San Miguel Corporation (SMC) has converted its new, state-of-the-art sports facility called SMC Sports Complex into a vaccination site for the conglomerate’s thousands of employees, essential workers and extended workforce.

In a statement, SMC said the facility is meant to be the future home for the company’s professional basketball teams, who for years have had to pay other facilities for practice time, but had been repurposed for the meantime.

The new sports facility was completed just last May, and has not been used yet by any of the SMC teams, namely: the San Miguel Beermen, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Gin Kings, and Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok.

“Vaccinating as many Filipinos as we can is important to reaching herd immunity and getting our economy back up,” said SMC president Ramon S. Ang.

He explained, “That is why we have been helping our LGUS with their vaccination rollout, in whatever way we can. We have been hiring and deploying medical professionals to LGU vaccination sites.” “We’re also setting up vaccination sites both for the public and our A4 workers. The sports facility is one of the sites for our essential worker,” Ang added.

Through the Pasig City local government, some 1,252 SMC front line and essential workers received their first doses of the Sinovac vaccine during a recent two-day vaccination event at the facility, located within the San Miguel Foods complex along C-5 road.

“To help decongest the city’s vaccination venues and reduce the strain on health workers, we volunteered our new basketball facility and enlisted our own doctors and nurses to help Pasig City personnel in conducting vaccination here. We are very grateful to the Pasig city government for enabling some of our workers to already receive their vaccines,” Ang said.

Since early this month, the national government has prioritized the vaccination of essential workers in a bid to get more workers back at their jobs safely, and ultimately, help revive the economy.

The facility has three air-conditioned main basketball courts covering a total of 5,013 square meters. Areas can be separated with an electric curtain divider.

It is also equipped with electric ceiling-mounted (forward folded) and fixed-wall mounted basketball systems, and portable basketball systems.

The sports complex has a fitness gym with separate male and female lockers and shower rooms, as well as three viewing decks with toilets at the second floor.

“We are proud of this facility and the excellent job that our architects, engineers, and workers have put into building it and ensuring that it adheres to international standards,” said Ang.

He noted that, “We are even prouder of this facility now because even it can’t be used by the teams yet, it is serving a meaningful purpose–protecting lives during the pandemic.”

Under the company’s P1-billion “SMC Ligtas Lahat” vaccination program, the SMC Sports Complex will be a dedicated site for employees and can accommodate up to 800 individuals per day, the same capacity as its other vaccination site, the La Salle Green Hills campus in Mandaluyong, which will be fully operational by August.

The company has also partnered with Mandaluyong City to co-manage the Jose Rizal University (JRU) mega site that caters to A4 category workers and city residents.

Aside from the LSGH and JRU sites in Mandaluyong and the SMC Sports Complex in Pasig, SMC is also looking at activating 14 other vaccination sites in Laguna, Cavite, Batangas, Albay, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Isabela, Bataan, Cebu, Iloilo, Bacolod, Davao, and Cagayan de Oro, once its own vaccines arrive next month.

Source: Manila Bulletin (