SMC starts vaccinating 70,000 workforce

Published June 16, 2021, 3:59 PM

by James A. Loyola

Giant conglomerate San Miguel Corporation (SMC) has launched its first vaccination site at the La Salle Green Hills (LSGH) in Mandaluyong to kick off the P1-billion COVID-19 vaccine rollout for its 70,000 employees, extended workforce and their families.

“We thank the De La Salle Brothers for partnering with us in vaccinating even more Filipinos, particularly NCR-based workers and their families,” said SMC President Ramon S. Ang.

He added that, “We also thank the local government of Mandaluyong and the National Task Force Against Covid-19 for helping make this launch possible.”

Ang noted that, “We are vaccinating for free over 70,000 in our workforce. We are also looking to make the vaccines available to more Filipinos, by extending access to those in our workforce’s own networks.”

SMC LAUNCHES P1-B VACCINATION PROGRAM – San Miguel Corporation (SMC) on Wednesday, (June 16) launched La Salle Green Hills in Mandaluyong City as pilot site for its P1-billion program that will provide free COVID-19 vaccines to its 70,000 employees and extended workforce nationwide. Joining SMC president Ramon S. Ang during the event were Senator Joel Villanueva, National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr., National Task Force Against COVID-19 deputy chief implementer Vince Dizon, Department of Health (DoH) secretary Francisco Duque, Mandaluyong City Mayor Menchie Abalos and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos, Jr.

“This way, we can help achieve herd immunity for our country, ensure that more lives are safe, and get our economy back on track sooner than later,” he said.

Once fully operational by August, the La Salle Green Hills site will be able to accommodate up to 1,000 persons per day. SMC has purchased vaccines from Astra Zeneca and Moderna for its nationwide vaccination effort and these are set to arrive by next month.

Some 500 essential workers from SMC received their initial doses of the Sinovac vaccine during the launch at LSGH, through the COVID-19 Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) and the City of Mandaluyong.

Meanwhile, another vaccination site, Jose Rizal University in Mandaluyong, which is jointly-managed by SMC and the City Government, will also continue to accept individuals under the A4 category.

A number of SMC’s own medical staff are posted at the JRU site to boost the local government’s ongoing vaccination effort.

Aside from the LSGH and JRU, Ang said SMC is eyeing 14 other vaccination sites in Laguna, Cavite, Batangas, Albay, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Isabela, Bataan, Cebu, Mandaue, Iloilo, Bacolod, Davao, and Cagayan de Oro.

“San Miguel commits to take care of our own, so that when larger volumes of vaccines arrive, they will no longer need to rely on government supplies–which can then be given to more of our countrymen,” Ang said.

SMC has been deploying its own, mostly newly-hired medical staff to various LGUs to help out at understaffed vaccination sites.

The company is looking to hire some 300 medical professionals composed of nurses and doctors, for its vaccination program, and to help partner LGUs implement their vaccine rollout.

To date, over 100 have been hired and deployed to vaccination sites in Mandaluyong, Manila, Quezon City, and Malabon. More will be deployed to Paranaque and Pasig cities.

The government recently issued guidelines to prioritize Filipinos under the A4 category or frontline personnel in essential sectors for vaccination. A majority of SMC’s employees who are waiting for their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine fall under the A4 category.

Earlier, SMC also encouraged employees and their families under the A2 (senior citizens aged 60 and above) and A3 (persons with comorbidities) to get jabs at areas where they are residing after a recent surge of cases that necessitated another lockdown.