SMC spends P1 billion to vaccinate personnel, extended workforce

SAN MIGUEL Corp. (SMC) is spending around P1 billion for a program that aims to vaccinate its 70,000 employees and extended personnel for free against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

In a statement on Tuesday, SMC President Ramon S. Ang said the company has secured the COVID-19 vaccine from various sources and has been making plans for its vaccination strategy under the “Ligtas Lahat” task force in partnership with concerned government agencies.

Mr. Ang said employees will be inoculated on a voluntary basis. However, he wishes that all eligible employees will sign up to be vaccinated once the COVID-19 vaccine is available.

“It is our civic duty and our best chance at protecting ourselves and those we love. It is the best thing we can do today to help contain this pandemic, protect the vulnerable, and help speed up economic recovery,” Mr. Ang said.

”Our program is in line with our core value of malasakit and aims to create a safe and healthy workplace, so that we can further contribute to our country’s economic recovery,” he added.

Meanwhile, Mr. Ang said SMC will use vaccines that have passed safety protocols and received emergency use authorization from the local Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

As of writing, the FDA has granted emergency use authorization to COVID-19 vaccines manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, and Sinovac.

He added that the company will continue to enforce public safety methods such as wearing masks, social distancing, and proper hygiene to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect its workforce.

“The business sector will play an important role in vaccinating enough people to reach herd immunity,” Mr. Ang said.

On Tuesday, SMC shares at the stock exchange dropped 0.32% or 40 centavos to close at P125.80 apiece. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave