Lopez-led First Philippine Holdings Corp. (FPH) is donating 100,000 additional Moderna anti-Covid-19 vaccines to various local government units (LGUs) and institutions around the country as part of the Lopez Group’s continuing efforts to help the government control the spread of the pandemic.
Ricky Carandang, FPH vice president and head of corporate communications, said that the Lopez Group has started the distribution of the Moderna vaccines, and it hopes to complete the deliveries within the first quarter of the year. These donations will come on top of another 83,800 Astra-Zeneca and Moderna doses that FPH and its subsidiaries re-allocated to LGUs last year, Carandang added.
Many of the donated vaccines have already reached their destination in the provinces, while some batches are ready for release or awaiting final approval from the National Task Force Against Covid-19 (NTF), he explained.
The total 183,800 anti-Covid shots re-apportioned by FPH to target recipients from 2021 to date do not include thousands of vaccines that the FPH Group is administering for employees, contractors and their dependents, said Catherine Colmenares-Cabrillos, FPH’s vaccine re-allocation project manager.
Cabrillos added that this year’s recipients include the Ilocos Norte provincial government and the town of Burgos also in Ilocos Norte; San Jose City, Alfonso Castaneda, Carranglan and Pantabangan in Nueva Ecija; Floridablanca, Lubao, Porac and Santa Rita in Pampanga; Lobo in Batangas province; and the provincial government of Sorsogon in Bicol. The University Health Service of the University of the Philippines, on the other hand, is getting over 2,000 Astra-Zeneca anti-Covid-19 shots.
FPH is also finalizing with the NTF the donations for Guagua and Sasmuan in Pampanga, Batangas City, Iloilo City and Cagayan De Oro City. The donated vaccines range in number from a few hundred shots, for the small LGUs; to tens of thousands, for the big cities and provinces, Cabrillos further said.
In 2021, the re-allocated vaccine shots from FPH went to 27 LGUs and the Department of Transportation. FPH acquired the bulk or 68,800 of these doses last year from Astra-Zeneca; and the remaining 15,000, from Moderna.
Among the recipients in 2021 were the LGUs of Mandaluyong, Manila, Paranaque and Taguig in Metro Manila; Maria Aurora in Aurora province; Santo Tomas City and Tanauan City, as well as the town of Bay in Batangas; Calauan, Laguna; Legaspi City and Sorsogon City in Bicol; Bacolod City and Iloilo City in Western Visayas; the provincial governments of Bohol, Camarines Sur, Marinduque, Negros Oriental and Nueva Ecija; and the towns of Kananga in Leyte, Jabonga in Agusan del Norte, as well as Impasug-ong, Libona and Manolo Fortich in Bukidnon.
“In our own small way, we help in government’s program to recover from the pandemic by expanding the scope of our own vaccination program. Through our presence in the provinces, we are able to get in touch with LGUs and facilitate the task of coordinating vaccine deliveries not only to the LGUs hosting our projects, but also to nearby areas whose residents equally need protection against Covid-19,” Carandang noted.
Some of the LGUs made it to both the 2021 and 2022 lists of recipients because they needed additional vaccines this year on top of what they got last year, Cabrillos said. “The recipients were identified by the CSR teams of the FPH subsidiaries who conducted site validation and prepared their recommendations, based on the needs of the communities,” Cabrillos added.
The FPH subsidiaries handling the vaccine rollout include the Lopez Group’s ecozone operator First Philippine Industrial Park together with technical-vocational school arm FIRST College in Batangas; construction unit First Balfour Inc.; and energy holding company First Gen Corporation with its renewable energy arm Energy Development Corporation (EDC).
Acknowledged as the country’s clean energy leader, First Gen through subsidiaries owns and operates natural gas-fired power plants in Batangas. It likewise has existing and proposed run-of-river hydroelectric projects in Mindanao. EDC, on the other hand, owns and operates geothermal power generating facilities in the Bicol Region, Leyte, Negros Oriental and North Cotabato, on top of a hydroelectric plant in Nueva Ecija, as well as wind and solar farms in Ilocos Norte.