OMF bags four Stevies for its COVID initiatives

omf bags four stevies for its covid initiatives - OMF bags four Stevies for its COVID initiatives

The corporate social responsibility arm of the Manila Electric Company (Meralco), One Meralco Foundation (OMF), was honored in the 17th Annual International Business Awards — also known as the Stevie Awards — for four of its COVID response efforts.

“Help from Home,” an internal campaign that provided opportunities for Meralco employees to contribute to the foundation’s COVID-19 initiatives while working from home, won bronze in the most valuable corporate response category.

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Hundreds of families in Mauban, Quezon receive care packages from OMF and the Meralco Employees’ Fund for Charity, Inc. (MEFCI), an organization of Meralco employees.

“A heartfelt employee social responsibility initiative directly aligned to the company’s values. This campaign will no doubt be remembered by all those who were able to gain assistance from it,” noted a juror.

The campaign raised PHP 2,806,902 allowing OMF to provide grocery gift certificates to more than 1,000 low-income families in Metro Manila during the early days of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) period. It also funded the sustained relief operations of OMF thereafter.

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A Meralco employee hands over a care package from One Meralco Foundation in one of its relief operations in Metro Manila.

A partnership initiative with Meralco’s electric vehicle subsidiary, eSakay, also won bronze in the same category. It provided free shuttle service to thousands of medical frontliners and essential workers at a time when public transport was put on hold in an effort to curb the community transmission of the novel coronavirus. 

The service carried 76,364 frontliners in Pasig City, Makati City, and along special routes designated by the DOTr. It also provided income to 35 eSakay drivers and support personnel.

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An eSakay electric vehicle shuttles frontliners and essential workers within Metro Manila during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ). Because mass transport was suspended during the period, medical workers and employees of vital establishments that were allowed to operate found it challenging to report to work. OMF and eSakay’s free service helped address this problem.

“This is one good corporate response in a country with a lot of commuting public. Keep up the good work helping the frontliners,” wrote one juror.

Meanwhile, “From Farmers to Frontliners,” a campaign that provided nutritious vegetables to frontliners and the homeless, while invigorating the livelihood of vegetable farmers, won bronze in the most valuable non-profit response category. 

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Vegetables donated by OMF were served to frontline workers at the Las Piñas General Hospital.

OMF procured six tons of produce from farmers in Kabayan, Benguet province, and served these to 9,403 healthcare workers, 5,695 LGU frontliners, and 3,365 marginalized families. Bayad Center, Meralco’s payment solutions subsidiary, funded the program.

Jurors in the category described it as “a very smart project” and “a proud achievement.”

In the past six months, OMF has worked with 31 local government units in the Meralco franchise area and dozens of national agencies to provide care packages to 7,891 families in marginalized communities adversely affected by the economic effects of the pandemic. This strategic partnership won for the foundation its fourth bronze Stevie also in the most valuable non-profit response category.

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A housewife receives a PhP1,000 grocery gift check from Caritas Manila’s “Project Damayan,” an initiative of the Catholic Church-affiliated charitable institution to help marginalized families cope with the health crisis. In support of this cause, One Meralco Foundation launched a fundraising campaign within Meralco called “Help from Home.” The campaign allowed employees of Meralco and its subsidiaries to contribute while working in the safety of their homes. It raised a total of PhP2.80 million.

“A very admirable effort to support the front-line medical staff and those in need in these troubled times. [Meralco’s] service to the community is heart-warming and it is exemplary effort for other organizations to follow,” shared a juror in the category.

The programs were honored in the COVID19 Response Categories, which were specially offered this year to recognize the contributions of individuals and institutions to the global fight against the novel coronavirus.

The Stevie Awards attracted more than 3,800 nominations from organizations of all types in 63 nations this year.

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