16 August 2020

San Miguel Corporation (SMC) has started providing meals for some 274 locally-stranded individuals (LSIs) camping out at the Manila North Harbor due to inter-island travel restrictions under the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

The company had mobilized its volunteers from its nearby SMC Better World Tondo community feeding center and food bank to prepare and deliver lunch and dinner to the stranded passengers who are currently waiting for the resumption of travel schedules, said SMC President and Chief Operating Officer Ramon S. Ang.

Stranded passengers are mostly bound for Iloilo, Bacolod, Dumaguete, Ozamis, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Butuan, Zamboanga, and Coron.

“It’s unfortunate that they can’t get home right away, especially since many of them are Overseas Filipino Workers who can’t wait to see their families. But as we all have to abide by the restrictions of the MECQ for safety reasons, we felt we should just do what we can to help the LSIs,” said Ang.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic struck, the company has been helping LSIs stuck in the country’s ports by donating food and providing financial assistance.

SMC recently provided some 8,000 pieces of nutribun to thousands of LSIs at the Rizal Memorial Stadium who were waiting to avail of the government’s Balik Probinsya program.

The company also provided a financial assistance and a total of 14,640 free meals to feed some 369 LSIs thrice a day at the Philippine Ports Authority building and passenger terminal arrival areas at the Manila North Harbor, from June 29 to July 16. Most of the LSIs were also seafarers bound for Cagayan de Oro, Bacolod, and Iloilo.

SMC has been the forefront of private sector efforts against the pandemic as the company’s response package has reached P13.112 billion as of June 25, including P516 million food donations and P500 million medical donations for PCR testing machines, testing kits, and personal protective equipment.