It was a heartwarming case of garbage turning into gold for Geely Philippines when their tarpaulin billboards that were already set for disposal became an unexpected gesture of goodwill recently.
Wheng Clemente, a fisherfolk from Paombong, Bulacan, reached out to Sojitz G Auto Philippines (SGAP) to ask if she can acquire the Geely tarpaulin billboard that were being taken down in exchange for at least 120 kilos of fish.
Clemente reasoned out that she will use the tarpaulins to save their fishery business. “Catch basin po kasi ang lugar namin. ‘Yung tarpaulin po kasi ay pwedeng magsisilbing proteksyon sa lupa sa tabi ng ilog para hindi ‘to gumuho papunta sa ilog tuwing umuulan. Tuwing gumuguho kasi ‘yung lupa, malaki ang nalulugi sa kabuhayan namin at ng iba pa naming mga kapitbahay.”
SGAP, the official distributor of Geely brand of vehicles in the country welcomed Clemente’s proposal. The fish harvest that served as payment were in turn, donated to Walang Iwanan Alliance, Kawa Pilipinas, and Heaven’s Touch Cuisine—charity groups that organizes feeding programs in the country. These groups facilitated the cleaning and cooking of the fish to make a sumptuous meal.
Out of at least 120 kilos of tilapia, 600 people were fed in select communities in Manila and Pasay just a day before the government has placed Metro Manila and surrounding provinces under another round of Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).
“It’s an unusual proposal but we thought this could be a ‘Win-Win’ one for everybody. Win because we were able to give the soon-to-be-recycled tarpaulin another purpose, which is to support our local fish farmers. At the same time, the payment in the form of fishes would enable us to give back to the community in these trying times,” said SGAP Marketing Manager Ryan Isana said.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020, Isana related that well-meaning individuals and organizations have been finding ways to help the less fortunate by initiating relief operations and donating medical supplies and other products essential during this pandemic crisis.
“Many automotive companies joined forces last year in giving aid to those greatly affected by the lockdown. SGAP is one of these businesses. This recent SGAP initiative with Ms Clemente is no different. Indeed, Filipino bayanihan spirit has somehow made the dreadful year more bearable for a number of affected communities,” said Isana.
He added that, “In these trying times, aid in whatever form, big or small, will always make a difference.
Charles E. Buban is an old timer in the Philippine automotive journalism scene. He first started covering the automotive beat in 2003, writing news and reviews of new models and car tech, among other car-related stuff. When not writing about cars, he could often be seen riding his mountain bike or doing long walks in the hope of catching a couple of legendary Pokemons.