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COVID-19 Relief Drive Via GCash Reaches P3.52 Million-and It’s Still Growing

More people are using digital wallets to donate.
IMAGE PIXABAY
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While many people are trying to keep busy while staying indoors, that doesn’t mean there’s no desire to help. 

Search through Twitter, Facebook or Instagram and there’s no shortage of people and NGOs calling on ordinary Filipinos to support efforts to contain the pandemic either through volunteerism or with monetary donations.

Most calls for cash donations are to purchase much-needed personal protective equipment or PPEs for medical frontliners, as well as for food and basic necessities for the most vulnerable families affected by the enhanced community quarantine.

Shary Laiz, Erika Jean Ente, and Alyana Singian are three friends who started encouraging their Twitter followers to donate P20 to their mobile wallets to purchase hand sanitizers and soaps for the homeless. They are part of religious group Agape Christian Church International.

Quezon City-based professional alliance Save San Roque is seeking both donations in cash and in-kind to help residents of Sitio San Roque cope with the COVID-19 threat. The group aims to gather as many goods as they can to distribute to the citizens of the barangay.

Meanwhile, People for Accountable Governance and Sustainable Action, a group of friends, also took to social media to ask for donations for the purchase of a weekly “survival pack”  for residents of Tatalon, Talayan, Pinyahan, and Payatas, as well as for the mothers in Tondo and Commonwealth. Each pack includes rice, canned goods, coffee, powdered milk, sugar, bread, and vegetables.

Youth-led movement Zero Hunger Philippines is also gathering monetary donations to provide food bags to over 10,000 families in select provinces in Luzon, while another group called Tulong Kabataan is also raising funds to supply food and hygiene kits to relocation sites and urban poor communities in Tacloban, Quezon City, and Manila.

Medical interns of Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center have also launched their social-media-based donation drive for the staff of the hospital, which is in need of masks, caps, alcohol, gloves, and disposable gowns for frontline employees that are treating suspected COVID-19 cases.

Other non-profits such as Project Tanglaw, Caritas Manila, and Tayo Kabataan are pooling donations to provide food and hygiene kits to the less fortunate and those who are most hit by the threat of the virus, as well as donate PPEs to hospitals in need.

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What’s common about all of these donation drives, as well as hundreds of others happening across the country today, is that the cash donations are facilitated through mobile phones.

These support movements make use of GCash in particular. Globe’s mobile wallet platform says it has recorded spikes in the number of money transfers as more people try to help fight COVID-19 through digital donation drives.

Caritas Manila, for instance, has so far collected almost P850,000 in individual donations through GCash.

Undoubtedly, this is an instance where mobile digital finance has made it easier for people to support causes they believe in as they now have an avenue to practice their generosity through their mobile phones.

“It’s heartwarming to see firsthand how the uniquely Filipino Spirit of Bayanihan works,” GCash president Anthony Thomas said. “Since day one, we have envisioned the GCash platform to be a channel of good, and now we are seeing individuals and organizations maximizing the GCash app to efficiently facilitate donations for noble causes. We hope that as we further develop our platform, we continue to make a meaningful impact in the lives of those in need.”

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GCash and its partners, the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF), the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), World Vision, UP Medical Foundation, PGH Foundation, Inc., ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation, and Ayala Foundation, have their own digital donation drive, dubbed #FightCOVID19, which aims to help provide medical gears to hospital workers in the country.

To send their support, GCash users simply have to click on the “Pay Bills” icon on their GCash apps, choose the “Others” tab, and click on “FightCOVID19.” GCash users then have to enter their name and the amount that they are donating to confirm their donation.

So far, #FightCOVID19 has raised roughly P3.52 million in individual donations.

And with the coronavirus crisis expected to last at least a few more weeks, there’s no doubt people will keep stepping up to help others in need.

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