companies are supporting the second batch of orders for the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
Concepcion said Ayala Corp. confirmed 400,000 doses of vaccines, along with other companies such as Palawan Pawnshop which ordered 100,000 doses, Okada Manila – 40,000 doses, Uratex Philippines – 21,000 doses, Century Pacific Food – 20,000 doses, Unioil Petroleum Philippines Inc. – 20,000 doses, Golden Arches Development Corp. – 15,000 doses, and Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines Inc. – 10,000 doses. Each dose is still at its base cost of $5 (about ₱250).
He said meetings with the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, the British Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, the Entrepreneurs Organization, the Philippine Franchise Association, the Association of the Filipino Franchisers Inc., Philippine Ecozone Developers, Philippine Hotel Associations Inc., the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc., and George Barcelon of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry took place immediately after the purchase for the second batch of AstraZeneca vaccines was announced.
“When they told me that, the number of calls and inquiries from the private sector were increasing. Although we expected it somehow, we were happy that more and more private sector partners are now taking their part in this initiative – ending the war against COVID-19. This only means that the business community is very serious in ensuring that our economy will remain open while slowly ending this war,” Concepcion stated, with more than 200 companies expressing their pledge and interest, and still counting.
Recognizing the “bayanihan” spirit being created among the community, Concepcion extended his reach to help more businesses acquire their share of the vaccines in “A Dose of Hope.”
Various business entities like microfinance institutions (MFIs) have been in contact with Go Negosyo and Concepcion.
Allan Robert Sicat, executive director of the Microfinance Council of the Philippines Inc., has been connecting these networks of microfinance institutions to Go Negosyo and Concepcion.
Dr. Jaime Aristotle Alip, founder and managing director of The Center for Agriculture and Rural Development Mutually Reinforcing Institutions, is one key advocate that is interested in the project.
Leading a group of companies composed of a foundation, a bank, micro insurance, a development institute, and a business development service, Alip’s conglomerate is a critical source of assistance for MSMEs.
Other advocates that expressed their interest in joining this cause are Fr. Jovic Lobrigo of Sedp Simbag sa Pag-asenso Inc. (SEDP Simbag) and Eduardo Jimenez of Kabalikat para sa Maunlad na Buhay Inc. (KMBI Inc).
Concepcion, recently met the Philippine Retailers Association headed by Rosemarie Ong, Senior Executive Vice President and COO of Wilcon Depot.
“I shared with them that it’s important to vaccinate all the frontliners in the retail sector, supermarkets, department stores, and malls,” Concepcion said as a step in helping MSMEs bounce back.
“The more businesses involved in this project, the faster the ecosystem will be revived, thus, stimulating exchange. It is one answer to the question of how we get money flowing again – it will stop the bleeding,” he added.
“Two fronts kasi yan, both from the government side, they’re taking care of the public sector, kami naman sa private sector – teamwork kami. So, if we’re able to execute, mas madaling sagupain itong pandemya,” Concepcion said.
“With the government mainly ensuring the welfare of the country through enabling and keeping safe our health frontliners, this initiative, Concepcion said, will ensure the welfare of our country through enabling and boosting our economic frontliners. Sa kapasidad namin, tutulong din kami. If the private sector will not help, the economy will remain restricted.”
“MSMEs are one of the greatly affected in this pandemic. Right now, as some of their businesses are closed, they don’t have a cash flow. So now, this is why we want to really help, I think the real solution here is control the situation and control the infection, get rid of the virus – and this is only possible through the vaccine,” Concepcion said.
“Many business organizations want to be in the second part, and this could be the last. Just look at it, the cost of testing using antigen is P500, RT-PCR, P2,500 and up. This is P500 for two doses, an offer from Astra from their zero profit program for 2021,” he said.
“This is the only way to accelerate our economic recovery and save lives.”