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Building a stronger, safer digital-first economy for future generations

By GRACE VERA CRUZ Published Jul 27, 2022 5:04 am

Star36

I can still remember exactly where I was when I first heard that the entire country would be put under lockdown. As a mother, I feared the uncertainty that came with the pandemic — not just for my family but for everyone around me. But as a Filipino, I knew there was work to be done to support our kababayans — and I am fortunate to be part of a company that truly cares for the welfare, safety, and livelihood of every Filipino.

When the lockdown started, places that were once filled with people were emptied, and businesses that were once busy were forced to shut down. The first few months of COVID-19 hit pretty hard, and there was a lot of trial and error while we tried to navigate unprecedented market conditions. Internally, we knew we needed to adapt and focus our energy into making sure that we safeguarded the lives and livelihoods of our kababayans, and supported the economy and the country.

Read what Brian Matthew Cu wrote about Grab Philippines in InBetween: Navigating a difficult road ahead

Mobility was and continues to be critical in bringing our economy back on track. With many Filipinos relying on Grab for safe and convenient transportation, we had to recalibrate our approach to safety and double down on hygiene and sanitation through GrabProtect — a holistic program centered on COVID-19 protection, including vaccination for our communities. As part of Grab’s Vacc-to-Normal campaign, we worked with medical experts, government agencies, and other driver-partners to encourage our driver communities to get vaccinated. I am happy to say that we were one of the very first nationwide communities to reach 100% fully vaccinated status.

Grab's Vacc-to-Normal initiative encouraged the company's driver communities to get vaccinated with the help of medical experts and other government agencies.

Through the collective efforts of our Grabbers, our driver communities, and with the support of our government partners, we were able to overcome the enormous undertaking ahead of us. And even now that we are beginning to emerge from the pandemic, we continue to face several challenges such as the rising cost of fuel and an industry-wide transportation crisis.

Many driver-partners have left the platform because they were unable to pay the monthly amortization of their vehicles over the last two years. This continues to haunt us and the commuting public, especially when the demand for GrabCar increased following the easing of the lockdown restrictions. We continue to engage the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board in efforts to make the TNVS (transport network vehicle service) application process much simpler and easier, to allow more GrabCar applicants to join the platform. This is an important undertaking, and with the support of the government and the continued loyalty and trust of our consumers, I am confident that we can find a tailored, nuanced, and balanced solution to this issue.

Our mission is to empower everyday entrepreneurs and to bring the Philippines forward.

As a company that has built deep and enduring relationships with our community, we will continue to find ways to help every Filipino overcome life’s hardships.

In an effort to reduce unemployment rates, Freebis, a project under the Integrated Livelihood Program of DOLE, offers bicycles to beneficiaries across municipalities that they may use as delivery riders.

Grab has evolved into more than just a superapp — it is now a community that every Filipino can count on not just for rides, deliveries or access to day-to-day essentials, but also as a means to drive forward, taking with us the lessons we have learned from the past years of being apart.

Together with The Philippine STAR, Grab is also celebrating its milestone in the Philippines — our 10th anniversary. The last 10 years of Grab have been marked by several milestones, changes, challenges and triumphs. To me, it’s been 10 years of service to the Filipino people, 10 years of making every Filipino’s dream of a better future a reality, 10 years of trust, support, and bayanihan spirit. My team and I are looking forward to stewarding our Grab community toward the next stage of growth.

The author converses with driver-partners under Grab's GrabProtect initiative.

Our mission is to empower everyday entrepreneurs and to bring the Philippines forward.

In the next 10 years, Grab would like to keep enabling Filipinos to achieve their dreams and goals for a better life.

We will continue addressing our fellow Filipinos’ needs and wants in a safe, convenient way as they partake in the digital economy. We would like to continue delivering value for our consumers.

We will further enable MSMEs in their journey toward adopting technology to ensure that their businesses are ready and resilient enough to take on the challenges of the future.

Grab will relentlessly support its drivers and delivery-partners in their journey to living their best professional life, within and outside the Grab platform.

We will continue being a thought partner to government and regulatory agencies so that the Philippines can benefit from digitalization, and we can build a stronger and safer digital-first economy for the generations to come.

I am humbled by Grab’s journey with the Filipino people thus far, and I am excited at the many more milestones we will co-create with our kababayans.