Ayala unveils P2.4B COVID-19 response package

The country’s oldest business house, Ayala group, has unveiled a P2.4-billion coronavirus (COVID-19) response package for businesses within its eco-system, including income support and rent condonation for tenants of shopping malls padlocked during the month-long Luzon-wide lockdown.

Setting the bar for corporate support to the global battle against COVID-19 pandemic, Ayala’s package consists of wages, bonuses, leave conversions and loan deferments, primarily for the extended workforce of partner-employers so they may continue to be paid for the duration of the quarantine period.

Ayala Corp. chair and chief executive officer Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala and Ayala president Fernando Zobel de Ayala said in a joint statement on Tuesday that Ayala Malls likewise agreed to provide a rent-free period for malls that are not allowed to operate during the community quarantine from March 16 to April 14. This will translate to around P1.4 billion in rent condonation “to provide the merchants of these malls financial relief so they can in turn provide the much-needed financial support for their employees during this period,” the Zobel brothers said.

The package also includes P600 million in salary continuance for displaced workers from construction sites, shuttered malls and retail space of Makati Development Corp. and the Ayala Malls group.

Globe Telecoms has earmarked P270 million for its retail store support staff and vendor partners while all other Ayala companies will reserve another P130 million in personnel-related financial support.

“In these most trying times, those significantly affected by the COVID-19 situation are the thousands of workers that will be affected by the enhanced community quarantine because their places of work have been closed. These include retail workers, construction workers, service providers, security agencies and employees of many similar businesses who are largely on a no-work-no-pay type of employment,” the Zobels said.

For its own employees, Ayala will continue to provide salary continuance and financial support where possible as most of these employees will be getting their mid-year bonuses normally paid in April starting today through the end of March.

Ayala has also postponed or delayed employee loan payments due to the Ayala Multi-Purpose Cooperative and have introduced special financial assistance programs at subsidized rates.

“Ayala continues to ensure that those who are most directly affected by this emergency are taken care of through these financial assistance measures,” the Zobels said.

Source: Doris Dumlao-Abadilla, Inquirer.net