CLIMBS has led campaigns to support hospitals and communities in need in the Philippines due to the Covid-19 crisis

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Earlier in the Covid-19 pandemic we reported on the ways in which ICMIF member Climbs Life and General Insurance Cooperative in the Philippines was supporting members during the crisis.

This included, on 11 March, setting up a Covid-19 taskforce to create a Crisis Management Plan and Crisis Communications Plan.

Under the tagline “more than just protection”, CLIMBS also launched a Community Action Response and Emergency Services (CLIMBS CARES), which aims to assist communities affected especially in the distribution of safe drinking water and water for sanitation purposes. Climbs runs its own Covid-19 hotline, which is open to members and as well as the general public.

In addition to the above measures, CLIMBS started an “Adopt a Hospital” campaign towards the end of March, which focuses on providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and hot meals each Friday to frontline workers in Covid-19 medical centres. An initial sum equivalent to USD 39,350 was allocated for this programme. Climbs has also committed a sum equivalent to USD 19,446 to support the Philippine General Hospital, Northern Mindanao Medical Centre, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Centre and Southern Philippines Medical Centre.

“It is our desire that many cooperatives will respond to this call for solidarity, living out long-held cooperative principles especially that of Cooperation among cooperatives and Concern for Community,” CLIMBS’ president and CEO, Noel Raboy, and its chair, Fr. Elmo P. Manching, said in a joint statement.

Since the launch of the “Adopt a Hospital” campaign, CLIMBS asked other cooperatives in the Philippines to join the programme and they responded to the call for solidarity. CLIMBS’ partner-cooperatives and member-cooperatives donated any amount they could, which was used to purchase either food or PPE, and then delivered to hospitals in their areas declared as COVID-19 centres or to border checkpoint frontline workers.

On the company website, CLIMBS expressed its deepest gratitude to the cooperatives who answered the call for solidarity, saluting also other fellow cooperators who have shown in different capacities and in their own initiatives that they too wish to put into action the Cooperative principle on Concern for Community.

In April, the cooperative insurer also initiated its “Adopt-A-Neighbour” programme in which CLIMBS CARES volunteers prepared food parcels for people in local communities. Each employee in the CLIMBS Head Office at Cagayan de Oro identified 20 families around their area as beneficiaries for the relief packs. The programme with a total fund of P1.1M (approximately USD 21,700) was able to benefit 2, 690 families within Cagayan de Oro. President and CEO Noel Raboy said that the Adopt-A-Neighbour is an offshoot from Adopt-A-Hospital programme.

“Every peso counts on this difficult time and so we laud our fellow cooperatives, cooperative members, partners who during this COVID 19 crisis have willingly shared financially for others who needed more help. We hope that these consolidated little efforts that we all can contribute as we combat and beat COVID 19” he added. “My sincere gratitude as well for CLIMBS employees who courageously went the extra mile for this programme to be successful” he also said.

The food packs were distributed during the last week of April.

Our thanks to Anca Voinea, Coop News, for permission to reference her article on CLIMBS.