Oligarchs in the country are seen as “big businesses squeezing the poor.”
They are often condemned especially after President Rodrigo Duterte verbally showed his hatred and resentment towards these conglomerates following his accusation that the Ayalas and Manny Pangilinan have taken advantage of the illegal provisions in their water contracts for more than two decades.
Other propagandists including Deputy Director of Overseas Worker Welfare Association (OWWA) Mocha Uson are also attacking these oligarchs despite the fact that these businessmen hold bigger shares of the country’s economy.
Despite being generalized as ‘greedy,’ some oligarchs have made big moves to help the country in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic which already claimed 17 lives to date.
Ayala Corporation announced that it will provide PHP 2.4-billion worth relief package to its employees and stakeholders who are affected by the enhanced community quarantine mandating stores to temporarily shut down. This is aside from the approximately 10,000 pieves N95 masks that have been donated to PGH, RITM and to other hospitals in Manila and Quezon City.
Aside from this, the GCash of the Ayalas has launched an online donation drive for the healthcare frontliners.
The Ayala Corporation is currently spearheaded by siblings Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala and Fernando Zobel de Ayala, who are Chairman-Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and President-COO respectively.
San Miguel Corporation
San Miguel Corporation focused on providing adequate food supply and donating food packs to different supermarkets within Luzon including public hospitals and government centers.
The food packs are free and are mainly ready-to-eat food like canned goods, biscuits, instant coffee, milk, bottled water, and sandwich spreads.
JG Summit Holdings, Inc.
On Wednesday, the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation (GBF) of JG Summit Holdings Inc. has allocated a PHP100-million fund for the test kits and personal protection equipment of health workers.
Other subsidiaries of the Gokongwei Group, such as Universal Robina Corporation (URC), Robinsons Land Corporation (RLC), and Robinsons Bank are also extending their assistance by providing instant coffee, snacks, bottled water, cup noodles, and crackers to the health workers who are on the front lines of the fight against the novel coronavirus.
JG Summit Holdings Inc. is currently governed by the Gokongwei family under the supervision of President-CEO Lance Gokongwei.
The Gokongwei Brothers Foundation, on the other hand, is led by Lance’s sibling, Lisa G. Cheng.
The Lopez Group
ABS-CBN President and CEO Carlo Katigbak announced on ‘TV Patrol’ that the Lopez Group is donating P100 million to jump-start the initiative called ‘Pantawid ng Pag-ibig’ they launched last night. This project aims to raise funds by asking citizens to donate to the ABS-CBN Foundation.
“Para makatulong, naglunsad ang ABS-CBN ng kampanya na layong suportahan ang mga local government unit na sustentuhan ang mga Pilipinong labis na naapektuhan ng quarantine. Isa po itong panawagan sa ating mga kababayan na may pusong tumulong na mag-donate po ng cash na gagamiting pambili ng pagkain at iba pang pangagailangan sa araw-araw. Ang inyo pong cash donations ay maaring ipadala sa ABS-CBN Foundation.”
Manny V. Pangilinan Hospital Group
While other oligarchs focused on providing sanitation and food supply to the health workers, business magnate Manny V. Pangilinan has sent off his own frontline workers to different hospitals. His company has also imported additional face masks and PPEs to be donated aside from the 4,000 liters of disinfectant alcohol that has already been provided to different public hospitals.
On Twitter, Pangilinan announced that his employees will continue to receive their salary, while some will be granted with 13th-month pay.
MVP is the managing director of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Company, Ltd., and its subsidiaries- Metro Pacific Tollways, PLDT, Smart, and Philex Mining.
SM Prime Executive Committee Chairman Hans Sy announced that they will be donating face masks, gowns, visors, hoods, gloves, and shoe covers to Philippine General Hospital (PGH) and Research Institute for Tropical Management (RITM) aside from the PHP100-million fund to enhance and improve these hospitals’ testing capacity.
Meanwhile, the company also liaised with Manila Healthtek, Inc. be able to donate 20,000 test kits to different hospitals.
Aside from this, Sy waived the rental fees of their malls’ tenants in consideration of the country’s current situation.
SM Group was founded by the late business tycoon Henry Sy, Hans’ father.
Alliance Global Group
Andrew Tan, the business tycoon behind Alliance Global Group which owns Emperador Inc. donated one million liters of 70 percent disinfectant ethyl alcohol which will be given to the medical health workers, military personnel, police, and even people from different Local Government Units.
GT Capital Holdings Group
GT Capital Holdings Group and Metrobank have also donated PHP200-million which will be used in the production of test kits and personal protection equipment for the health workers.
Aside from this, the conglomerate also provided a fund for its employees and customers who are affected by the no-work policy after Luzon was placed under enhanced community quarantine.
GT Capital Holdings Group and Metrobank are owned by business magnate and banker George Ty.
Jollibee Group Foundation
The Jollibee Group Foundation has also joined other business companies as it donated PHP100-million worth of food packs for the frontliners in the hospitals and at checkpoints.
In a Facebook post, the foundation announced that the frontliners will be receiving food packs from the different fast-food chains owned by the company like Jollibee, Chowking, Mang Inasal, Red Ribbon, Greenwich, Burger King, Panda Express, and PHO24.
The JFC was established by Filipino-Chinese Billionaire Tony Tan Caktiong.
Belo Medical Group
Dermatologist and TV personality Vicki Belo has also promised to donate PPE to health workers. Aside from this, Belo assured that her employees will be properly compensated as they will receive their 13 month pay and their salaries despite the work suspension.