The Aboitiz Group has earmarked P900 million in assistance to help its team members cope with the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic following the announcement of a national state of calamity.
This amount covers the early release of the end-March salary and the 13th or 14th month pay of the Group’s over 11,000 team members across its strategic business units in power, banking and financial services, food, infrastructure, and land.
The Aboitiz Group will also cover COVID-19-related medical expenses of any affected team member.
Aboitiz Group President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sabin M. Aboitiz admits there is a lot of anxiety as “during these trying times, we understand financial security is critical for all.” He noted the best way the Aboitiz Group can support the government’s campaign against COVID-19 is to let its team members stay home.
“The COVID-19 pandemic remains at large, and we wish that you and your loved ones are safe and healthy in your homes,” Aboitiz said in a message sent to Aboitiz team members.
Malacañang and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) cited the Aboitiz Group as one of the top Philippine conglomerates that have extended benefits to its employees during the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine.
Malacañang thanked the Aboitiz Group and other conglomerates for helping ease the financial burden on their workers.
“Given that the Palace considers this current situation as a time for solidarity, it also appreciates most of these companies for stepping up to the challenge through their significant donations to various entities which are at the front of this battle. We can only hope that other businesses will follow suit within their means,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo said.
“My sincerest gratitude to the large companies who heeded my appeal to provide their workers full payment of their salary for the duration of the enhanced community quarantine, without using up their available leaves, advance payment of 13th/14th month pay and other financial relief,” DOLE Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said.
The Aboitiz Group also provides regular updates to all its team members, especially on quarantine guidelines. Live conversations and frequent messages from the Group CEO assure team members that their welfare is of utmost importance to the company and ensure business continuity amid the COVID-19 crisis.
To safeguard the welfare of its team members, the Aboitiz Group has implemented work-from-home schemes in Luzon and Visayas. The company will also be providing or paying for adequate communication access for team members who need it. Online courses that build work-from-home competencies have been rolled out, and a team member donation and management program support for No-Work, No-Pay personnel was also launched.
The company also implemented reduced work hours (in keeping with local curfews where applicable) and provided adequate accommodation, food, and transportation for the skeletal workforce, particularly for its banking and financial services units UnionBank and CitySavings, who handle critical functions and have to report to work. It also ensured new office disinfection procedures have been implemented and personal protective equipment and other viral prevention items are available.
For Aboitiz Construction, project sites still on normal operations observe strict precautionary measures. Workers receive project allowance on top of full eight hour pay (no overtime work). Projects that have stopped operations but still have workers on site who are unable to travel out, will either be hired into another project in close proximity, within the defined community lockdown, or provided accommodation (site barracks or temporary staff housing) and food, in accordance with local quarantine measures.
To ensure team members are constantly updated on COVID-19, the Aboitiz Group has launched a microsite where team members can access advisories, guidelines, forms, and frequently-asked questions on COVID-19.