“Heeding the President’s call for business – large or small – to rise to the challenges posed by COVID-19, the MVP Group is one with the nation in coping with this virus. We are helping our employees by maintaining their salaries and other benefits during the public health crisis,” Pangilinan said.
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MVP heeds Duterte’s call; Jack Ma donates test kits
Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) - March 18, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Telecommunications magnate Manny V. Pangilinan is among the business tycoons who responded to the call of President Duterte on Monday night to help their employees financially survive the enhanced community quarantine being implemented in Luzon due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

In his address to the nation, Duterte asked big companies to release the pro-rated 13th month pay of their workers to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Heeding the President’s call for business – large or small – to rise to the challenges posed by COVID-19, the MVP Group is one with the nation in coping with this virus. We are helping our employees by maintaining their salaries and other benefits during the public health crisis,” Pangilinan said.

Chinese billionaire Jack Ma has pledged to donate to the Philippines at least 50,000 test kits for COVID-19.

The President also called on other companies – including the Ayala Corp., Robinsons and San Miguel Corp. – to help alleviate the plight of employees who are under home quarantine and could not go to work because of the COVID-19 crisis.

Under the enhanced community quarantine, companies must implement a skeletal work force for workers.

Valenzuela Rep. Wes Gatchalian, also a businessman, said employers should take the initiative to help the government combat the health crisis.

“Big companies should practice corporate social responsibility and help employees affected by the coronavirus,” Gatchalian, who chairs the House committee on trade and industry, said.

Caloocan City Rep. Edgar Erice urged Duterte to give tax incentives to businessmen for them to be able to pay the salaries of their employees during the quarantine period.

Chinese billionaire Jack Ma’s donation will be coursed through Sen. Manny Pacquiao.

“The Jack Ma Foundation, in partnership with the Pacquiao Foundation, is pledging 50,000 test kits to combat COVID-19 in the Philippines,” Pacquiao said in an Instagram post. 

“With everything that’s happening around the world today, there is no better time to unite and do whatever we can to help each other,” he said.

A staff from Pacquiao’s office said they are close to finishing the paperwork required by the Bureau of Customs and Department of Health (DOH). The final clearance will have to come from the DOH. 

Pacquiao also turned over yesterday to the Philippine National Police (PNP) 700,000 face masks for frontline personnel of the PNP, DOH and Research Institute for Tropical Medicine.

The masks were from Korea.

Pacquiao personally handed over the face masks at the PNP headquarters at Camp Crame in Quezon City.

The face masks will be distributed among police officers and soldiers as well as personnel of the Department of Social Welfare and Development and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority. 

Present during the turnover was PNP deputy chief for operations Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar and other top police?officials. Pacquiao said the face masks were donated by his friends from abroad.

During a Senate hearing last week, it was found that the Philippines only has 2,000 test kits available.

The Chinese embassy and the China Mammoth Foundation on Monday delivered 2,000 test kits to the country.

Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian said more test kits are expected to arrive along with medical equipment and supplies such as personal protective equipment (PPE).

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) has donated some 20,000 surgical masks and 2,000 sets of PPE to the Philippine General Hospital.

“The supply is good for one month, which will be given to doctors, nurses, interns, medtech and other frontliners. We want to give our healthcare workers all the equipment they needed so they could operate,” PRC chief Sen. Richard Gordon said. –  With Paolo Romero, Emmanuel Tupas 

COVID-19 DUTERTE MANNY V. PANGILINAN
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