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SMA's Message To Stakeholders On The Group's COVID-19 Response

Dear Fellow Stakeholders,

I hope you and all your family are keeping safe and staying healthy thru this global pandemic that is COVID-19. The world, and our lives as we know it, have been shaken to its core, as countries struggle to contain the virus, protect people’s health, manage scarce resources, and keep economies afloat.

On behalf of the Aboitiz Group, I would like to share how we as an organization are addressing the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic on our business and the communities we serve. We have made it clear early on that our focus is prioritizing the safety and well-being of our team members while continuing to serve our customers and all our stakeholders.

We immediately started risk assessments on potential impact and formed a technical working group to closely monitor the progression of the growing health crisis. We also began a groupwide campaign on proper health and safety protocols, and invited experts to help us better understand what we are up against. Additionally, we gave our team members easy access to relevant and accurate information through online health consultations with our company’s medical professionals.

As the number of confirmed positive cases increased and the enhanced community quarantine was imposed, the Aboitiz Group initiated our work-from-home scheme in order to avert exposing our team members to the virus. We mobilized the teams who were absolutely essential in ensuring delivery of highly-critical services for our country, such as power, banking, and food. By keeping the lights on, delivering financial services in the digital space, and ensuring our nation’s food security, we continue to rise above the challenges and deliver on our commitments.

Throughout this crisis, we remain steadfast to our brand promise of advancing business and communities. We have responded by :

  • Allocating funds for full support and benefits to help all our team members in this time of crisis
  • Ensuring uninterrupted power supply and electrification for industries, communities, hospitals and other vital facilities, while extending payment terms for customers
  • Providing innovative digital banking solutions, access to liquidity and remaining open to proactively serve our customers’ financial needs
  • Ensuring our food group, both local and overseas, continue to operate, while delivering a consistent supply of products for many of our small business partners who depend on us for their livelihood
  • Guaranteeing 24/7 availability of potable water and continued industrial waste water treatment for locators and commercial establishments, and introducing an online homebuying process for the convenience of customers
  • Ensuring minimal disruption for the ongoing construction of the hydroelectric power plant and water treatment facilities in Davao, and operating our construction projects across 13 sites nationwide while adhering to the strictest precautionary work measures
  • Supporting the needs of communities all over the country through initiatives and donations; these include our contribution to Project Ugnayan that has fed over 7.6 million families;  essential medical items for frontliners to hospitals, agencies and local government units in Cebu, Davao, Iligan City and Tarlac; Our Kinder by Aboitiz donation drive which has kicked off; and providing food supply for the Rizal Memorial and Ninoy Aquino Stadium quarantine facilities
  • Moreover, Php500 million worth of ER-194 funds through our power business units has been earmarked by the DOE for reallocation to Covid response in our host communities

As of April 23, the Aboitiz Group’s contribution to COVID-19 response initiatives has reached over PHP1.8 billion, and our efforts to support communities will continue until we overcome this crisis.

The pandemic has put our values of Integrity, Teamwork, Innovation, and Responsibility to the test and challenged our resolve. We are determined to remain faithful to our commitment — to drive change for a better world — even under the worst circumstances. We will continue to live out our values, so that we can respond, evolve, and adapt as we go through the “new normal” with all of you.

There are many lessons from this experience, and we see its effects well beyond year 2020. We need to pay closer attention to the need for innovation and a back-to-basics approach in strengthening our business. Our investments in digital tools have made it possible for us to operate and transition efficiently to the digital space. We will seek new opportunities as we adapt to the new normal, while continuing to re-engineer our workplace for better efficiency, productivity and increased team member engagement and safety. We will review and rationalize our operations, strengthening our financial position that will allow us to be a stronger business and a more resilient organization for the future. Together, we shall embed and accelerate this transformation across the organization.

On behalf of the Aboitiz Group, I want to thank our partners in the public and private sector who help facilitate our various groupwide COVID-19 response initiatives, especially in our host communities.

I also thank our Aboitiz team members across all business units, wherever you are based, for your bravery, hard work, and selflessness through this challenging time. I am grateful for your unceasing efforts in ensuring that the Aboitiz Group’s assistance and relief efforts immediately reach our frontliners and beneficiaries who need them the most. Time and again, you have been the embodiment of our Group Purpose to drive change for a better world and our Brand Promise of advancing business and communities in the many ways you work together as #OneAboitiz.

Let me end by saying that through all the challenges we face, why we do what we do remains unchanged, but how we do it is constantly evolving and adapting. This is how Aboitiz has endured for over 100 years and will continue to in the next.

Thank you and stay safe. #OneAboitiz!

Sabin M. Aboitiz
President & CEO
Aboitiz Group

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