GenSan taps 2 firms for basic supplies amid pandemic

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 14 May) – The city government has tapped the services of two online companies for the opening of alternative sources of food and other basic supplies for residents amid the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

City Mayor Ronnel Rivera said they have partnered with online food delivery startup Foodpanda and grocery delivery service provider Ant Solutions for the rollout of its “Online Talipapa” program.

He said the two firms will provide online food market and delivery services that will mainly utilize local sources or suppliers, among them the public markets and “bagsakan” or trading posts.

Rivera and City Economic Management and Cooperative Development Office (Cemcdo) head Leonard Flores met with representatives of Foodpanda and Ant Solutions on Wednesday to arrange their partnership.

Foodpanda will use Pandamart, an on-demand delivery service for consumer goods and other essential products, while Ant Solutions will tap its grocery service dubbed Ant Talipapa for the initiative.

Ant Talipapa was expected to start its operations on Monday next week, with the city government shouldering the delivery fees in the first two weeks.

It will accept online orders and deliveries for various products such as vegetables, fruits, meat and fish. Payments for the “door-to-door” service may be done via cash-on-delivery, credit card and debit card options.

Rivera said the initiative was part of the city government’s efforts to mainstream electronic or e-commerce under a “new normal” due to the Covid-19 threat.

“We want to reduce travel and person-to-person contact like going to the markets and other related establishments as we continue to fight the spread of Covid-19,” he said in a statement.

Flores said the “online talipapa” mainly levels up the city’s “Moving Talipapa” program, which was launched in March to give local farmers, cooperatives as well as micro, small and medium enterprises another opportunity to earn continually during the pandemic.

He said the initiative will provide another income option for tricycle drivers and give consumers additional method of purchasing their needs.

The city was the third locality in the country after Manila and Pasig that partnered with Foodpanda, which expanded its operations in the area early this year, for the use of tricycle drivers as “panda riders,” he said.

Flores said the local government will continue to find more ways “to satisfy the different preferences of our consuming public.”

“Given the current situation in the world, we are glad to see the increasing appreciation of people about e-commerce. And we are seriously buying into it. We believe this strategy will help the city effectively manage the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic,” he added. (MindaNews)