Developers level up fight against COVID-19 | Inquirer Business

Developers level up fight against COVID-19

/ 04:16 AM March 14, 2020

As the number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines continues to increase, we also see the rise of uncertainty and panic among Filipinos, especially those residing in areas like cities in Metro Manila, where local transmission has been recorded.

Knowing all too well that nothing good comes from hysteria, the government, private sector and other institutions are now trying to reclaim the forum from alarm by reintroducing reason. Some of those who’ve contributed are local property developers.

With drives that introduce effective policies, practices and information campaigns, property developers are telling us that nothing fruitful stems from panicking amid a crisis. Instead, what will help us battle this new strain of coronavirus is reason, determination and vigilance. With the right information, attitude and behavior, we will get through this ordeal as communities and as a nation. These companies and institutions have already institutionalized ways to battle the virus, raring to lead the way to safety and resilience. Their initiatives could well be instructive for our homes and neighborhoods.


Back to the basics

Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) is going back to the basics with its reminder to practice proper hygiene. Health specialists have concurred that the best way to stifle the spread of the virus is still the basic practice of hand hygiene—something we often forgo. Especially during challenging times like this, prevention is indeed better than cure.


Washing your hands must, of course, be done properly. People must wash their hands thoroughly, or up to 20 seconds. Water is also not enough—we must either sanitize with alcohol or soap. Handwashing is especially necessary after being exposed to people, as well as before preparing, cooking or eating food, among others. Ultimately, this small step contributes to the protection of the community, as ALI puts it.

Safety firstGiving shoppers, tenants and employees reason to feel safe and secure is Greenhills Mall’s three-pronged approach: regular sanitation, accessible hand hygiene tools and vigilance for symptomatic goers.

Ortigas Land has a special team sanitizing all handrails, elevators, door handles, restrooms, even breastfeeding rooms. This regular operation only follows several other efforts to sanitize the whole mall complex, including its prayer room. Efforts to disinfect the property are administered by professional experts and are compliant with the standards set by leading health authorities.

Guards at the mall entrances do temperature checks to see if the guest has fever, which is among the symptoms of COVID-19. For those who would need medical assistance, the mall has set up a help desk at the Connecticut Parking Building manned by medical personnel briefed on the protocols. Alcohol dispensers are likewise available at the entrances, while soaps are provided in restrooms. Health advisories are posted in conspicuous spots, including instructions on doing proper handwashing.

Following a wave of event cancellations to prevent crowds from congregating and thus increasing their vulnerability, the mall management also decided to cancel the Pearl Sale set for March 13 to 15. Furthermore, Greenhills Mall is coordinating with the Department of Health and the City of San Juan. It is indeed pulling out all the stops to make sure patrons know that safety comes first.

Health is top priority

With customers’ safety and security at the top of the list for Tagaytay Highlands, it has begun implementing measures to keep COVID-19 off and the scenic property open. The company physician is personally taking charge of a task force to prevent COVID-19 from spreading. Frontliners are required to wear medical masks while alcohol and hand sanitizers are accessible. From employees to contractors and suppliers, thermal scanning is also in place.


Everyday lifestyle choices

Sta. Lucia Land Inc., for its part, came up with an eponymous reminder to dodge the infection that has undisputedly changed the world: SLLI, or Stay healthy, Limit personal contact, Learn proper hygiene and Increase awareness. The developer reminds us that the little choices we make in our daily lives can affect our vulnerability to COVID-19. Sta. Lucia Land encourages us to keep committing to a healthy lifestyle and getting ourselves updated with relevant and truthful information, while abstaining from our usual schedules involving personal interaction and mindfully practicing hand hygiene. It’s about those habits and how we should be persistent in doing them, hence: #COVIDiligence.

Vigilance in times of crisis

Megaworld Corp. is also proactively disinfecting its malls, hotels, offices, chapels and residences with an all-natural solution approved by the Bureau of Food and Drugs. This effort formed part of the company’s #COVIDgilance framework, which aims to protect patrons, locators and employees as the nation faces COVID-19. The company has also made sure to implement four points within this policy: (1) No Contact, which places sanitizers in key areas to make sure people do not contract the virus; (2) Vigilance, which notes that front-facing personnel should wear face masks; (3) Information Drive, which involves placing necessary information on screens and bulletin boards; and (4) Disinfect, which makes sure common areas such as handrails, lounge seats and elevator buttons, among others, are sanitized every 10 to 15 minutes by sanitation teams.

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This initiative raises people’s defenses against the novel coronavirus not only by introducing policies, but also by maximizing awareness and accessibility. By providing these to their employees, residents and locators, the response goes down to the personal level. In times when consistency is needed, the best way to ensure that people are participating is giving them a sense of ownership for the initiative.

As Megaworld notes, stepping up is everyone’s responsibility. Panic must not override us. We must instead be reasonable and continually practice ways to protect ourselves and our communities from the dreaded COVID-19, exactly what all these developers did.

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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