With the global health crisis, Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) is not only ensuring that banking services remain accessible to Filipinos who need financial resources to survive, it is also using its digital platforms to provide assistance to communities heavily affected by the pandemic.
Through its corporate social responsibility program and its employee volunteerism arm called Go Beyond Communities, UnionBank extended aid to at least 6,000 communities in Metro Manila through its partner foundations. On top of this, the bank also earmarked P3.8 million to procure and donate personal protective equipment for medical frontliners, and allocated another P1 million to support the nationwide food relief program of Aboitiz Foundation, Inc.
First to respond
Soon after the community quarantine was implemented, UnionBank’s Go Beyond Partners like Caritas Manila and Tulong Kapwa Kapatid (2KK) Foundation mobilized resources to secure relief packs to identified communities that are expected to be hit hard by the pandemic.
Donations were immediately transferred online and a fund-raising campaign was set up by Caritas and 2KK using UnionBank’s digital platforms including the option for card customers to convert their points into cash donations.
“UnionBank was one of the first to respond to our call for assistance. The donation of the bank, transferred online, was able to send 4,000 packs of food and vitamins to Caritas family beneficiaries with children, senior citizens, pregnant, and persons with disability, as well as individuals who are minimum wage earners. These are families in the districts of Tondo, Intramuros, Paco, and Sta. Ana in Manila City,” said May Tiangco, head of development planning and strategy of Caritas Manila.
The bank’s Go Beyond Communities also enabled 2KK Foundation to send food packs and vitamins to the 12 most impoverished barangays of the metro.
“Union Bank was one of the first and biggest donors to respond to our COVID efforts. They reached out right away to our call. Because of UnionBank’s initial donation, we were able to assist our communities in Maisan, Sampaloc, Payatas and Smokey mountain. Thanks to UnionBank’s online platform, we were able to raise more funds that allowed us to distribute face masks and deliver 4,500 packed meals for our frontliners. We also sent 3,500 food packs to Maisan, Sampaloc, Payatas, and Smokey Mountain,” said Kritzia Santos, Founder of Tulong Kapwa Kapatid (2KK) Foundation.
Support was also extended to Tahanang Walang Hagdanan, Inc. (TWHI), which is UnionBank’s long-time Go Beyond Communities partner. The bank donated cash that can be used to sustain its operations in this most difficult period. TWHI houses one of UnionBank’s IT command centers that employs three IT Specialists who are themselves persons with disability.
UnionBank will also join Aboitiz Foundation in its initiative to launch a nationwide food distribution program by allocating P1 million from its annual contribution. The feeding program will target municipalities from across the country that will be affected the most by the pandemic.
Supporting to frontliners, service providers
In the coming week, UnionBank will donate 7,000 N95 masks, 2,000 hazmat suits, 1,000 face shields, and 700 protective goggles to Philippine General Hospital, which has been designated as COVID-19 referral center.
1,000 N95 masks were donated to The Medical City, Taguig Medical Center, and Lung Center of the Philippines.
Meanwhile, UnionBank has extended special subsidy to its outsourced service providers that employ security guards, janitors, and messengers. The special subsidy is in the form of a one-time benefit on top of the employees’ daily wages covering March 30 to April 14, 2020.
Unity in adversity
UnionBank’s digital transformation, which focused on people and technology, is proving its timely role in providing undisrupted banking services to customers and assisting its community of social citizenship partners.
“The bank’s digital transformation has truly prepared the organization to be agile even in emergency situations and further allowed UnionBank’s culture and core values of integrity, magis, and ubuntu to shine through, inspiring our employees and community partners to collaborate and co-create much needed solutions that address the need of our stakeholders,” said Dave Devilles, head of UnionBank’s CSR, sustainability, and employee relations.