If there’s one thing good that we can say about the ongoing pandemic, it’s that it made us realize the value of our homes. Due to the enforced community quarantine, many of us are now discovering the proximity of our homes to shops, supermarkets, hospitals and other essential providers. In particular, those who live in integrated communities are reaping the benefits of their investments. While the comfort and convenience of these areas were once considered a privilege, we can now see that they do more than these. They help ensure their residents’ safety and survival during this national calamity.
From uplifting community spirit to establishing a cooperative mobile app, here are some ways integrated communities are contributing to the fight against COVID-19. These measures remind us that even if we are restricted to staying at home nowadays, we are not alone in these difficult times. Real estate developers are one with our efforts in maintaining our home values amidst the crisis.
Unity in Spirit and Song
Last Easter Sunday, the silence of a community in quarantine was broken momentarily by a song of hope. The people of Eastwood City in Ortigas sang together the late Michael Jackson’s “Heal the World” as a tribute to the front liners of the pandemic. Workers lined up along the streets and homeowners cheered from their windows and balconies with messages of encouragement and support. Everyone joined together to express solidarity and thanksgiving amidst the calamity. Eastwood City became a host to one of the most touching moments we have seen so far during the crisis, and they continue to inspire and uplift residents with the other efforts they are doing to fight COVID-19.
Eastwood is just one of many integrated developments created by Megaworld, one of our country’s premiere real estate companies. The group has developed most of its communities around the concept of a township, where residential, office, and commercial zones are adjacent to each other for convenience. The current pandemic has only highlighted the benefit of this setup, as it allows residents and workers to limit their travel and interaction when carrying out daily tasks and responsibilities.
Despite some restrictions, Megaworld continues to support its residents by allowing essential shops and facilities to remain open during the crisis. Restaurants, courier services, money remittance centers, pharmacies and groceries remain operational. Thus, residents can still procure their daily essentials without having to venture outside their townships.
Self-Sustenance through Innovation
As one of the communities that first reported positive cases of Covid-19 patients, Rockwell Land has been meticulous in ensuring the safety and security of its residents and workers. Access to the area is strictly monitored and the mall has been temporarily closed off to prevent the spread of the disease. Disinfections are constantly done to keep the facilities from harboring the virus.
Despite the restrictions, the Rockwell Community retains a sense of normalcy through mobile means. In particular, the Contactless Community Grocery (COOP) App has been developed to cater to the affected residents of the area. Using an existing app of the Harlan + Holden group, residents can purchase fresh produce, beverages, grocery items, cleaning products and other essentials within the safety of their own homes. The items can be picked up at a designated location and time, with the dispatch team wearing protective equipment and observing sanitary practices to prevent possible viral transmissions. As of now, the app is on a pilot test run, catering mainly to BGC and Rockwell communities. Pick-up of items are encouraged but courier services can be availed subject to third party fees and village restrictions.
With this kind of innovation, communities can become self-sustaining during the pandemic. Households can still get their daily essentials, while businesses can remain operational even through online service. It’s a creative solution that the Rockwell Group has started and hopefully can maintain throughout the crisis.
A Drive toward Social Awareness
Ayala Land, one of the most recognized real estate groups in the country, has always been known for its social initiatives geared toward the betterment of Filipinos. The company has recently contributed efforts in the conversion of the World Trade Center into a COVID-19 facility. In addition, it is a participant in Project Ugnayan, a relief effort formed by private businesses to help raise funds for feeding urban families during the enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila.
Considering its own communities, the Ayala Group remains focused on providing essential services and goods. Drugstores, restaurants, clinics and groceries remain open in Nuvali, Vermosa, Vertis North and other Ayala communities. The website of these communities also posts some helpful tips to prevent cabin fever and encourage family bonding during the quarantine period. Lastly, the estates are frequently disinfected and monitored to prevent the spread of virus, germs, and other pathogens. True to its reputation, Ayala remains a solid rock that people can lean on even during tough times.
Strength in Selfless Giving and Service
For its part, Ortigas Land has launched the #TogetherWeGive program. It is a drive aiming to raise funds to help COVID-19 relief. The program is mainly composed of voluntary contributions from employees and personnel of the real estate company. Even with their own needs to consider, the people behind Ortigas Land remain one with the country in helping out the less fortunate during this time of crisis.
With regard to its communities, daily disinfections and temperature checks are carried out in public places. Even with the threat of the virus, providers of essential items and services remain open in Greenhills, Estancia, Tiendesitas, and Industria. Shared amenity areas are temporarily closed to ensure safety inside residential buildings.
Ortigas Land aims to support all of its stakeholders – its employees, customers, tenants and partner establishments – during the pandemic. Like the previous mentioned groups, the company posts community announcements, practical tips and even games for kids on its public Facebook page.
Overall, it is comforting to think that despite the quarantine, we are not alone in our difficulty nowadays. Whether we are battling boredom or even the dreaded Covid-19 disease, we can rest assured that our communities are doing their best to supply our needs and keep our families safe. Going beyond service, Filipino real estate companies are doing their part to keep our country whole and running. On our side, let us help our fellow men by following the law, staying at home, and praying for the welfare of all during the crisis.
OrtigasPH Facebook Page
Power Plant Mall Facebook Page
Megaworld Corporation Philippines Facebook Page
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link.