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Reaching out

Fil C. Sionil

Fil C. Sionil

Summer is here. Even water flowing out of the faucet is hot. For this year, though, spending summer is entirely different from what we’ve done in recent years.

Travels, either abroad or around our countryside, are no longer permissible. Frolicking in the cool waters of a river, waterfall, along a beach are activities of a distant past. We’re all still stay-at-home in this lock-up period because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

And easing up of the lockdown is nowhere in sight. One proposal on social media borders on the extreme – for the authorities to extend the period further until the first semester of next year.
As I understand it, each local government unit will have to satisfy certain standards approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).

Some would say the three categories of Extended Community Quarantine (ECQ), Modified ECQ, and General Community Quarantine (GCQ) are distinct from one another, but to me, they appear to have no real difference because mobility continues to be restricted.

Following this Palace decision, I heard from the business community that corporates and non-government organizations are continuing their lifeline-giving to the marginalized sectors.

This corner continues to salute firms with kind hearts and souls. Second in my bucket list is Manny V. Pangilinan’s (MVP) Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC), its subsidiaries and affiliates.

Diversified food and beverage conglomerate San Miguel Corporation and MPIC are similarly situated. Notwithstanding the dent the ECQ has caused on their bottomlines, both unselfishly continue to donate goods, medicines, and medical equipment to help out in the COVID-19 crisis.

The relief efforts of MPIC have zeroed in on families in need in marginalized communities, those who have not been included in the government’s social amelioration program.

In partnership with multinational firms, Unilever Philippines, as well as Nutriline, Kopiko, Sari Roti, Alagang Kapatid Foundation, Inc., and MetroPac Movers, Inc., and Metro Pacific Investments Foundation (MPIF) distributed thousands of relief packages to help poor families cope with the extended ECQ in Quezon City, Marikina, Manila, Muntinlupa, as far as Laguna, and Batangas in the south and Zambales in the north.

MPIF also reached out to help families who fell victim to the Happy Land fire in Tondo, Manila.

Those who received the medical equipment donations included healthcare workers from MPIC’s own Metro Pacific Hospital Group. Then, there are package of food assistance from Smart Communication and PayMaya.

The pandemic has brought to the forefront the Filipino tradition of balikatan, reaching out to communities having a tough time in day-to-day living.

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Source: Manila Bulletin (

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