31 March 2020
Chelsea Group, Phoenix and Udenna Foundation answer Batangas farmers’ call via Sagip Saka
WorkLink Services, Inc., a subsidiary of Chelsea Logistics and Infrastructure Holdings Corporation, Phoenix Petroleum, and Udenna Foundation through its UCARE or CommUnity Care program, in coordination with AGREA, a social enterprise, have recently completed a Batangas-to-Malabon “Sagip Saka” run to deliver 6,000 kilos of fresh food packs from farmers to the City of Malabon.
Cherrie Atilano, Founding Farmer/President & CEO, AGREA and UN Ambassador for Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement said, “The program originated from two initiatives: Move Food Initiative and Project Buy-ANIhan with Global Shapers Manila Hub, MasaHealthy and the Department of Agriculture Kadiwa Ani at Kita, but the initiative was in grave danger of not pushing through, and all the food packs going to waste because of the enhanced community quarantine that affected the entire Luzon. There was no one willing to deliver the food packs to Malabon so I went online to find anyone or any company willing.”
1,500 Farmers from five farming cooperatives in San Jose, Batangas namely: Organic and Natural Farming Agri Cooperative, San Jose Workers MultiPurpose Cooperative, Batangas Egg Producers Cooperative, Calabarzon Organic Exchange, and Cooperative Union of Batangas; were asked by the City of Malabon through social enterprise AGREA to prepare the food packs composed of rice and assorted lowland vegetables earmarked as relief goods in the ongoing COVID-19 assistance operations by the City for its residents.
Udenna Foundation was flagged about the problem facing the farmers, reached out to AGREA and immediately mobilized companies under the Udenna group namely Worklink of Chelsea Logistics to provide the trucking and muscle for this endeavor, and Phoenix Petroleum to fuel the project.
“When we first heard of the problem, we knew we could do it since we had the trucks and the capability. However our biggest concern was our manpower. Since we were on skeletal manning, we needed to find volunteers who were willing come to work and drive the trucks and serve as loaders,” WorkLink Services, Inc. President, Mr. Dexter Silva said.
Silva further said, “Our version of frontline heroes came through for us. We had more than our fair share of volunteers and by the grace of God, we were able to deliver the rice and vegetables successfully. WorkLink is willing to do it again when asked.”
Henry Fadullon, Phoenix Chief Operating Officer said, “We heard the call from Udenna Foundation for help and it would be a great disservice to the Filipino if we did not help out so we offered to ensure that the trucks of WorkLink were serviced, fueled and ready to go.”
Fadullon added, “This Sagip Saka move by Udenna Foundation truly is a way by which the synergy among Udenna companies can serve as a critical bridge between the anxious farmers needing to deliver their highly perishable goods and the people in NCR needing assurance that fresh food is readily available.”
Cherrie Atilano of AGREA expressed her thanks on behalf of the San Jose, Batangas farmers who were able to ensure their livelihood, “We are very much thankful to the genuine “bayanihan” spirit showed by the Udenna Foundation who reached out to us and offered to do for free what no one else was willing to do for the farmers.”
Malabon City Mayor Antolin A. Oreta III expressed his gratitude to the men and women who made this endeavor possible, “The City of Malabon is truly grateful to the valiant efforts of AGREA, Chelsea-WorkLink, Phoenix and of course Udenna Foundation in helping us in our efforts to feed the people of Malabon City during this pandemic.”
Inspired by the “Sagip Saka” program, Udenna Foundation is currently working with and coordinating with the farmers in Northern Luzon through the Department of Agriculture RFO CAR to provide logistics services to the farmers to ensure the free flow of fresh produce during the COVID-19 pandemic.
UCARE or CommUnity Care is a program of Udenna Foundation that aims to find synergies across the different companies under UDENNA to feed, protect, and transport the community. This call to action is hinged on the Udenna Chairman Dennis Uy’s belief that all efforts, no matter how small, done together can lead to better lives for the Filipino.