A community quarantine was implemented in Manila on March 12, shortly after this article was posted. This was upgraded to an enhanced community quarantine for the entire Luzon on March 16. With that in place, only businesses that offer food/medicine remain open. Apps that offer essential services like AIDE, Metromart, Foodpanda and Grab remain active at this time. There are also Facebook pages offering delivery services and riders/shoppers for hire.
3/10/2020 – As the number of Filipinos that are infected or under investigation for COVID-19 increases, the WHO has asked people worldwide to stay home and limit going out. This makes sense especially in densely populated areas like Metro Manila where catching the virus can happen literally anywhere.
While not going out completely may not be realistic at this point, limiting your exposure to crowds outside of your home can make worlds of difference and may even keep you from getting sick or infecting your loved ones at home. In Metro Manila, here are some apps that may help you limit your need to go out:
1. AIDE – This app can hook you up for a doctor’s visit at home whether for regular check-ups, nursing care, flu shots and vaccines, lab tests, physical therapy, or even buy your prescription medicine for you. This can be pricier than your rates in hospitals and clinics but for older people and those with difficulty going out, this is worth the extra bucks.
2. Metromart – This app filled the void left by Honestbee. It has almost all the major grocery stores in the Metro including S&R where you can shop even without membership but with a 5% charge extra and Marketplace by Rustan’s. Depending on your area, they also have Pet Express for your pet food needs and Watsons for over the counter medicine that you may want to stock up on.
3. Foodpanda, Grab and other food delivery apps – Food delivery service is a must at a time like this. Foodpanda and Grab in particular have access to most of the popular dining places in Manila including the likes of Yabu, Tim Ho Wan, Manam, Sarsa, and even Shake Shack if you are in Ortigas.
4. Gawin.PH caters to your pest control, AC cleaning, plumbing, cleaning services needs. Alright, you don’t really need to go out to get these done usually as most people have saved the number of the reliable neighborhood manong but having the option is always a good thing.
5. Swosh – okay, I have not really been to a self-service laundry shop but I imagine that there would be a few people waiting and doing their laundry there so it is more convenient to just get the laundry done. This is for those that do not have the time to do their own laundry themselves or condo dwellers with no washers/dryers and having a line of laundry dring up in a window or balcony is not an option.
Of course, we recognize the risk to the delivery persons but this is one of those services that when people stop patronizing, the service staff would also lose their jobs and their ability to spend for their families. So be extra considerate and nice to the delivery people. Give them a tip and if you happen to hoard some supplies, please try to share with them essentials like soaps and alcohol.
Stay safe, everyone!