While the building and construction industry was one of the hardest-hit by the pandemic, it will definitely recover. Alice Eduardo chose not to succumb to the challenges, deciding to resume the operations of Sta. Elena Construction and Development Corp. on June 8.
More than for the construction company itself, continuing where the projects have left off is Alice Eduardo’s commitment to its people. They want to provide them with livelihood and sustenance. Giving them a chance to work and recover is a way to dignify the working Filipinos whose spirits rise above the pandemic as well.
Before the resumption of Sta. Elena Construction’s operations, however, the last three months have not been easy, especially for its people. The construction giant relies on its corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts to alleviate the conditions of its workers.
Strengthening Sta. Elena’s CSR
The Co-ViD-19 pandemic inspires the people to show their compassionate, humane side. Alice Eduardo, and her construction company, Sta. Elena Construction, are no exemption to this.
When the government imposed the lockdown in Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon On March 16, Alice Eduardo thought of one thing: rice.
Sta. Elena employs about 500 people. The majority of them are breadwinners. Although the president and CEO did not know that the lockdown would last until May, she instructed her foremen to distribute rice or its monetary equivalent to their people. Six cavans of milled rice, which contain 25 kilos for each cavan, were distributed to each employee.
The gesture was a pay-it-forward effort. Alice says, “I wanted to give enough for them to share [with] their neighbors.” She continues, “We Filipinos are sustained by rice and prayers. When we know we have rice in storage for the next day’s meal, we can sleep through the night.”
The 2018 Forbes Asia’s “Heroes of Philanthropy” awardee firmly believes that the heads of families became food hunters now in the time of lockdown. They won’t stay home hearing their children’s tummies grumbling. They would look for food and violate the lockdown guidelines.
CSR efforts outside Sta. Elena
Sta. Elena Construction also partakes in various activities helping the poorest of the poor in the Greater Manila area through the efforts of Project Ugnayan.
Project Ugnayan is the Philippines’ largest private sector-led fundraising organization convened by enterprise extraordinaire Fernando Zobel de Ayala. The organization was established through the grassroots initiative of Caritas Manila, a church-based nonprofit organization.
Alice Eduardo is a staunch supporter of Caritas Manila.
Project Ugnayan helped more than 7.6 million Filipinos, the majority of whom were displaced by the ongoing CoViD-19 pandemic. They received grocery support through gift certificates, amounting to Php1.37 million.
The business community reveals its commitment to assist the country in its fast recovery from the lost economic momentum that the pandemic has brought. It is also seen as a way to prepare people who are yearning to return to work.
For Alice Eduardo, to be able to work and “to have been spared, and to have one’s loved ones safe and sound, [are] a gift we must all be worthy of.”