Home delivery services thrive amid  COVID-19 lockdowns

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews) The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has put most businesses in the country at a standstill for weeks since the outbreak began, but certainly not for some enterprising start-ups in Davao City that are thriving in the midst of a crippling global pandemic by offering home delivery services.

The enforcement of more stringent 15-day enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from April 4 to 19, has given rise to startups offering delivery services to Dabawenyos, many of them office turned work-from-home workers, since the mass public transportation system has been halted to discourage residents from leaving their homes.

These homegrown startups can pick up take-out food; deliver groceries, medicines, and even fresh-off-the-market fruits and vegetables, groceries, vegetables, other basic necessities; and even pay bills and pick up documents.

SunStar Davao journalist Rob Gumba, who has been working from home since the lockdown, said he finds the delivery services more convenient these days because he is anxious about leaving their home for supply run, risking himself of exposure to infected market-goers.

Gumba said he was impressed with the on-time delivery of his orders, perhaps owing to the fewer vehicles now plying on the streets, that on normal days are often congested.

“With my order, what DabCap did was they consolidated the orders from other buyers before delivering them on a scheduled date. That means, its delivery partner, Oridoo, would also deliver the orders of other customers by schedule. But it was quick nonetheless,” he added.

This set of cards of home delivery services in Davao City was passed around via social media on Sunday, 05 April 2020, Day 1 of the enforcement of
a two-week enhanced community quarantine to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Ian Jermie Mayangao, senior treasury sales specialist at the Land Bank of the Philippines in Davao, said he also finds these services very helpful since he can make his purchase at the comfort of his room and have them delivered right at his doorstep.

“It’s very convenient to have the food delivered right at our doorstep during a community quarantine,” he said.

Radio journalist Aimee Guinita added she is willing to explore the delivery services to order vegetables and fruits, as did her cousin who works in Spain, which records 124,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 11,744 deaths, considered as the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in Europe.

“My cousin said these delivery services are very useful in Spain because the outbreak there is really bad. She would only go down to pick up her order from her doorstep. When they buy fruits and vegetables, they will do so online. But before eating them, they would disinfect them first to make sure they are safe for consumption,” she said.

Guinita said she is also wary of going to crowded places this time and that she would rather make her orders through these services than risk contracting COVID-19.

Law student Geraldine Sumamban, who is also a housewife, said these services are helpful during a crisis since it is difficult to get food in restaurants, which are mostly closed due to the outbreak.

Iligan deliveries

In Iligan City, MindaNews editor Bobby Timonera has not gone out of his house since March 20 with the “enhanced community quarantine” imposed in his city. He has since relied on delivery services.

“The first I tried is Streetby, an app available on Android and iOS devices with riders delivering anything from food to groceries. It’s like having an errand boy to do the buying for you,” he said.

“I think it is a Mindanao initiative as one of the investors is a friend, a kababayan,” he said. With offices based in Cagayan de Oro City, Streetby has presence in Mindanao’s major cities.

While it offers a lot of services, Timonera said his favorite in Streetby is “Papalit.”

“I’d prepare a list of the grocery items I need, then I’d input those in the app. Once the app confirms the order, a rider assigned to me will then go out and buy all those things, calling me every now and then for clarification,” Timonera said.

“The rates are reasonable. Higher than your gas expenses, yes, but I appreciate how the frontliners are risking lives for us with their exposure outside,” he added.

Once the delivery boy arrives, Timonera said he reminds the Streetby employee to do “contactless” delivery, not only with him, but with every client.

Once his doorbell rings, he would tell the delivery boy to step back, put a large basin outside their main entrance gate with the payment in it, then Timonera would step back as the delivery guy would put all the items in the basin. He would then get the basin once the delivery boy leaves.

Timonera has so far ordered grocery items from Gaisano and Robinsons, medicine from Mercury Drug, and rice and meat from his suki dealers.

There is also a Facebook page called Areyba, apparently owned by someone with a stall in the market in Iligan, offering everything you see in the market – fish, vegetables, spices, fruits. Just send your order via private message on Facebook, and they’ll delivery everything the next day.

“I also have a photographer friend who delivers fresh vegetables. I have bought some from him, too,” Timonera said.

Davao City deliveries

In Davao City, ome of these reliable startups that can do the usual errands, such as picking-up take-out food, buying groceries, vegetables, paying bills, buying medicines, sanitizers, alcohols, and other basic necessities are MF Bolts (09475701577/ 09299853221), Davao Sellers Hub (09102191284/ 082-2373097), Errands Davao (09338692017, 09955166451, and 082-2330257), Fetch Delivery (09104819191, 09982095120, and 09776051733), RM Tindahan (082-3229433, 09774226100, and 09098011453), DAVEX (09656319775, 09499124135, and 09493672738), NCCC Supermarket (Downtown: 09094328254/ 2216222 local 1302,  North Davao area 09094439041, South Davao area 09090130966/ 2975155 local 121), Palengke Boy (0823278472), Rider Dash (09266846005, 09055576621, and 09984882946), Oridoo Halal (09432445558), Drovr Delivery (www.facebook.com/drovrdelivery and www.facebook.com/WorooDelivery), Cinderellabelle (09461263884 and 09179501696), Davao Online Grocery (www.facebook.com/DavaoOnlineGroceryServices), Happymart (09177049491), Sunny Hope (09175559418), and Kuya Juan (082-3336452/ 3248181, 09213706111, and 09275583583).  (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)