With the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon and other parts of the country in order to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, millions of Filipinos have been forced to stay at home. For many, this means not being able to work, preventing them from earning the money that they need in order to support their families.
In times like these is when the Filipino spirit of bayanihan shines the brightest. A positive trait that the Philippines is known all over the world for, bayanihan means going out of one’s way to help others, working together toward a common goal, and lending a hand without expecting anything in return, especially during emergencies.
One company that has been showcasing the spirit of bayanihan amid the COVID-19 pandemic is Mekeni. Immediately after the implementation of the ECQ was announced in mid-March, the company heed the call of local government units and non-government organizations for donations and began pooling all readily available resources so they could bring aid to communities and individuals who needed it as soon as possible.
“We know that countless Filipinos are affected by the lockdown. Even our own employees are affected because they cannot go to work. But when we announced that we were going to conduct a donation initiative for those affected by COVID-19, everyone was on board. They were willing to put in more hours just to be able to help, which is very heartwarming,” said Mekeni President Prudencio Garcia.
As of writing, the company has donated to several organizations, local government units, and frontliners all over Luzon. The donations were delivered in batches throughout the whole lockdown period. Packing of the donations is done by the company’s production employees themselves, while the delivery is handled by the company drivers. The company’s Emergency Preparedness and Response Team was also tasked to handle some of the community donations on top of their regular work.
“We’re very glad that despite being in a much different situation now, our employees still chose to serve others. I do not exactly know their reasons pero nakatataba ng puso na sa mga panahong gaya nito, handa silang tumulong sa ibang tao,” Garcia said.
Bayanihan has always been part of Mekeni’s DNA. Having gone through several crises, Mekeni has committed itself to help those in need in times of crises and calamities – whenever and wherever. These include the Mount Pinatubo eruption of 1991, Typhoon Ondoy that wreaked havoc in several parts of Metro Manila in 2009, the earthquake that struck Pampanga and devastated Porac in April 2019, and the Taal volcano eruption last February wherein Mekeni traveled to Agoncillo, Batangas and prepared hot meals for those who were affected by the eruption.
“In times like these, we must be there for each other to help and uplift one another. As we face the threat of this pandemic, we are committed to do whatever we can for our frontliners and communities in need by helping provide for their needs. We hope that through our contributions, we can make a difference in their lives,” Garcia concluded.