The COVID pandemic has placed the general economy on a screeching halt at the onset of the 2nd quarter of last year. Not only has this significantly impacted the lives of our farmers and fisher folks, which serve as the primary producers and vendors in the agricultural supply chain, but the rest of the other industries that depend on physical interactions such as retailers, cafes, restaurants, bakeries and the likes. Despite the easing of community quarantine protocols on a few occasions for the past 14 months, the resumption of trade and the economy at large, has yet to resume to pre-pandemic levels.
This too has not spared workers and volunteers in our local churches, who (i.e. most of the time) depend on the allowances and love gifts that are afforded by their patrons and parishioners. With local partners such as the Tanglaw ng Buhay Foundation, Inc., some measure of reprieve were given these workers, offering them livelihood opportunities, while physical gathering at churches are either limited or temporarily suspended.
The Foundation aims to transform millions of poor families by helping them experience abundant lives through educational advancement, economic empowerment and spiritual development. In its recent collaboration with the DeliverE project, funded by USAID Philippines, their pastors and lay leaders were enjoined to participate as last-mile transporters of the goods that were up for distribution vis-a-vis the retail clients of Kitain — an e-commerce platform for fresh fruits and vegetables that is in collaboration with FTI and its employees’ association.
During Kitain’s launch last June 2021 to-date, about 16 motorcycle riders from the Foundation have registered with the DeliverE Platform and made use of its Haiso app, which is a booking and track-and-trace digital solution for last-mile deliveries. The app offers real-time monitoring of each shipment/delivery that is assigned to any of their designated drivers; complete with an electronic proof-of-delivery that attests that each shipment was indeed received by each client in good condition, bearing the corresponding GPS coordinates and timestamp as part of the transaction’s record.
With the aggressive stance of another DeliverE partner, Pandamart — which aims to establish a chain of 75 stores nationwide, from its current tally of 13+ stores within NCR; not to mention the upgrading of Kitain’s operation to the Mercado ng Bayan — these riders would have better prospects of providing additional services to the growing metropolitan clientele of the above. Thus, with Haiso as the digital solution for transporters, monitoring and keeping logistics transactions, at this particular leg in the agricultural value chain, is made more cost-efficient and timely.