Bagong Bayani: Saluting the unsung heroes on the frontlines of the pandemic

Ever since the start of community quarantine, supermarket, grocery, and convenience store workers have been braving daily commute to be on the frontlines of the pandemic (Photo by Noel Pabalate)

The outpouring of support toward frontliners fighting against the spread of the novel coronavirus has not waned. Whether for the uniformed personnel manning checkpoints through the night or for the health care workers enduring long hours in hospitals, the Filipino community has always expressed compassion and praise for frontliners. When doctors and nurses called for a much-needed “time out,” President Duterte heeded it by reverting the status of Metro Manila and four other provinces back to modified enhanced community quarantine.

As we go about our “new normal” lives these days, we often forget the immense contribution and efforts of supermarket and convenience store workers. They’re the cashiers, selling clerks, store managers, baggers, butchers, promotional merchandisers, parking attendants, security personnel, and many more, sacrificing their own safety just to provide service to everyone as we shop for basic necessities. They deserve our utmost gratitude as well.

Through viral stories like that of Fatima Torres, who had to walk for six hours every day just to work as a grocery attendant in Caloocan City, to that of the dozens of Gaisano Supermarket employees in Cagayan De Oro, wearing their face masks and shields while kneeling in prayer before opening the doors to the public, we are reminded that they, too, are frontliners who are putting the needs of others before their own.

Gratitude for Service

Robina Gokongwei Pe, Robinsons Retail president and CEO, salutes the countless frontliners in grocery stores and supermarkets who have braved the onslaught of Covid-19 just to be of service to the public. In the early days of the lockdown, Pe acknowledged the role and contribution of the employees in providing service even in the face of perilous uncertainty. “We are grateful for their perseverance and hard work to maintain the quality of service that we provide to our customers,” she said. “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.”

Cashier clerks and baggers of Robinsons Supermarket

As we shift to another quarantine classification in the coming days, these unsung heroes will march on and continue to heed the call in keeping Filipinos well-provided for during the pandemic. While doing their best to be safe on the frontlines, the retail sector of markets and groceries commits to keep shelves stocked with a full range of necessities for any household.

GoRobinsons, Robinsons Supermarket digital marketplace

“All our supermarket branches remain open to serve customers during the pandemic. Though store hours are shorter, we ensure that we have what they need at our store,” said Angela Totanes, marketing manager of Robinsons Supermarket. “Together with our trade partners, we have been in constant communication to make sure that our shelves are well-stocked at all times. This involves ensuring adequate and ready supply of goods on our shelves, efficient logistics or distribution, and reasonable pricing. Our stores and our distribution center also have strict health and sanitation protocols in place to make sure our stores remain safe for everyone. We recently launched our new online store, GoRobinsons, making it easier, safer, and faster for customers to get their necessities from the safety of their homes.”