THE ABOITIZ GROUP’S contribution to the country’s coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) response has reached over P2.2 billion, with the company being among the firms that first offered support to the government at the beginning of the pandemic.

The Aboitiz Group said in a statement that its total contribution to the national COVID-19 response has reached over P2.2 billion as of Sunday.

“The Aboitiz Group believes that a strong collaboration between the public and private sectors is critical to our battle against COVID-19. Through these vaccines, we will be able to help ensure people are safe and protected from the virus while keeping our economy moving,” Aboitiz Group President and Chief Executive Officer Sabin M. Aboitiz said.

“The Aboitiz Group was among the first conglomerates to extend help and support to the government at the start of the pandemic, especially for Cebu and Davao City,” Presidential Peace adviser and the former general in charge of the strategy to combat COVID-19 Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. said.

Expressing his gratitude to the company, Mr. Galvez said the virus response required “close cooperation” between the public and private sectors.

The Aboitiz Group was one of the companies that inked a tripartite agreement in a virtual event last Friday to collaborate with the government and UK-based drugmaker AstraZeneca Plc to provide 2.6 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to Filipinos.

The procured vaccines will be deployed by the Department of Health and administered to government frontline workers and private-sector employees. Two doses of the vaccine are expected to cost around P500 or $10.

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey A. Concepcion, who was present during the tripartite agreement signing, said that he expected the vaccines to arrive by May or June next year.

Meanwhile, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals Philippines, Inc. president Lotis Ramin said the firm is “working closely with regulatory authorities across the globe in bringing solutions to end the pandemic.” — A.Y. Yang