THE STORY began when a lady from the fishing community of Paombong, Bulacan reached out to Sojitz G Auto Philippines (SGAP) or Geely Philippines. She asked if she could trade 120 kilos of tilapia in exchange for Geely’s old tarpaulin billboards which had already been taken down.

Wheng Clemente shared that the tarpaulins would be used to save the community’s fishery business. “Our location is a catch basin,” she said in Filipino. “The tarpaulins would serve to protect the shoreline from erosion — particularly when it rains. Erosion deals a blow on our businesses.”

SGAP welcomed Ms. Clemente’s proposal and donated the fish to Walang Iwanan Alliance, Kawa Pilipinas, and Heaven’s Touch Cuisine — charity groups that organize feeding programs for disadvantaged communities. These groups helped to prepare the fish and cook the meals for around 600 people in Manila and Pasay, just a day before the government has placed NCR Plus under enhanced community quarantine.

“It’s a win-win solution for everybody,” declared SGAP Marketing Manager Ryan Isana. “We get to recycle, support our local fish farmers, and at the same time give back to the community in these times.”

Geely Philippines said that since COVID-19 broke out in 2020, it has been proven that the threat won’t stop Filipinos from helping countrymen from initiating relief operations. Many companies joined forces last year to give aid to those greatly affected by the lockdown. “This Filipino bayanihan spirit has somehow made the dreadful year more bearable,” the company said in a statement.