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ICTSI, Razon Group continue pandemic mitigation efforts

Thursday, 25 November 2021 | 01:00

International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI), taking the lead for the Razon Group, continues its initiatives to help the Philippine government in its pandemic recovery efforts, making social investments of PHP 1.5 billion thus far.

Over the course of 21 months since the onset of the community quarantines, ICTSI, in collaboration with the government and the private sector, purchased vaccines and facilitated rollouts, built quarantine and testing facilities, built testing facilities, supported programs on hunger alleviation, assisted health care workers and institutions, among others.

Christian R Gonzalez, ICTSI executive vice president, says: “The battle to turn the tide of this pandemic continues, and there is no room for complacency. It is imbibed in our corporate culture to help where we can, and we will continue to do that beyond this pandemic. The social investment is worth it as we see lives saved and the economy gradually opening.”

ICTSI led private sector efforts in assisting the government purchase vaccines: the first 3 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines, where ICTSI sponsored 300,000 doses, half of which were donated to the national government and half to local government units; and the 20 million doses of Moderna vaccines, where 13 million doses were allotted to the public sector and 7 million to the private sector.

To facilitate the logistics of the bulk order, ICTSI installed a temporary cold storage and drive-through vaccination facility at the Nayong Pilipino Foundation (NPF) property in Paranaque City. Opened in August, the PHP 250 million vaccination facility has a capacity to administer 15,000 doses daily.

To facilitate the vaccination of employees and dependents of the private sector buyers of Moderna vaccines, ICTSI and Bloomberry Resort Corp. retrofitted portions of the Solaire Resort and Casino into vaccination areas. Opened in June, the Solaire facility can administer 6,000 shots a day. As of November 22, both NPF and Solaire facilities administered over 300,000 vaccine doses.

To help mitigate the spread of Covid prior to the vaccine rollout, ICTSI, together with Bloomberry and Prime Infrastructure Holdings, Inc., assisted the government in retrofitting existing public infrastructure into quarantine and isolation facilities. These were the Ninoy Aquino Stadium, Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, and a part of the Philippine General Hospital. A 600-bed quarantine facility, the largest in Metro Manila, was also built in Entertainment City.

Aside from the isolation facilities, ICTSI helped in the set-up of testing facilities in Enderun in Taguig, Palacio de Manila in Manila, and the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay. Another area of Solaire was also converted into a testing facility.

Through the ICTSI Foundation and partner organizations, ICTSI participated in social programs through funding and active involvement in various projects. Among them were hunger alleviation by the Project Ugnayan of the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation, the donation and distribution of rice to immediate communities of the Manila International Container Terminal, and funding in the re-purposing of a, 8,000-square meter football field into vegetable plots by Saint John Bosco Parish in Manila.

At the medical front, the Foundation supported walk-in testing initiatives of the City of Manila, and the provision of PPEs, disinfection and hygiene supplies, face masks, testing kits, thermal scanners, and mobile clinics to public hospitals and barangay health centers in various local government units, especially in host cities and communities where ICTSI operates.

Other social welfare projects include financial assistance and the donation of wellness kits to host communities, covering partner schools, solid waste community volunteers, and day-care workers. The ICTSI Foundation also reached out to two other needy sectors: the elderly through the Coalition of Services for the Elderly to augment the meager supplies of over 10,000 senior citizens in Metro Manila, and indigenous peoples through Project Liwanag to assist 2,000 Aeta families in the mountains of Capas, Tarlac.

Recognizing the role of social workers in helping communities cope with the pandemic, the Foundation donated PPEs and disinfection supplies to the Department of Social Welfare and Development – NCR and the Philippine Association of Social Workers, Inc. – Manila Chapter. The Manila Social Welfare’s Reception and Action Center also received laptops and printers to help social workers deliver efficient services to stranded individuals, street families, and children in need of special protection.

As the public school system shifted to distance learning, the ICTSI Foundation continued its support to its high school and college scholars, and partner schools nationwide. Laptops, photocopiers and printers, paper and ink supplies, and pocket wi-fis, were donated to partner schools, including video and multimedia equipment to boost TV and radio-based instruction.

Scholarships were extended to indigent students of the Don Bosco Youth Center, a technical vocational school in Manila, covering tuition fees of close to 300 students whose sponsors failed to continue financial support due to the pandemic.

To help public school teachers cope with the mental and emotional stress of their multiple roles in family and school, the Foundation sponsored a series of psychosocial seminars to support their mental health and well-being.
Source: ICTSI

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