Movers

Ramon Ang's Foundation Planning to Build New Hospital and Research Center for Infectious Diseases

But no, he's not running for president.
IMAGE Raena Abella
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Ramon Ang’s RSA Foundation just announced that it will build a state-of-the-art hospital on a three-to-five hectare property in the southern part of Luzon. The foundation's first project will lay down the blueprint in the fight for a post-pandemic and future-proof society.

As the president and COO of the country’s biggest conglomerate, San Miguel Corporation (SMC), Ang has made several contributions to society including recently setting up distribution centers for its “nutribuns” and soup kitchens. SMC, under Ang, emerged as a leading private sector partner in COVID-19 response.

But no, he’s not running for public office.

Esquire Philippines asked RSA (as he is fondly and respectfully called) if he was running for public office recently and the answer was a flat “No."  That hasn't stopped some people from insisting that he would do well in politics.

“This pandemic has been an eye-opener for all of us," Ang said. "Our health care system needs to be strengthened. For this reason, we want to help build up our country’s capability to handle future pandemics and other health crises."

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The research facility is envisioned to help the country and its health care system to deal with health crises and other local and global outliers, according to SMC’s communications team and will specialize in research on infectious diseases and providing care for ambulatory patients, will be sustainably-designed to operate efficiently during a crisis.

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“We envision this hospital to be resilient and adaptable. It will operate efficiently, improve health services, and make health care more accessible and affordable to a greater number of Filipinos,” Ang added.

Ang also said that the facility’s focus on treating "ambulatory" or outpatients is so that it can treat more from vulnerable or disadvantaged communities for sicknesses that typically won’t require hospitalization. The hospital, he added, would also be home to a research facility that will provide support for government on public health concerns, specifically, infectious diseases.

The foundation has prepared a war chest of about P500 million out of its P13 billion COVID-19 response package to donate to government and public and private hospital's various medical-grade personal protective gear and life-saving, capacity-building medical equipment. SMC further added that its donations of RT-PCR testing machines, fully automated RNA extraction machines, and PCR test kits alone, raised the country’s total testing capacity by 15,000 tests per day. With a workforce exceeding 70,000 people, SMC is the first Philippine company to put up its own purpose-built RT-PCR testing laboratory and commit to testing its entire workforce.

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Part of nation building is to have a healthy nation.

The planned hospital is part of Ang’s and SMC’s commitment to help revive the economy through crucial infrastructure projects that can immediately create jobs, stimulate economic activity, and in the long-term pave the way for an inclusive post-pandemic economic recovery. Aside from these, SMC has allotted P734-billion for its Manila International Airport project in Bulacan, which Ang envisions to be the largest and most modern international gateway in the country. It is expected to generate several hundred thousand jobs during the construction phase alone.

SMC will build the project at no cost to government, is seen to solve perennial congestion problems at the country’s primary gateway. The airport will be capable of handling up to 100 million passengers per year, seen to create about 30 million tourism-related jobs, and generate more than a million direct jobs for host province Bulacan and nearby provinces.

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Alvin Uy
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