Helping the Philippines heal during the pandemic

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The number one paint manufacturer in the archipelago rises to the occasion in the Filipinos’ time of greatest need

The pandemic has brought out the best and worst of nations, the Philippines included. The economic and human toll of the disease has been unspeakable, but it has also uncovered humanity’s capacity for empathy and penchant for much-needed change.

For a disease whose clout lies in isolation and division, leading paint manufacturer Pacific Paint (Boysen) Philippines, Inc., more popularly known as Boysen Paints, drew on the world-renowned power of Filipinos to come together as one. In 2020, the company began embarking on two major campaigns: Boysen Bayanihan Covid-19 Response and the EDSA Bus Carousel Project.

Bayanihan refers to the custom of mutual help and civic unity that originated in house-moving traditions of ancient Filipino villages. Boysen Paints elevated this concept to new heights last year when it launched the Bayanihan Covid-19 response in tandem with other private institutions as well as local government units (LGUs), governmental agencies, and non-profits.

“We believe that each threat presents an opportunity,” says Justin Ongsue, Boysen Paints vice-president for sales and operations. “We were taught that experience is not what the situation does to us but rather what we make of it.”

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Under the Bayanihan Covid-19 response, Boysen Paints made use of every available network to deliver timely aid to victims of the pandemic. In partnership with some of the Philippines’ biggest public and private institutions, Boysen Paints managed to build emergency quarantine facilities (EQF) equivalent to over 1,000 beds for Covid-19 patients. Boysen Paints also helped fund the installation of EQF tents, housing over 1,000 beds, and more than 300 swab testing booths.

“From funding initiatives to the grassroots provision of essential goods, Boysen Paints stepped forward, focusing on what we can do instead of what we cannot,” says Ongsue.

Boysen Paints, along with government organisations, nonprofits, and the private sector, put on a united front for the Bayanihan Covid-19 Response

Through its participation in the massive fundraising efforts known as Project Ugnayan and Project Kaagapay, Boysen Paints made possible a feeding program for over 1.5 million families disadvantaged by the pandemic. Boysen Paints also facilitated the provision of numerous relief goods to affected LGUs.

“From the initial weeks of the lockdown stretching to the duration of the evolving norm, we simply went with the immediate need of the local government units, government agencies, and cause-oriented groups, and responded to it in the most able way we can,” says Vergel Dyoco, marketing manager for Boysen Paints.

“Though reciprocation was never the purpose, the overall response was gratifying. The Bayanihan spirit is a corporate action; the measure taken against the pandemic is the survival of the nation.”

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To subdue the devastating impact of Covid-19, Boysen Paints took advantage of what it does best: the production of a wide array of architectural, decorative household paints and building material products. These went into the creation of “new normal safety signages”, which helped enforce healthy distancing measures, curbed the spread of disease, and became emblematic of the Boysen Bayanihan Covid-19 response.

“The new normal is all about sensibility, the greater appreciation for things with and within,” says Dyoco. “Paint in this sense is essential.”

The pandemic not only brought livelihoods and lives to a standstill in the Philippines—it also emptied its streets. This presented the perfect opportunity for traffic authorities in Metro Manila to realise a project that has been a decade in the making: the Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) Bus Carousel.

The project involved the designation of bus-only lanes stretching 48 kilometres long and spanning 29 stations, cutting travel time from Monumento to PITx by as much as 27%. It called for long-lasting, vibrant road markings that will make the daily bus commute—especially for front-liners—a faster, safer experience through EDSA, Metro Manila’s busiest artery.

Boysen’s high-quality paint products were central to the success of the EDSA Bus Carousel Project

The Department of Transportation (DOTr), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), and Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) unanimously entrusted the project in the company’s quality paint products. “Borne by the Bayanihan effort, we were humbled to be chosen as a building partner in this grand project,” says Engr. Ruben D. Cueto, Boysen Paints vice-president for marketing.

“In the harsh environment of this tropical archipelago, the challenge lies in keeping it tough to the times. It is impossible to progress if we need to constantly rebuild what we have already built. Quality of paint, as with all construction materials and practices, must be premium if it is to be durable and sustainable.”

Boysen Paints’ products have been blessings to a city with chronic air quality issues. Boysen KNOxOUT, the first air-cleaning paint in the world, was formulated to address such harsh realities. Through CristalActiv photocatalytic technology, Boysen KNOxOUT uses light energy to convert air pollutants into harmless substances. This essentially turns materials coated with KNOxOUT into air-purifying, self-cleaning, deodorising surfaces.

With the support of Boysen Paints, Metro Manila traffic authorities turned a decade-long dream into reality: creating a streamlined rapid transit system and loop service for buses navigating EDSA, the Philippine capital’s busiest artery

The EDSA Bus Carousel project is far from the first time Boysen Paints played a prominent role in the Philippines’ infrastructural development and improvement. Founded in 1953, Boysen Paints rose out of the ashes of World War II to lay the foundation of the Philippines’ modern construction industry. Generations of painters, contractors, engineers, architects, interior designers, and homeowners have come to depend on Boysen Paints’ comprehensive range of household and industrial products. The brand has been a partner with building and rebuilding efforts alike, through times of prosperity and catastrophe.

As the health crisis rages on, the company continues to engage in meaningful initiatives such as the designation of bike lanes, the rehabilitation of access structures, and beautification programs along city streets.

“As in times past when calamity and tragedy strike the country, the Covid-19 pandemic gave us again the privilege to exercise our advocacy in nation-building,” says Ongsue.

“Boysen Paints will continue to be at the forefront of innovation that is both significant and relevant, steadfast in our commitment to excellence and reliability.”

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