The COVID-19 pandemic continues to bring a formidable global challenge to both lives and economies. To cope with the unprecedented times, SM and its companies, worked together to provide care and aid to its stakeholders and the country to overcome the health crisis.

SM Investments Corporation (SM) President Frederic DyBuncio summed up SM’s COVID-19 efforts in his report during the company’s recent annual stockholders’ meeting.

As the country entered into an eight-week long community quarantine, SM immediately launched initiatives to address the impact of the pandemic geared towards support to employees and partners; delivery of several medical donations and conduct of relief missions; provision of essential products and services; as well as the expansion of access channels to cater to customers’ needs.

TAKING CARE OF ITS EMPLOYEES AND TENANTS

Since the start of the lockdown, SM swiftly assured regular compensation for the benefit of its workforce, security guards and janitorial staff. SM also provided its employees with protective gear and access to COVID-19 tests to ensure their safety in the workplace.

As for its tenants, SM Supermalls waived rentals to support the continuity of operations of tens of thousands micro, small and medium enterprises affected by the lockdown. 

Through joint efforts, SM has donated over PHP400 million of essential medical supplies and equipment and reached out to marginalized sectors most affected economically.

PROVIDING ASSISTANCE TO HOSPITALS

Of this amount, the rapid deployment of medical resources comprised over PHP300 million worth of critical medical supplies, personal protective equipment and PCR tests to hospitals nationwide.

SM also contributed to the government’s COVID-19 mitigation efforts by building emergency quarantine facilities for COVID-19 patients located at Air Force General Hospital in Pasay City and at V. Luna and Camp Crame in Quezon City.

SUPPORTING COLLECTIVE EFFORTS 

In addition, SM donated PHP100 million through Project Ugnayan of the private sector and Caritas of the Catholic Church to urban poor families impacted by the lockdown.

Over 80 grassroots communities were also provided with Kalinga (care) packs through relief operations of the SM Foundation and Uniqlo Philippines.

In partnership with the Philippine Red Cross and the national government, SM transformed SM Mall of Asia Arena into a mega swabbing facility.

ADAPTING IN THE TIME OF PANDEMIC

SM also adapted to the changing business landscape by implementing several e-commerce programs to cater to customers’ needs during the outbreak.

SM President Frederic DyBuncio said SM looks at its ecommerce initiatives and strategies in two areas—as a direct participant and as a service provider.

As a direct participant, SM has its own online shopping sites with its stores also in several commerce platforms to be able to access a much wider customer base for SM’s products.

As a service provider, SM uses the physical presence of its malls and stores as pick up locations for click and collect. It also provides logistics support such as warehousing and last mile delivery using the different logistics companies it owns within the group. It also provides the digital payment network through its banks and the e-wallet service through its joint venture with GrabPay in the Philippines.

“As we continue to build our capabilities to respond to the new realities, our company’s strong financial condition, along with our combined hard work, will allow us to lead a resurgence after this crisis,” Mr. DyBuncio said.