Ramon Ang leads SMC’s massive blood, plasma donation drive for COVID-19 patients

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 19) — Business tycoon Ramon Ang himself donated his own blood to encourage his employees to participate in their massive blood and convalescent plasma donation drive.

San Miguel Corp. launched the nationwide campaign Friday morning to help more COVID-19 patients to recover faster.

This came as thousands of infections and dozens of deaths are still surfacing daily, eight months since the first case in the country was confirmed.

Hinimok ko po ‘yung mga kasamahan ko sa trabaho na kaming lahat ay mag-contribute regularly sa Red Cross para naman talagang makatulong tayo sa ating mga kababayan,” said the business conglomerate’s president and chief operating officer in an online Zoom event.

[Translation: I’m encouraging my colleagues that we all donate regularly to Red Cross so we can help others.]

The initiative is also the company's way of celebrating its 130th anniversary.

The drive will be done quarterly and in coordination with the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) to augment its blood supply.

Ang said that anyone can donate as long as they are qualified with the given criteria.

He was joined by PRC chairman Senator Richard Gordon during the simultaneous blood donation with more than 400 employees nationwide.

They participated in the event from Purefoods Hormel Plant in General Trias, Cavite; the Manila Toll Expressway Systems, Inc. facility in Silangan Laguna, San Miguel Brewery’s community clinics in San Fernando, Pampanga; Mandaue, Cebu, and Sta. Cruz, Davao Del Sur, and the SMC Head Office Complex in Mandaluyong, Metro Manila.

The company said the blood donations can also be used for non-coronavirus-related needs.

On the other hand, blood convalescent plasma will be useful in treating infected patients.

Sixty-eight of the donors are COVID-19 survivors who gave their convalescent plasma.

The Department of Health earlier explained that the plasma of those who have recovered from the coronavirus disease is believed to contain antibodies that can help others fight the infection.

An employee, who also donated his plasma but did not disclose his name for privacy purposes, said he only wanted to give back to SMC and the community.

“I want to do this as much as I can because when I was the one sick, madami po ang tumulong sa akin (many came to help me). In fact, the first who came to my aid was si boss RSA [Ramon S. Ang]. I want to follow that example. When I can help in my own little way, I would like to be able to do that,” he said.