'Sagip Saka' aids farmers from Batangas, delivers fresh produce to Malabon

Apr 08, 2020

Companies under the Udenna group providing trucking, muscle, and fuel to carry out the 'Sagip Saka' operation.

BATANGAS, Philippines — WorkLink Services Inc., Phoenix Petroleum and Udenna Foundation through its CommUnity Care (UCARE) program have completed a Batangas-to-Malabon run of “Sagip Saka.” In coordination with social enterprise AGREA, the project has delivered 6,000 kilos of fresh food packs from Batangas farmers to the City of Malabon.

About 1,500 farmers from five cooperatives in San Jose, Batangas: Organic and Natural Farming Agri Cooperative, San Jose Workers MultiPurpose Cooperative, Batangas Egg Producers Cooperative, Calabarzon Organic Exchange, and Cooperative Union of Batangas took part in the project.

They were asked by the Malabon LGU through AGREA to prepare the food packs composed of rice and assorted lowland vegetables earmarked as relief goods in the ongoing COVID-19 assistance operations by the city for its residents.

“The initiative was in grave danger of not pushing through, and all the food packs were going to waste because of the enhanced community quarantine that affected the entire Luzon. There was no one willing to deliver the food packs to Malabon so I went online to find anyone or any company willing,” said Cherrie Atilano, founding farmer, president and chief executive officer of AGREA, and UN Ambassador for Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement.

Udenna Foundation heeded the call and immediately mobilized companies under the Udenna group, like Worklink of Chelsea Logistics, providing the trucking and muscle, and Phoenix Petroleum, providing fuel.

“When we first heard of the problem, we knew we could do it since we had the trucks and the capability. However our biggest concern was manpower. Since we had skeletal manning, we needed to find volunteers who were willing come to work and drive the trucks and serve as loaders,” said Dexter Silva, president of WorkLink Services, which is a subsidiary of Chelsea Logistics and Infrastructure Holdings Corp.

“Our version of frontline heroes came through for us. We had more than our fair share of volunteers and by the grace of God, we were able to deliver the rice and vegetables successfully. WorkLink is willing to do it again if asked,” he added.

“We heard the call from Udenna Foundation for help and it would be a great disservice to the Filipino if we did not help out so we offered to ensure that the trucks of WorkLink were serviced, fueled and ready to go,” said Henry Fadullon, chief operating officer for Phoenix.

“This Sagip Saka move by Udenna Foundation truly is a way by which the synergy among Udenna companies can serve as a critical bridge between the anxious farmers needing to deliver their highly perishable goods and the people in NCR needing assurance that fresh food is readily available,” he added.

“We are very much thankful for the genuine 'bayanihan' spirit showed by the Udenna Foundation who reached out to us and offered to do for free what no one else was willing to do for the farmers,” Atilano said.

For his part, Malabon City Mayor Antolin Oreta III said, “The City of Malabon is truly grateful to the valiant efforts of AGREA, Chelsea-WorkLink, Phoenix and of course Udenna Foundation in helping us in our efforts to feed the people of Malabon City during this pandemic.”

Udenna Foundation is also currently working with the farmers in Northern Luzon through the Department of Agriculture RFO CAR. It provides logistics services to ensure the free flow of fresh produce during the COVID-19 pandemic.


As published on PhilStar Global

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