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Ayala-led AC Energy raises P64 million for COVID-19 response

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AYALA’S energy arm on Wednesday said it had raised over P64 million to provide assistance to health workers, as well as communities and its own employees who were affected by the global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

The amount came in the form of donations, such as electricity subsidies, food relief, medical supplies, and even cash assistance.

“As AC Energy continues to ensure uninterrupted access to power, we will also continue to draw on our strengths, and work on providing aid to our people and to as many Filipinos as possible,” AC Energy President and Chief Executive Officer Eric T. Francia said in a statement.

The energy firm allotted a total of P24 million in the recent conversion of the World Trade Center in Pasay City into a COVID-19 treatment facility. It pledged to cover half of the electricity costs in the make-shift center.

AC Energy donated P7 million for the conversions of Qualimed Hospital in Laguna into a COVID-19-dedicated hospital and the HOPE Project in Quezon City into a 175-bed quarantine facility.

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It also earmarked P8 million for its contract-based employees and as an emergency response fund.

Moreover, its renewables subsidiaries, North Luzon Renewables and NorthWind Power, and peaking plant units, CIP II Power Corp. and Bulacan Power Generation Corp., have set aside a total of P13 million for food, cash, and medical supplies donations for their host communities.

Separately, Yuchengco Group’s construction business EEI Corp. said it had recently helped in converting the Filinvest Tent in Muntinlupa City into a 108-bed quarantine center, in partnership with Filinvest Development Corp. and the Department of Public Works and Highways.

Meanwhile, the Aboitiz Group-backed Project ARK (Antibody Rapid Test Kits) has generated more than 800,000 kits for COVID-19.

Project ARK is an initiative led by the private sector with the Office of the Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship, which uses reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and antibody rapid testing for COVID-19, aligned with the Department of Health’s guidelines for its administration at the barangay level.

The mass testing initiative was introduced in preparation for the gradual lifting of the enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila by May 15 when workers are expected to return to work.

The project for mass facilitation of coronavirus test was piloted in Manila’s Sampaloc district where after two days, 31 individuals were identified to be possibly infected with the dreaded disease from SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2).

Since then, Manila City Mayor Francisco M. Domagoso has expanded the mass testing to other districts within the city. — Adam J. Ang

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