Olongapo City – San Miguel Corporation (SMC) president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang yesterday assured the public the company’s supply chain is stable and that it has more than enough inventory to feed Filipinos nationwide for the next several months.
Ang made the statement to underscore that there is no need to panic amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
“As far as food supply is concerned, we have the capability to produce enough for everybody and deliver to supermarkets,” he said, adding the company is already working on distributing food donations to poor communities where daily paid workers have been especially hard hit.
San Miguel will also supply food to public hospitals and select government centers.
The most important thing, Ang stressed, is that Filipinos stand together and help one another. “It is our sense of duty and obligation, pagkakaisa and malasakit that will see us through these difficult times.”
“Panic has no purpose at this time. Follow the directives of our government; cooperate in every way. This is the best way we can all help in fighting the Covid-19 virus, while the quarantine is in effect” he added.
Despite widespread implementation of flexible work-from-home schemes—which San Miguel has already adopted for its offices throughout Metro Manila—Ang assured the public that the company will maintain operations of its food manufacturing facilities, with heightened precautionary measures, to ensure continuous supply.
“We will operate our food facilities 24/7. This isn’t about making profits. We have a responsibility to make sure that food is made available to as many people as possible,”Ang said, adding that he was given assurance that government, through its Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), will lend assistance in securing its food facilities to allow for continuous operation and supply of raw materials to produce food for the country.
He added that other vital SMC businesses, such as fuels, through Petron Corporation, and power generation, through SMC Global Power Holdings Corp., and SMC Infrastructure, will also continue to operate.
“We will provide essential services such as food, water, power, petrol products and beverages to everyone,” he said. More importantly, Ang said all employees of SMC would continue to get paid despite the quarantine and any form of work discontinuation.
Donation of alcohol, disinfectants
Amid the shortage in alcohol sanitizers, Ang also said that SMC is looking to produce 70% ethyl alcohol at one of its facilities and distribute this for free to communities through their local government units.
The company is also donating to LGUs its own brand of disinfectant powder, which is safe for humans and can easily be deployed as extra protection against the virus.
“While hand-washing is still the best defense, hand sanitizers wilth 70% alcohol can be your next best option where soap and water are not available,” SMC president Ramon S. Ang said.
He continued: “We have the means and capability to produce this, and make it available for free to LGUs and public hospitals. We are working on getting the necessary clearances from the relevant government agencies, to produce this for public use. We ask that they help expedite clearances.”
Ang added that SMC spirits subsidiary Ginebra San Miguel Inc. had already begun initial production of the alcohol over the weekend, for use in its facilities and for thousands of employees, initially.
“This is so our facilities and our own employees will not be taking away from the already limited supply that’s available to the public. Our main intention is to get this to our government and healthcare providers at the soonest possible time,”he added.
Made through the fermentation of molasses, 70% ethyl alcohol is known to kill most germs and viruses.
Ang added that they are looking to donate the alcohol in bulk quantities, 20-liter containers up to 1,000-liter tote tanks. These can be used for disinfection in government, healthcare, and public facilities.
Currently, the company is working on getting the necessary clearances from government to produce the alcohol for public use, for humanitarian reasons.
Ang said the company is also donating over 13,000 units of its Protect Plus Gold disinfectant powder. Each canister can clean and disinfect a space of up to 650 square meters.
The product, produced by the San Miguel Food Group’s Animal Health Care division, is used for sanitizing air spaces and surfaces in facilities and even in hog farms whenever there are disease outbreaks.
Labeled potassium monopersulfate triple salt, it is safe for use even when there are people inside the room or space being sanitized.
“We are in a race against time to try and stop the spread of Covid-19 virus. Our government and healthcare front liners need all the support and help they can get,”Ang said. (Dante M. Salvaña)