The COVID-19 pandemic has definitely brought to the fore the struggles of many Filipinos who have lost their means of livelihood. On a brighter note, it has also given rise to acts of courage and perseverance of front liners, and generosity and kindness of others.
Since the pandemic struck, the Hortaleza Group of Companies (HGC) headed byDr. Rolando Hortaleza, through the Ang-Hortaleza Foundation (AHF), has endeavored to help people and communities survive the impact of COVID-19.
First is through their Community Food Aid “Tulong sa Pamilya”. This was done in cooperation with private and public organizations like the Government of Caloocan and Municipality of Pateros, Caritas Manila, One Meralco Foundation, Project Pearls, Federation of Persons with Disabilities, Kabataan Para sa Tribung Pilipino and several others. Under this AHF initiative, food bags and hygiene packs that contained various essentials were distributed to families in depressed areas across Luzon. Some of the communities that have benefited from the initiative are the Municipality of Plaridel, Bulacan where 500 families received food bags and hygiene packs; and Pasig City, where 500 families received food bags and hygiene packs. In Payatas, Quezon City, 25 cases of Barrio Fiesta Peanut Butter and 10 boxes of Barrio Fiesta broth cubes were distributed to 2000 families. To date, the “Tulong sa Pamilya” initiative of AHF has benefitted 25,745 families and 750 senior citizens.
Another initiative is the “Pa-Meryenda Bilang Pasasalamat” which targeted medical front liners as beneficiaries. Here, AHF provided “meryenda” packs of bread, jars of Barrio peanut butter and distilled water to front liners, particularly medical personnel, as small gestures of appreciation for their vital service. These were distributed to medical centers including the Pasig City Dialysis Center, Qualimed Hospital in San Jose Bulacan, Medical City, Medical Center Paranaque, East Avenue Medical Center, Valenzuela Medical Center and many others. To date, 2,305 front liners have received these “meryenda” packs.
Closer to home, HGC has also provided financial Aid to 763 agency-based employees who lost their means to earn.
AHF continues to work hard in order to help more people in more communities across the country. Dr. Hortaleza believes that as long as the persistence, compassion, generosity and kindheartedness of the Filipino continues to shine, the COVID-19 menace would soon be a thing of the past.