It was the day of the Lord’s Resurrection and the whole Christendom was rejoicing Easter Sunday with their families, albeit subdued for the second consecutive year on the back of the resurgence of the deadly coronavirus (Covid-19) infections.
Jeffrey Tarayao, president of the One Meralco Foundation (OMF), the corporate foundation and social development arm of the country’s largest private sector electric distribution company Manila Electric Co (Meralco), and his team were far from spending a quiet day. Instead, they were doing the rounds of hospitals and medical facilities around the Metro providing hearty meals for the real heroes of the pandemic: The frontliners. The OMF distributed packed meals to thousands of frontline workers in various hospitals in the Meralco franchise area.
The OMF initiative was to show appreciation for the sacrifice and hard work of health workers fighting Covid-19 on the frontlines.
Data from OMF showed that as of 16 April, the Foundation has provided a total of 13,989 meals to frontline workers at the Makati Medical Center, Cardinal Santos Medical Center, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Sacred Heart Hospital-Malolos (Bulacan), Philippine General Hospital, Lung Center of the Philippines and Dr. Jose S. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital (Tala).
“As we stay indoors as much as possible to keep ourselves and our families safe, thousands of health workers rush to where the difficult battle is being fought. We cannot all be frontliners, but in many ways we can show them our support. This is not just the government’s role to play. Our collective efforts will go a long way in putting an end to this pandemic,” Tarayao said in an interview with the Daily Tribune.
He added that the initiative came about in the middle of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) implemented in the National Capital Region (NCR) and surrounding provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal, otherwise known as the “NCR Plus” bubble, from 29 March to 11 April.
It was the second time Metro Manila was placed under the stricter lockdown measure following the continued rise in the daily reported Covid-19 cases in the country breaching the 10,000 mark for the first time on 29 March, the majority of which are in the region.
“It must be a very challenging time to be a frontliner now that hospitals are nearing or at full capacity. Doctors, nurses and support personnel are working round-the-clock to attend to even more patients. Aside from physical exhaustion, one can only imagine the emotional stress and anxiety they are going through because their health and the safety of their own families are on the line,” said Tarayao.
“In our little way, we hope to make them feel that they are not alone in this battle, and that their efforts are appreciated,” he added.
Meralco employees also supported the advocacy by donating to an internal fundraising campaign dubbed “Help from Home.”
Last year, OMF helped address the challenges of the pandemic by donating personal protective equipment (PPE) for at least 6,090 frontline workers in different hospitals and local government units, distributing food packages for 7,856 marginalized families, donating equipment to government and non-profit frontline institutions, among other initiatives.