This is the time big business is setting aside bottom-line goals to join hands with private and public sectors to help soften the impact of economic dislocation.
Alliance Global Group Inc. (AGI), Andrew Tan’s group of companies which includes Megaworld, Emperador, Resorts World Manila and McDonald’s, has raised over P600 million worth of donations and projects to help mitigate the crisis.
Kevin Tan, AGI chief executive officer, said in an email interview with Lifestyle: “First, our conglomerate employs 85,000 workers and we have to support them by making sure they receive their salaries even during quarantine. Second, we support our customers. For example, we waived the rental fees of our mall tenants at this time. Third, we support society, most especially our less fortunate brothers and sisters in various communities.”
AGI’s donations include P100 million for Project Ugnayan’s distribution of food vouchers to poor communities; 1 million liters of alcohol disinfectant worth approximately P250 million; Megaworld’s P60-million donation to Philippine Red Cross to set up four brand-new COVID-19 (new coronavirus disease) test laboratories for mass testing; P3 million worth of food distribution to health-care and security checkpoint front-liners, and free transport to medical personnel from Megaworld and subsidiaries; P65 million worth of donations to local government units (LGUs) and other organizations; P125 million worth of personal protecttive equipment and food distribution to poor communities by Resorts World Manila and partners; waiving of rental fees of Megaworld Lifestyle Malls’ tenants for 1.5 months; and around 100,000 meals for front-liners, LGUs and poor communities via McDonald’s Kindness Kitchen.
Tan added that the crisis has defined the true meaning of public-private partnerships: “The government has the toughest job to safeguard the lives of the more than 100 million Filipinos, and the support of the private sector means a lot. This is the time the government becomes receptive to ideas, as the playbook keeps on changing, and we are happy to be part of this forum.”
As the quarantine is extended, Tan is looking to move forward: “While we understand that this will take some time, there is hope that we can conquer the virus.”
At home, Tan said he has been catching up on reading. “I read two to three books at the same time. These are books related to digital transformation and leadership. I have also been having great quality time with my family, especially my two kids, and I am so happy to see them learning a lot of stuff.”
He pointed out the benefits of the work-from-home arrangement: “We have discovered that there are a lot of functions in the company that can be done at home. I have been meeting with more people now compared to normal days because of video conferencing. I don’t need to travel from one meeting to another. When I am in the office, there are a lot of distractions compared to when I’m at home.”