ASSISTANCE. PGH Director Dr. Gap Legaspi thanks the Ayala Group for validating the hospital's efforts. PGH, National Children's Hospital, and Tondo Medical Center each received PHP500,000, pocket wi-fi kits, and smart television sets from the group. (Photo taken during the virtual presser on Monday, July 12, 2021

MANILA – The Ayala Group has provided assistance to at least three hospitals in Metro Manila, as well as to communities affected by the Taal Volcano's restiveness.

Connectivity support, entertainment package, and cash assistance were given to the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), National Children's Hospital (NCH), and Tondo Medical Center, as the group continues to support to help improve the lives of Filipinos, JP Orbeta, Ayala Corporation's chief human resource officer, announced Monday.

Each hospital was provided with 50 pocket wi-fi, smart TV that they could use in the cancer patients' wards, and PHP500,000 from the Ayala Foundation.

"It was hard to connect to the internet in the emergency room. So our medical front-liners were very happy with the wi-fi provision. They will no longer have a hard time referring patients to doctors," said Tondo Medical Center's medical chief II, Dr. Maria Isabelita Estrella.

Dr. Moriel Creencia, NCH officer in charge, said the assistance is a big help for their front-liners because certain areas of the ward do not have a wi-fi signal. The smart TV sets were placed in the outpatient department and other areas, while the PHP500,000 will be used to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) for patients and front-liners, she said.

Ernest Cu, Globe's chief executive officer, said some PHP22 million was allocated for the PGH to buy essential supplies for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) like PPEs.

As for the other assistance, Cu said internet connectivity is important to the healthcare workers. "Doctors use this for consultation, and the other workers use this to connect with their families, he said.

PGH, for its part, thanked the group for validating its efforts. According to PGH Medical Foundation president Telesforo Gana, Jr., the Ayala Group has been their partner even before the Covid-19 pandemic as it helps save indigent patients.

Both Manila Mayor Isko Moreno and Quezon City Vice Mayor Gian Sotto thanked the Ayala Group for providing aid to their medical front-liners.

In the same virtual presser, Ayala Healthcare Holdings (AC Health) president Paolo Borromeo said they are working hand in hand with the Quezon City government for Covid-19 vaccination efforts.

About 700 front-liners were deployed and were able to inoculate about 125,000 individuals, according to Borromeo. "Our goal is (administer) one million doses to help the national government (in its fight against Covid-19)," he said.

Meanwhile, mobile wallet GCash earlier launched the "Tulong Taal", which would enable the app's users to donate to communities affected by the Taal Volcano eruption.

As the Taal Volcano has been under Alert Level 3 (magmatic unrest) since July 1, Globe provided free calls, charging and wi-fi services in Batangas evacuation sites.

The company has also turned over to the provincial government over 1,000 essential supplies such as blankets, pillows, towels, among others. It is also sending meal packs.

Further, it has continuously zero-rated the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) website when being accessed by the public using Globe data. (PNA