When the Group president of Jollibee Foods Corp. and managing director of McDonald’s Philippines set aside their companies’ fierce rivalry in the fast-food sector in favor of pooling their expertise and resources to pursue a common goal for the Philippines, good things will likely happen.
Among these is the acceleration of the government’s COVID-19 vaccination program so that herd immunity in the National Capital Region (NCR)—where at least 70 percent of the population will be fully vaccinated against the potentially lethal COVID-19 disease—will be achieved on or before the last week of November.
With NCR’s population at 14 million, herd immunity will mean vaccinating 10 million, requiring 20 million vaccine doses. The plan is to achieve that in 180 days from June 1 or by Nov. 27 at a combined rate across NCR of at least 110,000 jabs a day.
Hitting this goal will mean the much-awaited return of a festive Christmas season this year and eventually the full recovery of the Philippines’ economy, which has suffered its worst contraction since World War II due to the ravages of the still-raging COVID-19 pandemic.
JFC Group president Jose Miñana and McDonald’s Philippines managing director Margot Torres told the Inquirer in a recent interview that they have come together because they firmly believe that they can help achieve the target of herd immunity.
Their optimism is based on a simulation model presented last month to all of mayors of NCR, as well as to government officials led by Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., chief implementer of the country’s national action plan against COVID-19.
According to the simulation model that Torres fondly calls the Miñana formula, six key components have to be taken into consideration in every local government in NCR for herd immunity to be achieved—target jabs per day, vaccine supply, vaccination sites, clinical staff, productivity or the number of jabs that can be administered in an hour and then registration of people to be inoculated.
The model provided the mayors of the 17 local governments in NCR a clear road map to follow to achieve herd immunity in their own city or town, from the number of jabs that have to be given every day to the number of ideal vaccination sites, the clinical staff that has to be hired to meet the daily target and ways to increase registration of those eligible to get the vaccine.
By drilling down to the city or town level in NCR, the minimum NCR target of 110,000 jabs a day to hit herd immunity by Nov. 27 becomes more achievable.
Miñana and Torres are working together as part of the Ingat Angat Bakuna Lahat Campaign, which seeks to help the government’s vaccination program succeed thus allowing the economy to further open. “If you look at the big number, it looks daunting. But when you break it down to per [local government] then it becomes doable,” said Miñana.
The latest data are encouraging with total vaccination hitting a record-high of 300,000 a day. As of June 16, 16.5 percent of the population in NCR have already received their first dose, with close to 6 percent now fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Miñana and Torres say that the simulation model for the vaccination program is loosely based on the working operations and logistics system that makes it possible for Jollibee ChickenJoy and McDonald’s happy meals, for example, to be pushed out of the thousands of combined branches as quickly and efficiently as possible while meeting customers’ high expectations.
“It all starts with setting the targets, just like in the private sector, be it a sales target or a profit target, then you mobilize and organize accordingly,” said Miñana. “Planning is critical.”
Torres echoes the sentiment, saying that there are indeed many parallels between running a vaccination program and a quick service restaurant, which bolsters their belief that given the accelerating pace of daily vaccination, chances are high that the Christmas spirit Filipinos are known for will be back with a vengeance this year.
They have also happily discovered that they work well together. Being in the same industry for decades, they have developed their own shorthand. They can easily spot kinks and quickly come up with solutions, all in the name of achieving the vaccination goal.
When that happens, they can go back to their respective corners and slug it out in the fast-food industry. But in the meantime, it’s corporate brands off and Team Philippines cap on so that everyone can come out the winner.
“We have a shared purpose, that is why [the partnership] works,” said Torres.