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Moving Forward -- Together

April 16, 2020

In the advent of the coronavirus pandemic, a wave of panic alongside the spread of the disease forcing governments from across the globe to take the necessary health actions, which includes closing of establishments, forcing everyone into self-quarantine, just to avoid the risk of infecting a great many. Amidst this health crisis, economies have been greatly hit – workers are either let go or forced to work still, others are granted the opportunity to work from home, while others who are self-employed have to make ends meet. Front liners, most especially, are at most risk since they have to attend to patients and ensure their welfare, all to keep the virus at bay. However, in the process of quarantine, they are not the only ones at risk amidst the pandemic, there is another group many have forgotten, worst, neglected, and taken for granted – the informal workers. They are small-scale vendors, drivers, to name a few. They, together with our medical front liners, are left to make ends meet despite the threat of being infected. Thankfully, these people were never forgotten by the people. Little did they know, help was on the way. As it is within these trying times when heroes slowly emerge from the shadows, when initiatives are born to shed light on those afflicted, and where we can exercise our humanity. Left and right, initiatives have been coming to light, enabling compassion to arise amidst the panic – that we are stronger than the fear that this pandemic has brought us, that together, we can beat COVID-19. One such initiative is powered by the combined forces of energetic minds from the young blood dwelling from our very own City of Golden Friendship, one hoping to appeal to the people to hear their plea. The FundForward Initiative is a local crowdfunding platform that aims to support small-scale, vulnerable communities greatly affected by COVID-19. It is powered by the youth of Cagayan de Oro city, empowering those who are leading positive actions in their communities – big or small. The project sets its sights on giving the youth a chance to fully work their magic to giving aid where it is needed, to give voice to the voiceless, and to fully exercise their compassioned selves. “I think there are different initiatives out there and their focus might not be the same with us -- and that's okay. In times like this, I believe we need to see past the competition but understand that we can't get out of this if we won't work side-by-side reinforcing each other. May more initiatives to help others arise!” says Adam Anay, Project Head of the FundForward Initiative. He, together with a small band of volunteers, are working together to make this project happen. “We want to help as many small-scale, youth initiatives in the city. I think that is the end game. As long as there are people who are willing to help, we continue to help.” The FundForward Initiative recognizes small communities greatly affected by the pandemic, aiming to build a community of young donors to make an impact in their very own city, to give them a chance to help in however way they can. “...the idea that there are some good initiatives in the city and are not given the proper audience. If more people can know about this, then the faster we can bring help to those who are experiencing difficulty brought by the pandemic.” he further adds. Compared to the initiatives, this project focuses solely on the youth – who, in the words of Dr. Jose Rizal – are the hope of our country. In a way, this project aims to fully evoke a sense of empathy in charity work, a spirit of volunteerism – bayanihan, if you may, and most importantly, support vulnerable communities. “We have been labeled for the longest time apathetic and [seemingly] not caring for the world, it’s time to change that.” Anay shares when asked about the project being powered by CDO youth. “It’s our future at stake— we can start the change the world needs once the pandemic is over.” We do not know when exactly the pandemic will end, or what trials will be faced along the way, but when people come together for a common cause, their drive will be stronger than the pandemic itself. Humanity continues to thrive. Life finds a way. We can only pay kindness forward. (@FundForwardInitiative)

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Globe encourages customers to share inspiring stories and messages through Hope Bank

April 15, 2020

Globe Telecom encourages its customers to share inspiring stories and messages of upliftment to those suffering from fear, stress, anxiety, and depression especially in light of the current pandemic that the world is battling. Globe’s Hope Bank Facebook Community (http://bit.ly/hopebank_), aims to serve as an empowering channel for those who are trying to cope with the emotional and mental challenges caused by COVID-19 and to boost the morale of frontliners, patients who are being treated for COVID-19, as well as their families and friends. Through this online space, community members may share messages of hope for encouragement, strength and inspiration. “We want to rally people into becoming a community support group to make others realize that they are not alone, that there are people who are willing to provide empathy and emotional connection virtually.  This is the time for each of us to reinforce one another, even if only to provide support to those who need them the most,” said Yoly Crisanto, Globe Chief Sustainability Officer and SVP for Corporate Communications. To contribute to the platform, members may post using the hashtag #SpreadHOPE, both on their personal profiles and in the group.  The messages may be in the form of photos, artworks, quotes, songs/lyrics, video or anything that reflects their expression of hope and positivity.  They may tag family members and friends or anyone who may benefit from such support. Hope Bank was first introduced by  Globe two years ago as a platform for people with mental health illness seeking help and support.  

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SM DONATES PPEs AND MEDICAL SUPPLIES TO NORTHERN MINDANAO MEDICAL CENTER

April 13, 2020

SM Foundation donates PPEs and Medical Supplies to Northern Mindanao Medical Center for the health workers’ protection against COVID-19.  The donated items include N95 masks, surgical masks, goggles, raincoats, gloves, alcohol and personal protective equipment (PPEs).  This initiative forms part of SM Foundation’s P170 million worth of PPEs and medical supplies given out to over 50 hospitals nationwide.  “NMMC is grateful for the generous donation of SM Foundation. This gift will go a long way in protecting our healthcare workers,” said Dr. Jose Chan, Medical Center Chief.  SM has committed to be of service to the Filipino people and to the country, in helping overcome the COVID-19 crisis together.  

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TESDA encourages public to make washable face masks

April 13, 2020

Taguig City – Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Secretary Isidro Lapeña has called on the public to learn how to make DIY washable face masks especially at this time of need and while the majority of the population is under the enhanced community quarantine. The TESDA chief said that while employees of the TESDA regional and provincial offices and trainees of TESDA training institutes are continuously producing washable face masks for donation to the frontliners, there is still a big demand for face masks nationwide given the threat of spread of COVID-19 in the community.  Lapeña said, “It will be beneficial if our kababayan, now that most are staying at home, to learn how to sew face masks for their use and of their families.  We all need face masks now that we are required to wear them outside when doing essentials for our households.” Face mask production can also be turned into a livelihood especially during this time when workers or employees have been temporarily suspended from reporting for work due to the quarantine. With the reported shortage in the supply of face masks, enterprising Filipinos can benefit from selling cloth face masks. TESDA has posted the instructional video on how to make cloth face masks at www.e-tesda.gov.ph. It shows step-by-step procedures in sewing a face mask, starting with pattern making up to the finishing touches. Interested sewers may also skip the “Drafting” step shown in the video and instead directly proceed with pattern cutting as TESDA has provided patterns downloadable from https://bit.ly/2UGSmOD.  The patterns have to be printed on A4 sheet of paper to be used as layout on the fabric, preferably cotton, as being used in TESDA face mask production. As of April 4, 2020, TESDA has produced and donated almost 91, 000 face masks to frontliners of various hospitals and local government units, the uniformed personnel at checkpoints, barangay tanod, and health workers, other government agencies, including members of the media. 

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NGCP distributes goods as part of PhP1Billion COVID-19 relief assistance

April 12, 2020

On Saturday, April 11, NGCP commenced the distribution of PhP 500 million-worth of grocery items, in line with its PhP1 Billion assistance to the national government’s COVID-19 relief and response efforts. “We are very pleased to turnover these relief packs as we hope these will help sustain our partner communities given the extension of the Enhanced Community Quarantine. Distribution in select locations in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao will be made over the next weeks,” stated the company. Last March 30, NGCP wrote Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte pledging PhP 1 billion to help the national government in its efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. “NGCP’s pledge of medical equipment is also in the process of procurement. The much needed equipment will be distributed to identified hospitals as soon as they arrive,” added the company. The donation is over and above earlier NGCP donations of personal protective equipment (PPE), meals, and other equipment for medical frontliners, as well as the Meals on Wheels program where hot meals are distributed to indigent members of the community. NGCP plans to continue helping various host communities, even beyond its previous efforts, and P1B pledge of assistance. “We understand the importance of a collective, unified effort to combat this pandemic. NGCP assures its stakeholders that the company will continue to support the government in battling this global health emergency,” stated the company. NGCP is a Filipino-led, privately owned company in charge of operating, maintaining, and developing the country’s power grid, led by majority shareholders Henry Sy, Jr. and Robert Coyiuto, Jr.###

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Biliran agrarian reform organizations extend assistance amid covid-19 pandemic

April 11, 2020

BILIRAN PROVINCE—In the midst of the covid-19 pandemic that's been sweeping the country, three (3) agrarian reform beneficiaries organizations (ARBOs) in this province felt the pressing need to provide basic goods and meals to its members and to farming households in their respective areas. Some 1,700 relief goods and meals were donated by these ARBOs in the towns of Naval, Almeria and Cabucgayan. DAR Regional Director Stephen Leonidas commended the three ARBOs in their efforts to ease the suffering of people due to the pandemic. "As everyone is directed to stay at home for quarantine purposes, these ARBOs chose to exert time and effort to address the needs of their members, especially the elderly and the daily wage earners," said Leonidas. The Almeria Seafarers Multi-purpose Cooperative (Asemco) in the municipality of Almeria distributed food packs to 790 households in Almeria Poblacion and another 400 food packs outside of Almeria. Asemco Manager Anita Corto said they also provided 40 packed meals to the health workers of the provincial hospital and 80 packed meals to the barangay frontliners of the local government. The Looc Cabucgayan Agrarian Reform Cooperative (Careco) in Cabucgayan town, through its Chairman Zacarias Leong, distributed 2 kilos of rice to each of their 117 members. For the Lico Agrarian Reform Cooperative (Larcoop) in the capital town of Naval, food packs containing 3-kilo rice, coffee, sugar, milk and 2-kilo raw pork were distributed to their 250 members and 31 ARBO staff. Larcoop Chairman Rebecca Payos said they also provided snacks and coffee to frontliners manning the provincial checkpoints, as well as the barangay checkpoints in Lico and PS Eamiguel villages. Larcoop Manager Anamie Ibano added that the members' interest on Capital and Patronage Refund were released early so the members can use them during this crisis. DAR Secretary John Castriciones appreciated the acts of generosity by these ARBOs to their fellow farmers and to the people in the community. In his Facebook page, he commented: "Agrarian reform farmers are silent frontliners against covid-19. Ito po ang kailangan nating gawin sa panahong ito. Mabuhay po kayo at God bless."

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