INQUIRER.net BrandRoom / 10:37 AM July 01, 2020
ARC Refreshments Corporation has committed to mitigate the effects of COVID19 through the release of an assistance fund worth P10 million for the benefit of all its employees across the country. This is part of the company’s pandemic response program called #RCColaborate that also provides aid to frontliners and ARC distributors and resellers, in addition to communicating with social media audiences to keep them engaged with relief efforts.
ARC is the licensed bottler, manufacturer, and distributor of RC Cola and other beverages in the Philippines and in other Asian countries.
While every person and sector is affected by the COVID19 situation, it is important to take a nuanced approach because as is the case with employees, their circumstances and struggles vary. At ARC, financial assistance was given to employees who continue to report for work, as well as for those who volunteered for stay-in work arrangement during this period of nationwide community quarantine.
Such is the plight of Allan Beltran, a Regional Sales Manager Mindanao. He has opted to stay for work and lodging within the production plant’s premises because flights going to and from Metro Manila we’re canceled while under the enhanced community Quarantine (ECQ).
As businesses around the world endeavor to save jobs, ARC continues to search for ways to help employees deal with the impact of the crisis. Another program is allowing flexible work arrangement for select employees to lessen pay deduction, while minimizing exposure outside their homes. This is especially for employees like Kirk Aslarona who does not have leave credits yet because he was only hired this past January. Mary Joy Pena, who has already exhausted her leave balances, is now working her regular shift at home to comply with community protocols.
According to Marketing Head James Loverio, all ARC employees across the country have benefitted from the P10M relief program. The company also approved the early release of pro-rata 13th month pay for its workers, and implemented workplace protocols such as wearing of facemasks, temperature check, and installation and use of alcohol/wash areas in its production plants, as well as continuous routine office sanitation and disinfection.
An inter-office communications campaign called “OPLAN: Depensa Laban sa COVID-19” was launched to send announcements through regular bulletin and email blast to help ARC workers stay updated and maintain social distancing within the office.
ARC’s employee assistance program runs in parallel with donation efforts for other sectors. From March to April, the beverage company handed out more than P12.5 million to business partners consisting of distributors and resellers so they can have additional funds or capital to continue earning income despite the limitations caused by COVID19.
“Like every other company, we have to step up to help reduce the burden on our people and the rest of the community because we’re all in this together,” Loverio continues.
ARC distributed Soda Orange products to frontliners in checkpoints around Metro Manila, North and South Luzon, and some parts of Visayas who have to deal with health risks and discomfort as they carry out their daily duties for public health and safety. Aside from drawing donations from its own resources, ARC spearheaded online fundraising campaigns in partnership with other organizations and social media influencers.
“Prior to COVID19, we have used “RC ng Bayan” as an advertising handle but now it has come to mean so much more to us than a way to move our products,” Loverio says. “This is a test of our sincerity, and also an opportunity to rethink how our business can truly be there for Filipinos at this most challenging time.”