RS and gold powder
CTALK - Cito Beltran (The Philippine Star) - March 25, 2020 - 12:00am

Many fans of Ginebra San Miguel and users of the product are probably wondering what will happen to their beloved PBA Team and drink now that Ramon Ang has committed company resources toward the production of 70 percent ethyl alcohol in order to fill the gap or shortage in the time of COVID-19. No one is complaining, in fact many are applauding the quick thinking maneuver of Ramon Ang to shift production and to donate the end product for use of frontliners in the battle against COVID-19.

Approximately two weeks ago, SMC/Ginebra already started producing 70 percent ethyl alcohol for the company’s use and distribution to their many subsidiaries, offices and employees. “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.” There is certainly a huge shortage and a company such as Ginebra San Miguel can make a difference. I personally had been thinking about the “new” product and what to call it. The only name that made sense was “Ginebra Alcohol,” but there is the risk that some COVIDiot might end up drinking the product instead of sanitizing themselves with it! Levity aside, there is an angle that has not been mentioned in relation to the production shift from gin to ethyl alcohol. Given our state of affairs, Ramon Ang’s move to help might return to him as a big blessing. In one bold stroke, he has diversified and maximize the production of his “spirits” group and the added product is certainly not “Sinful,” therefore not subject to Sin Tax!  

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 In addition to producing 70 percent ethyl alcohol, Ramon Ang also announced the distribution of 13,000 1 kg canisters of Protect Plus Gold, a powder form disinfectant for use of local government units nationwide. This will really help LGUs outside Metro Manila who are probably at the end of the line trying to buy disinfectants.  Protect Plus Gold is a well known and widely used disinfectant that many poultry, piggery and game fowl farms use to combat another well known virus called ASF. I actually wrote about putting up footbaths in offices and residences in a column titled “ASF Lessons for COVID-19.” Many of us take for granted the kind of germs and possible viruses we step on, track and bring into homes and offices. By placing foot mats and footbaths soaked in Protect Plus Gold we minimize risks and don’t have to worry about chemicals because the product is safe for human spaces. That means LGUs can use them for hospitals and triage areas. Most people have been using heavily advertised products without realizing that what’s good for farms and high value animals are just as good for human areas. This is also good to keep in mind since most if not all the “popular” disinfectants have disappeared from supermarkets and store shelves. The only reason many people in Metro Manila and cities don’t hear about it is because it is marketed for farms. If I’m not mistaken you can actually order the stuff online via Lazada and outside the Metro, just visit the nearest BMeg feeds store and they will surely get it for you. Yes, Protect Plus Gold is just one of the many products produced by San Miguel Animal Health Corp. and distributed by BMeg Feeds. 

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In case you’re beginning to get “stir crazy” being cooped up, might I suggest that you start calling all the doctors and nurses you know or text them words of encouragement and prayers. I recently called on my friend Dr. Mike Sarte with whom I do “volunteer” work at the Rizal Medical Center and within minutes I knew that he was already affected, if not mildly depressed from all the stuff that’s been going on. To make matters worse, he has been sidelined based on risk evaluation while some of his good friends who are doctors in other hospitals are sick, infected or in ICU. Without him noticing it, I did an interview with him so he could vent and explain the limitations and risks faced by frontliners everywhere. I actually discovered and learned more about COVID-19 than many media people probably have because I was not on the clock. 

 After awhile, I suggested to Doc Mike to hook up with our friends in and outside RMC and put up a blog or vlog all about COVID-19. There’s so many people sharing stuff about the virus and the situation but very few of them are actually doctors. We need to know the real score, the real risks, and what preventive steps we can take, and judging from what Mike shared with me, I feel a little more informed, prepared and less afraid. I also learned why many of the severe cases were hooked on respirators and not just the typical tube in nose oxygenation. I think our little interview helped Doc Mike and it actually inspired me to text and check on other doctors who have helped me, saved me or healed me in the past. We can all say prayers for the frontliners and that is good, but I know that just texting them makes a big difference. When I did, I learned two of my doctors are under quarantine, while one was still in the battle zone. Now would be a good time to let them know that we care, that they matter and that their service to the nation is greatly appreciated. God bless each and every one of you and please Google on YouTube the song “If Tomorrow Never Comes” by Garth Brooks. You’ll know why I asked you.

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