The Aboitiz Group, along with over 30 private companies, has partnered with the Philippine government and British drugmaker AstraZeneca to procure 2.6 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, as part of the government’s ongoing pandemic response.
“The Aboitiz Group was among the first conglomerates to extend help and support to the government at the start of the pandemic, especially for Cebu and Davao City. We thank the Aboitiz Group, led by its president Sabin M. Aboitiz, as we strongly believe dealing with COVID-19 needs close cooperation between the government and the private sector,” said vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, Jr.
Aboitiz Foundation President and Chief Operating Officer Maribeth L. Marasigan and 30 other company heads and representatives signed the deal in a virtual ceremony last 27 November, joining Galvez, Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey A. Concepcion, and AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals Philippines, Inc. president Lotis Ramin.
“The Aboitiz Group believes that a strong collaboration between the public and private sectors is critical to our battle against COVID-19. Through these vaccines, we will be able to help ensure people are safe and protected from the virus while keeping our economy moving. We are committed to supporting all response efforts as we help drive change for a better world and toward a better normal,” said Aboitiz, president and CEO of Aboitiz Group.
The vaccines will be donated to the Department of Health (DOH) which will handle their deployment. Half of the donations will be for government frontline workers, while the other half will be for private-sector employees – both regular and contractual – provided they follow the government’s priority sectors for distribution.
“With all these announcements, our Filipino people can be assured that we will not be left behind. With the efforts of Sec. Galvez in bringing the vaccine to this country, we will soon see this pandemic disappear,” said Concepcion, adding that he expects the vaccines to arrive by May or June 2021.
“We are working closely with regulatory authorities across the globe, and we really hope to be able to bring a solution here to end the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Ramin.
AstraZeneca has a zero-profit program in 2021, which means the vaccines are priced as low as possible. The vaccine is expected to cost around P500 ($10) for two doses.
To date, the Aboitiz Group’s total contribution to the national COVID-19 response effort has reached over P2.2 billion (excluding various payments waived, reduced, extended, or restructured to help customers cope with the impact of COVID-19), underscoring the group’s sustained campaign to help address the urgent needs of frontliners and affected communities nationwide.