Uncertain times may challenge a nation. But if the Filipino spirit of Bayanihan has proven anything, it remains to be the hope that fuels each member of the community to stay strong and keep lending a hand.

Shell companies in the Philippines witnessed this same spirit in each of the efforts that it rolled out to battle the effects of COVID-19 in the country.

With each initiative, it became clear that Shell’s partnerships and connections to the community members are key to winning against the pandemic. To date, roughly 693,000 beneficiaries received aid from the various efforts of Shell’s programs.

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An ambulance gassing up | Photo by Shell Press

Mobilizing help and heroes all over the country

One of the hardest-hit aspects of the country is transportation. With ECQ bringing public transportation to a standstill, it became difficult not only to the frontliners who needed to quickly respond to emergencies.

Since the start of the ECQ, Shell gave 3.78 million liters of discounted fuels to frontliners. This assisted the frontliners, healthcare workers, police, military personnel, and other logistics personnel and equipment at the height of the pandemic.

For frontliners who had no access to their own transportation, Shell partnered with five fleet account customers. Shell provided free fuel to five fleet partners -- Vallacar Transit Inc., Jasper Jean, BGC Bus, Ube Express, and Transportify. This resulted in roughly 2,175 healthcare workers and critical goods moved within the city.

Free fuel was also provided to 23 hospitals in key cities around the Philippines. This effort fueled more than 50 ambulances and hospital fleet vehicles to ensure a swift and safe response to medical emergencies.

Shell also found an opportunity to bring relief to its loyal customers through the Shell Go+ Loyalty Program. Ever since the quarantine started, many PUV drivers lost their source of everyday income, and Shell has given free Go+ points that amounted to P3.16 million to help ease their way back to the new normal.

Beyond transportation

Aside from free fuel and redeemable points, Shell offered free vitamins to about 3,000 drivers who visited the stations. Retailers also initiated their own activities that included giving out free facemasks, face shields, food, and relief goods. Handwashing facilities have also been set up in select retail gas stations all over the country to benefit more than 5,000 customers and employees.

Para sa Bayani: Jumpstarting livelihoods

Shell’s social arm, Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc. launched its Para sa Bayani campaign focusing on three programs, which tapped and reached out to 77 municipalities and 26 provinces outside Metro Manila.

Ani Para sa Bayani bridged producers to kitchen partners who produced and delivered healthy meals for frontliners and other vulnerable members of the communities. This effort procured 168.1 tons of produce, helping 3,374 Filipino farmers and fisherfolk to sell their harvest and catch to sustain their livelihood. Over 477,920 meals were distributed to healthcare workers, military personnel, logistic drivers, and other members of the at-risk communities.

Proteksyon Para sa Bayani, the second arm of the initiative, connected Shell’s businesses and external organizations. Specifically, it created and distributed more than 19,000 PPEs that could be used by non-medical frontliners. Around 4,870 of the total number of PPE sets were created by initiatives such as the SIBBAP Multi-Purpose Cooperative and the Batangas State University (BSU). The former was in charge of banding together Batangueño housewives to support their sewing livelihood, while BSU leveraged technology by using 3D printers to produce face shields for protective use.

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Malampaya Team | Photo by Shell Press

Supporting mobility in Shell communities

The third program of the initiative, Tulong Para sa Bayani, allowed the transport of relief goods and essential items to several Shell communities. Twenty-five (25) Manila-Palawan-Manila flights were optimized to transport healthcare equipment, laboratory tests, and relief goods, and PPEs for the use of Palaweños.

Over 111,000 relief packs were delivered through the partnership between Shell and the local government units in Shell’s communities nationwide. Additionally, the Malampaya Foundation Inc., the social arm of Malampaya joint venture partners distributed food packs filled with rice, meat, and produce sourced from local farmers for park and sea rangers that were affected by the sudden stop in tourism and livelihood because of the pandemic.

With easing restrictions, vigilance to avoid further transmission of the virus should still be practiced. Shell believes that its mission to aid Filipinos will continue.

The new normal is set to bring new challenges to the country. However, Shell remains steadfast in adapting and finding opportunities to remain resilient. In keeping with its 106-year legacy in the Philippines, the energy leader continues to focus on health, safety, and the wellbeing of its people and stakeholders, reflecting the spirit of Bayanihan with every initiative.

For more information about Shell in the Philippines, visit www.shell.com.ph.