SMC drive to inoculate A4 workers extends outside NCR

SMC drive to inoculate A4 workers extends outside NCR

MANILA – San Miguel Corporation’s (SMC) nationwide “Ligtas Lahat” vaccination drive for A4 workers now covers major cities outside Metro Manila, where the company has significant operations and employees, in support of the government’s aggressive efforts to immunize essential workers and fast-track the country’s economic recovery.

From July 2 to 8, the company, through partnerships with government agencies, local governments, and local medical facilities, had vaccinated close to 2,500 employees from outside the National Capital Region (NCR), bringing SMC’s total number of A4 workers vaccinated to 7,189.

This was after 500 San Miguel employees received their vaccines Wednesday in coordination with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) and the City of San Fernando at the GreenCity Medical Center in San Fernando, Pampanga.

Joining company officials during the event were National Task Force Against Covid-19 deputy chief implementer Vince Dizon, Pampanga governor Delta Pineda, and San Fernando City Mayor Edwin Santiago.

After Pampanga, Laguna, and Davao City, SMC employees based in Bulacan and Cavite are scheduled to get their jabs next week.

“Considering that most of our major facilities in food and beverage, packaging, power, fuels, and infrastructure are located outside Metro Manila, getting as many of our employees in the regions vaccinated as possible is key to making our workplace much safer. We thank our partners in government and the private sector for their unwavering support,” SMC president Ramon S. Ang said in a statement Thursday.

Ang said these numbers are not that big yet but once the company’s vaccine supplies arrive, they will be contributing more to national goals.

“Even now, we’re moving fast and vaccinating as many of our employees as we can. This is the best way we can help make sure that our economic recovery will be more sustainable,” he added.

Early this year, SMC announced it was spending PHP1 billion on a program that would vaccinate 70,000 direct and indirect employees nationwide.

While waiting for its own supply of vaccines, the company has been hiring and deploying medical professionals to various local government unit (LGU) vaccination sites to boost the government’s inoculation program.

With the government’s directive to prioritize vaccinating Category A4 workers, it has also partnered with LGUs in the meantime to enable the vaccination of its essential workers.

“Basically, what we’ve been doing is we mobilize our workers, assemble them together, and use our own resources so that they can be vaccinated through our LGUs. This way, we can support the LGU’s vaccination targets, get more people back to work safely, and at the same time divert thousands away from vaccination sites to reduce crowding,” Ang said.

In Sta. Rosa City, 600 Laguna-based employees from across the San Miguel Group got their first dose of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines at The Medical City South Luzon, in partnership with the Sta. Rosa LGU headed by Mayor Arlene Arcillas.

Through the Davao City LGU, 1,369 San Miguel employees from various business units were vaccinated at the Davao Doctors Hospital Main in a four-day program.

Earlier, from June 3 to July 2, a total of 4,720 employees based in the NCR were vaccinated through the assistance of the Pasig and Mandaluyong LGUs at vaccination sites set up by SMC at the Jose Rizal University (JRU) in Mandaluyong, La Salle Green Hills, and the SMC Sports Complex at C-5 Road in Pasig City.

SMC looks to establish 13 vaccination sites in Laguna, Cavite, Batangas, Albay, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Isabela, Bataan, Cebu, Iloilo, Bacolod, Davao, and Cagayan de Oro.

“We are preparing these sites, particularly La Salle Green Hills and SMC Sports Complex, where we will conduct the bulk of our vaccination activities for NCR-based employees once the vaccines we procured arrive,” Ang said.

SMC is also looking to hire a total of 300 medical professionals for its nationwide vaccination rollout.

Thus far, it has hired over 100 medical doctors and nurses who have been deployed to augment manpower at vaccination sites in Mandaluyong, Malabon, Manila, Paranaque, and Quezon City.

Together with local medical workers, they have helped administer close to 180,000 vaccines as of June 22. (PNA)

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