By MB Online
Caritas Manila, in partnership with business groups, will distribute grocery vouchers to urban poor residents in the Metro Manila area through “Project Damayan.”
“We aim to distribute P1,000 gift certificates to 1 million households in the poor communities of the greater Manila area,” Caritas Manila Executive Director Fr. Anton C. Pascual said in an online statement.
Funding for the vouchers came from top business groups that raised over P1.5 billion for this purpose through “Project Ugnayan.”
In an online statement, Project Ugnayan organizers wrote that they are “a collaboration with business groups in cooperation with the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF) to raise funds in support of ongoing initiatives to help poor families that were economically displaced by the ongoing enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila.”
“In compliance with social distancing guidelines, gift certificates will be delivered door-to-door, redeemable for food items from accessible groceries and supermarkets. Distribution is being done in close coordination with the Philippine National Police and the local barangay captains,” Pascual said.
“We have started in four pilot areas and are scaling up distribution to the most vulnerable communities regardless of religion.”
The gift vouchers are funded by Project Ugnayan with the support of business groups: Aboitiz Group, ABS-CBN/Lopez Group, Alliance Global/Megaworld, AY Foundation and RCBC, Ayala Corporation, Caritas Manila, Century Pacific, Concepcion Industrial Corp, DMCI, Gokongwei Group of Companies/Robinsons Retail Holdings, ICTSI, Jollibee, Leonio Group, Mercury Drug, Metrobank/GT Capital, Nutri-Asia, Oishi/Liwayway Marketing Group, PDRF, PLDT/Metro Pacific Investments Corporation, Puregold, San Miguel Corporation, SM/BDO, Sunlife of Canada, and Suyen Corp.
The group said that there are ongoing talks with other companies that have signified their intention to contribute more resources to expand the reach of this project.
Pascual said, “We are grateful for the support of the business community and hope that this initiative will inspire more acts of kindness in this time of crisis. Now is the time for our communities to help as one.
“We must encourage more interventions from all who can help and ensure that resources from the generosity of donors will be maximized for the benefit of our poor communities.”
Project Damayan is a project of Caritas Manila supported by the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF) and the business community. Caritas Manila is a non-profit organization that serves as the lead social service and development ministry of the Catholic Church in the Philippines.
“We believe that the current national emergency needs pro-active and harmonized intervention of all sectors of society, an inclusive approach that taps all available resources and talents,” Pascual said.