MANILA – Ayala Group’s public infrastructure arm, AC Infra, allows communities to help themselves to thrive despite the challenges of the pandemic by addressing their immediate needs through #BrigadangAyala.
AC Infra integrates and complements the efforts of its road-toll business, Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway (MCX) and Entrego, its logistics arm to address the most pressing needs of partner communities – access to food, healthcare, and education.
Giving Hope to the Forgotten
Since 2017, Ayala companies have been helping residents of Brgy. Poblacion in Muntinlupa.
Informal settlers, comprising mostly of families of prison inmates or People Deprived of Liberty (PDL), line the stretch of MCX. One of the settlers, Melanie Balansag, has been taking on various jobs and selling kakanin for the last 15 years as her family awaits the release of her husband, a PDL.
In partnership with the Philippine Jesuit Prison Service (PJPS), MCX has been supporting scholarships and other education-related initiatives in Brgy. Poblacion and the New Bilibid Prison community. Melanie’s daughter is among the beneficiaries.
“Napakalaking tulong po para sa amin ang ibinabahagi ng programa upang makamit ng aking anak ang kanyang pangarap,” Melanie said. “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.”
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.
Empowering the Youth Leaders
Another meaningful partnership was built between Brgy. Poblacion’s Southville 3 Youth Council lockdown (SV3YC) and MCX during the height of the lockdown. SV3YC has been very passionate in reaching out to struggling families especially during the pandemic.
With MCX and AC Infra pledging support, youth leaders from Brgy. Poblacion quickly got to work and spearheaded the drive that provided 200 mothers with milk and vitamins for their kids and 400 Tricycle and Drivers’ Association members with food packages.
On July 7, some AC Infra, MCX, and Entrego employees teamed up to set up a community pantry inspired project with the local government of Brgy. Poblacion.
“Bilang mga Youth Leader mas nagkakaroon po kami ng pag-asa dahil ang mga organisasyong gaya ng MCX ay patuloy na nagtitiwala at kasama namin humahakbang para sa pagbangon mula sa pandemya,” said Kenneth Mugar, Southville 3 Youth Council President.
MCX has allocated over P1.9 million since 2017 to support the communities around it. “At MCX, we don’t only work for efficient toll operations, we also strive to improve the lives of the communities surrounding our toll road, that includes Brgy. Poblacion and the Bureau of Corrections. I am personally very happy to see the next generation of leaders enthusiastically working with us to accomplish the same goal – to improve the lives of our partner communities. We are very thankful for the support that the LGUs (Barangay Poblacion and Muntinlupa City) have been giving us since MCX started operations,” said Joseph Canlas, MCX Senior Operations Manager.
Community Pantry for Riders
Meanwhile, AC Infra’s logistics arm Entrego has also launched Kalingang Ka-Entrego, a community pantryinspired initiative where riders can freely take the food supply they need for the day.
Wilson Balingbing, a single parent and pioneering rider of Entrego, is one of the beneficiaries of Kalingang Ka-Entrego. “Nakakapagod ang maging rider ngayong may pandemic. Pero hindi na bale dahil worth it naman ang appreciation na natatanggap ko kay Entrego simula noon hanggang ngayon,” he said.
Another proud Entrego rider is Norman Caspillo, whose earnings as a delivery partner enable him to send his child to a private school and build a home for his family. “Dahil sa Entrego, napaaral ko po ang aking anak sa private school…nakabili po ako ng lote na mapatayuan ng bahay…dahil sa Entrego, nagbago ang buhay ko.”
On July 8, Kalingang Ka-Entrego will start deploying food items to its 5 hubs in NCR and Rizal, providing around 500 riders and warehouse workers with their basic necessities. The program aims to expand beyond food provisions and plans to donate pre-loved gadgets to children of select riders so they can continue learning online.
Through the Ayala Vaccine and Immunization Program (AVIP), Entrego riders and warehouse workers are set to be vaccinated against COVID-19 this year. “In Entrego, we consider our riders and our warehouse workers as our economic frontliners. We are very grateful for the work they put in, day in and day out, all throughout the country. Our commitment is to create opportunities to support them the best way we could, during the pandemic and even beyond,” said Rene Almendras, Entrego Chairman.
#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, and public health advocacy, among others.