Palawan Pawnshop associates with CEO and president Bobby Castro on the first day of vaccination at City Coliseum. | Photo from Rema Dabalus

The Palawan Pawnshop, which has branches all over the country, said it is planning to partner with local government units to expand its own vaccination efforts targeting not only company employees but other economic frontliners as well.

Palawan Pawnshop Chief Executive Officer and President Bobby Castro said they will donate a portion of the vaccines they have ordered to help in the nationwide effort at vaccination.

Photo from Rema Dabalus

“Kami sa private, katungkulan din natin na bakunahan din ang frontliners kasi hindi mabubuhay ang bansa, hindi iikot ang ekonomiya kung wala ang katulad namin, mga bangko, restaurant, drivers. Itong A4, mga nagtatrabaho na kailangan sa ekonomiya, dito pumapasok ang private sectors,” he said.

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He explained that they needed to tap into LGUs that have the capacity to conduct the vaccination.

“Kailangan partner natin ang LGU kasi kailangan pumayag ang LGU na gagawin natin vaccination center. Ang nurses nila, health workers ang mag-a-assist sa atin. Katulad dito, ang Puerto Princesa, hindi na kami namroblema kung sino pa ang kukunin namin na magbakuna sa mga empleyado. Nakatulong din naman tayo dahil babakunahan din nila ang mga taga-city,” he said. 

Photo from Rema Dabalus

The company recently received a partial delivery of the 100,000 AstraZeneca vaccines it ordered from its manufacturers and began vaccinating its employees in partnership with the City government. Castro said they also ordered Moderna vaccines but this will only be used in the NCR due to cold storage limitations outside.

The Palawan Pawnshop has around 15,000 employees all over the country and will also include security guards assigned in 3,500 branches nationwide for the first and second dose.

Castro said they had responded to the call of the private sector non profit campaign Go Negosyo for companies to purchase their own vaccines and help the government, with half of their orders to be donated to other frontliners.

“May minimum order kasi na kailangan mo maabot. Dahil nga marami tayong empleyado, sabi ko, imbes na 50,000 na in-order namin ay 100,000 na,” Castro said.

Photo from Rema Dabalus

Last month, the company received a delivery of 2,900 AstraZeneca vaccines, while another 4,000 is expected to arrive this August. Castro said they have started vaccinations in Sta, Cruz, Laguna and Palawan, with 1,500 jabs allocated to Palawan.

Out of 1,500 vaccines set aside for Palawan, 800 were given to employees in the province, 100 to some friends, and the remaining 600 were donated to the city government.

“Sa darating na batch, iniisip namin kung saan maraming cases like Cebu, Cagayan de Oro and somewhere in Ilocos. Sana kung dumating na lahat, buong Pilipinas ay mabibigyan natin pero dahil paunti-unti at magtatabi pa tayo for second dose,” Castro said.

Palawan Pawnshop is expecting the bulk of its ordered vaccines by the end of the year and targets to finish vaccinating its associates by March next year.

“Sana bumilis ang pagdating ng mga inorder kasi bayad na ito. Bayad na sa AstraZeneca, sa Zuellig (Pharma Corporation), ang namamahala sa cold storage. Sila rin ang nagpapadala, kailangan ma-accredit nila ang cold storage, hindi pwede ang munisipyo na walang cold storage,” he said.

Meanwhile, Castro said that they will soon launch a mobile application where locals can transact virtually such as sending money, bill payments, and others which are usually under their Pera Padala service.

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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.