SM focuses on vaccines for national recovery

Published April 28, 2021, 4:25 PM

by James A. Loyola

SM Investments Corporation, a giant conglomerate whose businesses cater mostly to consumers, is focusing on the country’s recover from the pandemic by supporting moves to get people vaccinated against COVID-19.


During the firm’s annual stockholders’ meeting, SMIC President and CEO Frederic C. DyBuncio said SM has made the health and safety of its stakeholders in the SM ecosystem its top priority.

To help with overall recovery efforts, SM is rolling out vaccination to thousands of employees across the group for free within the year once supply is available. 

SM also recently offered its facilities as vaccination venues nationwide for use by local governments in reaching as many citizens as possible.

Vaccination sites are located in SM malls in Pulilan, Olongapo, Marilao, Cabanatuan, Cauayan, Tuguegarao, Masinag, San Mateo, Paranaque, Muntinlupa, Antipolo, North EDSA, Taguig, Trece Martires, Rosario, Calamba, San Pablo, Lemery, Lipa, Cebu, Iloilo, Bacolod, Ormoc, Butuan and General Santos with more to be added soon.

Together with the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), saliva RT-PCR testing was made accessible in more than 10 malls nationwide; SM has also donated about 2,000 mattresses and other essentials to PRC’s isolation wards for COVID-19 patients in various universities in the National Capital Region.

This is in addition to converting the Mall of Asia Arena into a mega testing center to boost the government’s testing capacity.

“These will help to build the confidence that our consumer-led economy urgently needs.The key is to continue to innovate and operate safely,which we have done and continue to do. We continue to respond and adapt to changing customer needs and touch points to serve our customers better,” DyBuncio said.

SM has continued to support its partners especially the thousands of SMEs in its supply chain. As a group, SM provided over PHP30 billion in overall support in the form of waivers, payments and donations.

The conglomerate also provided loan extensions on top of group-wide donations and on-the-ground relief efforts for host communities during the pandemic.

“Our collective resilience is necessary to safeguard our long-term growth and to ensure we can continue to promote responsible development nationwide,” DyBuncio said.

SM also quickly developed new retail delivery channels online and by phone, supported by social media campaigns and aligned with a range of practical options enabled by its stores and malls. 

It also empowered people whose jobs were affected by the pandemic to participate as delivery drivers and personal shoppers. 

“In the foreseeable future, in-person and in-store based shopping experiences will still be preferred by our customers. But we continue to work hard to develop innovative online and offline delivery channels that are integrated into our business while enhancing customer service,” DyBuncio said.