Kevin Tan on Moving Forward: ‘Unity and Cooperation are Key Weapons to Defeat this Invisible Enemy’

The AGI CEO believes that we will see a world that is fresh from natural healing after this crisis.

Kevin Tan was standing a block away from Uptown Mall on the evening of March 15, 2020, snapping a shot of the vibrant shopping center. The Megaworld-owned structure had the word “RISE” and two Philippine flags gleaming through the mall’s façade lights.

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He uploaded the photo on Instagram, putting the caption: “We all need to RISE together! We can do this. #RisePH @uptownbonifacio_.”

Tan’s words of encouragement punctuated the swift responses and measures that the CEO of Alliance Global Group, Inc. (AGI) carried out with his team in response to COVID-19. The first order of business then involved coming up with new workplace procedures to keep operations running while protecting their employees.

“We suspended our normal business operations when Metro Manila was placed under enhanced community quarantine,” Tan says. “This made the ‘Work from Home’ arrangement the most viable option for us. It is challenging, but the various teams have learned to cope with this new arrangement.”

The remote working scheme, he notes, allowed their various teams to use available technology in order to keep up with various deliverables, as well as discover avenues for further efficiency in operations.

“This arrangement has allowed us to properly identify and tap departments that can be more productive, even on a remote work arrangement,” he explains. “Meetings have been done through video conferencing, and this has also allowed everyone to clear up some backlog.”

Walking the talk

True to Kevin’s call to rise together, AGI and its subsidiaries have been working double-time to help frontliner communities in dire need.

Last year, AGI gave around P600 million to various efforts and projects in the fight against COVID.

This included millions donated to Project Ugnayan, a program of various business groups that aimed to raise P1.5 billion. The amount is meant to fund the distribution of food vouchers to one million households across poor communities in Metro Manila.

The company also pledged to donate one million liters of disinfectant alcohol to hospitals, government agencies, local government units (LGUs), and to other healthcare and security frontliners, all for distribution across the country.

Megaworld has also deployed Citylink buses to provide free transportation to healthcare workers in Metro Manila. The real estate company has also distributed meals to frontliners in various hospitals, LGUs, and border security checkpoints.

Outside the capital, Megaworld has provided for its construction workers, distributing grocery bags to employees affected by the quarantine.

Resorts World Manila allocated $1 million to procure around 240,000 personal protective equipment (PPEs) for healthcare personnel in various hospitals and health centers. Their team has also distributed grocery packs to several local communities in Pasay.

“During crisis, much is expected from those who have more and those that have the resources. This is the time that we lend our helping hand—to find ways to contribute to the government and to those who need our help the most,” Tan says.

He says that priority should be given to frontliners such as health care workers, as well as the less fortunate who may have lost their means to earn a living.

Keeping the light alive

“It has always been said that there is light at the end of the tunnel,” Tan says. “We should remain hopeful and optimistic that this crisis will end soon.”

In 2020, we witnessed so many people standing up to extend help, and governments around the world working hard to solve the crisis.  

“We see everyone working together and helping each other to fight a common enemy, an invisible one. As long as we are all united, we can get through this together,” he says. “Unity and cooperation are key weapons to defeat this invisible enemy.”

He is optimistic that people will move forward from the crisis with a renewed respect for life, love, and sense of community.

“After this crisis, we will see a world that is fresh from natural healing. Everyone will start to learn how to appreciate the gift of time, the gift of family, and most especially, the gift of life,” Tan says.

This experience will certainly teach us a lesson to become a better and renewed steward of our planet, he points out, and also to become kind, generous, and compassionate to others.

“This crisis will not only give us lessons but the realization that indeed, the strength of the human spirit is what makes all of us endure a trial that the world has never seen before,” Tan closes.

This story originally came out in the April-May 2020 issue of Lifestyle Asia.

Banner Photo by Kieran Punay of Studio 100

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