Supermarket Employees Are COVID-19 Frontliners, Too
Thank you to all our heroic frontliners!
Since the announcement of the Metro Manila and Luzon-wide community quarantine, most pharmacies, convenience stores, and supermarkets remained open to serve the Filipino's basic needs. Some of those that remained open are the establishments under the Robinsons Retail Holdings, Inc., which owns Robinsons Supermarket, Robinsons Easymart, Robinsons Selections, The Marketplace, Shopwise Express, and Wellcome branches.
It is no easy feat what the frontliners have to go through, what with all the transportation restrictions, the influx of grocery shoppers buying a week's worth of food, and the danger of getting infected while working their shifts. According to the JG Summit corporate website, the Robinsons Supermarket employees have created a support system to help each other out.
According to Jody Gadia, Managing Director of Robinsons Supermarket, the employees are given transportation allowances and free supply of alcohol, while for some stores, vitamin C is also provided. This is so they can fully protect themselves while transacting with grocery shoppers-while practicing social distancing, of course.
There have been reports that workers were left with no choice but to walk from their homes all the way to their work because of the suspension of public transportation. The company addresses this concern by hiring cars and trucks that serve as a shuttle for employees to get to work, while in separate cases, managers have also offered rides to their teams.
A great maka-bayan perspective also resonates with Robinsons Supermarket employees. Mark Tilan, a bagger, says, "Dahil kailangan ng customer ang serbisyo natin, paano na lang 'pag wala sila makain? Unang una ang grocery ay needs yan, hindi naman wants lang. Hindi naman bibili lang kasi gusto mo lang. Bibili ka kasi kailangan mo. Oo, andon ang sasahod tayo pero ang maganda doon, sumahod ka nag-serve ka pa ng serbisyo sa ibang tao."
Robina Gokongwei Pe, Robinsons Retail President and CEO, salutes all of the hardworking employees who continue to work despite the circumstances. She says, "We are grateful for their perseverance and hard work to maintain the quality of service that we provide to our customers. We would just like to assure them that their efforts are recognized and that we will take care of them. As in the past, we have always been resilient and together we shall succeed," she said.