UNIQLO Philippines, SM Foundation forge partnership to boost grassroot health facilities

The Brgy. District 2 Health Center in Cauayan, Isabela.

UNIQLO and parent company, Fast Retailing Co., Ltd, in collaboration with SM Foundation (SMFI), provide quality basic health care through renovating health facilities in grassroot communities across the Philippines.

Improving grassroot health facilities

The mobile play cabinet and lounge in Brgy. Ugac Sur Health Center in Tuguegarao, Cagayan.

“It has been UNIQLO’s mission to develop ways to make the society better,” said Nakamura Masayoshi, UNIQLO Philippines Chief Operating Officer. “UNIQLO is grateful and honored to play a role in improving the health infrastructure in the country. Through our partnership efforts with SM, we hope to uplift the lives of Filipinos and ensure that everyone has access to primary medical care.”

UNIQLO believes in turning the power of clothing into a force of good in every step of development. From design and production, made with people of diverse backgrounds, working with energy and enthusiasm. This philosophy enables UNIQLO to extend the same spirit to customers and all stakeholders by working with them to aspire to a better society where we all thrive.

Meanwhile, SMFI Executive Director for Health and Medical Programs, Connie Angeles, expressed hope that the partnership would empower communities - allowing them to move towards progress.

The Brgy. Bagay Health Center in Tuguegarao, Cagayan.

"To achieve this, we need to provide our stakeholders, especially those living in marginalized communities with quality and accessible health care through various social good programs focusing on health and wellness -- which will, in turn, allow families to have better healthcare outcomes," Angeles noted.

Ready to provide quality health care services, the health facilities now boast the following improvement: patients' waiting lounge, reception area, outpatient department, male and female wards, pharmacy, emergency room, treatment area, birthing facility, mobile play cabinet for children, and a laboratory. Each health center is stocked with basic medical equipment.

UNIQLO and SM Foundation have renovated and turned over five health and wellness centers namely Montalban Infirmary Hospital in Rodriguez, Rizal; Barangka City Health Center in Marikina City; Brgy. Ugac Sur Health Center and Brgy. Bagay Health Center in Tuguegarao, Cagayan and District 2 Health Center in Cauayan, Isabela.

The social good partners are also set to launch and turn over two more improved health centers inBrgy. San Roque Health Station in Camarines Surand Brgy. Bolo Health Center in Legazpi City.

Empowering the medical frontliners

The Nurses' Station in the Montalban Infirmary Hospital in Rodriguez, Rizal.

Angeles also expressed hope that the partnership will be able to provide medical frontliners with fully equipped medical infrastructure "that will empower them to spread social good through health and wellness."

"Now that we are in a pandemic, our medical frontliners must be supported by a strong medical infrastructure which will, in turn, ensure the welfare of the patients and communities that they serve," Angeles stressed.

She also further recognized the efforts of medical frontliners for delivering quality health care amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

"With all your significant feats and your continuous efforts to deliver quality health care despite the pandemic -- it is with our fervent hope that you will continue to help us as we fulfill our pledge to ease the burden caused by the pandemic," Angeles continued.

The newly-improved pharmacy in the Barangka City Health Center in Marikina.

"Let us continue to stand and make sure that our community stakeholders get the best medical service, and the quality of life they rightfully deserve. Mabuhay kayo sainyongmgasakripisyo para sa bayan! (Long live and thank you for all your sacrifices for our country!)" she added.

Making basic health care accessible to the people

The partnership aims to close the health gap in grassroot communities, Angeles said.

"We want our communities to be able to access medical care services, whenever and wherever they need it. This is why, alongside with our partners like Uniqlo, focus on the improvement of government health facilities and hospitals -- which will allow our countrymen have access to quality and sufficient medical care," she said.

However, Angeles also noted that there is still much more that needs to be done, but added that forming partnerships through multi-sector approach yields better benefits than working alone as a single entity.

"Such partnerships bring businesses, people, and organizations together in order to achieve our social good goals," Angeles furthered, adding that collaborative efforts play a very significant role in their corporate social responsibility programs.

"There is much more that needs to be done, but with partners like Uniqlo, we at SM Foundation are confident that we will be able to attain our social good goals sooner rather than later," she added.