Written by: Tina Arceo-Dumlao
AC Infra, the infrastructure arm of the Ayala Group, is in the business of making an impact.
This it does not just by completing big-ticket projects that contribute to nation-building, but also by bankrolling programs that help entire communities thrive despite the challenges brought about by the devastating COVID-19 pandemic.
Employees of AC Infra’s logistics arm Entrego, for example, launched last April Kalingang Ka-Entrego, a community pantry-inspired initiative where Entrego riders and warehouse personnel were provided food and other essentials that they and their families need.
Kalingang Ka-Entrego raised an initial P100,000 worth of goods from company and employee contributions and has started to roll out in its hubs in the National Capital Region, providing around 500 riders and warehouse workers with some of their basic necessities.
It has evolved into a more sustainable program focused on the well-being of Entrego’s community of delivery partners.
“We have been providing assistance to our delivery frontliners since last year. We brought together several projects under the banner of Kalingang Ka-Entrego—our initiative to ensure care for our delivery front-liners (riders and warehouse personnel). It is important for us to ensure that all our personnel are able to perform their work safely,” said Joseph Quesada, Director for Sustainability, CSR, and PR.
This year’s commitment includes: Resources to vaccinate 1,000 delivery and warehouse partners; vitamins to more than 500 delivery front liners to boost immunity during the raining season and learning gadgets to children of qualified partners so that they can continue learning online.
AC Infra believes that it is just right that it helps its delivery partners such as Wilson Balingbing as Entrego depends on hardworking people like him to deliver efficiently and reliably.
Balingbing, for his part, said he was grateful for being able to deliver for Entrego throughout the pandemic, during which the need for delivery services became even more pronounced.
“Hindi na bale mapagod ako dahil worth it naman ang natatanggap ko kay Entrego simula noon hanggang ngayon,” said Balingbing, a single parent and one of the pioneer delivery partners of Entrego.
Aside from the Kalinga Ka-Entrego, AC Infra has also been involved since 2015 in sustainable education, health and livelihood projects in Brgy. Poblacion by virtue of the Muntinlupa–Cavite Expressway (MCX), a private–public partnership project of AC Infra.
These projects include the partnership with the Philippine Jesuit Prison Service (PJPS), which has been a trusted partner of MCX in reaching out to Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs) of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP), which is along the MCX.
Indeed, informal settlers line the stretch of MCX and many households are families of PDLs awaiting the release of their husbands and fathers.
Among them is Melanie Balansag, who has been waiting for her husband’s release for 15 years. She takes on various jobs and sells rice cakes to make ends meet and give her two children a better life.
Fortunately, through the education programs of the PJPS, she no longer need to worry about her children dropping out of school since they and several others are able to pursue their education with the support of MCX and AC Infra.
“Napakalaking tulong po para sa amin ang ibinabahagi ng programa upang makamit ng aking anak ang kanyang pangarap. Mahirap man ang sitwasyun ngayun ngunit ako bilang ina ay patuloy na gumagabay at sumosuporta sa aking anak upang hindi masayang ang pagkakataon nya na maging scholar ng PJPS at MCX/Ayala,” she said.
Since 2017, MCX has contributed over P1.2 million for scholarships and other education-related initiatives of Brgy. Poblacion and the New Bilibid Prison community.
Then for this year’s #BrigadangAyala, AC Infra sought to amplify the impact on its stakeholders by synergizing the efforts of MCX and Entrego to address the most pressing needs of its partner communities – access to food, healthcare, and education.
#BrigadangAyala is Ayala group’s united contribution to serving people and communities nationwide. It is Ayala Group’s integrated response to its almost two century-old commitment to national development by doing various social development and corporate social responsibility initiatives—ranging from disaster relief and response, assistance for public education, championing of social enterprises to public health advocacy.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.