MANILA -- Many contractual workers in the Philippines risk losing their jobs -- or have already lost them -- with the closure of various establishments due to the coronavirus crisis.
Fortunately, some of them were able to find a new source of income, thanks to an app.
Without citing figures, MyKuya said more contractual workers affected by the lockdown in Luzon have been signing up on their app, which provides users with a personal assistant for tasks such as cleaning and going to the grocery.
Among them is restaurant worker Paul Clarito, who said that his new job will help him get through the month-long lockdown in Luzon.
"Hindi na ho kasi sapat 'yung dati ko pong tinatrabahuhan. Konti na lang 'yung mga tao tapos at least one month pa itong lockdown na 'to. At least sa MyKuya, may trabaho pa kahit papaano," Clarito said in a statement released by the app.
MyKuya said it will stand ready to take more of the recently laid off contractual employees over the coming weeks.
Its founder, Forbes 30 Under 30 inductee Shahab Shabibi, said they hope to create more jobs for Filipinos -- more specifically, 1 million by 2022.
"It's unfortunate that it had to happen this way, but this story is directly in line with MyKuya's aims to create jobs for millions of Filipinos. With the values of bayanihan and nation-building in mind, we've always been about creating real livelihood opportunities for people here in the Philippines," he said.
Shabibi said those who are interested to sign up can join one of the "enterprise partners" already using MyKuya as their on-demand platform, or sign up directly with the app.
“To help our partners who are working 100% voluntarily to serve their community during this period, we’ve given them guidelines on how they can reduce the risk for everyone, especially themselves. We’re working with the enterprise partners that employ them to provide them with the masks, sanitizers, and alcohol that will protect everyone’s safety, while giving them the opportunity to provide a valuable service to their community,” he said.
Aside from the increase in sign-ups from contractual workers, Shabibi also saw a surge in demand for services in the app, particularly for buying food, water, and sanitation items.
“Because of the growing threat of COVID-19, Filipinos in Metro Manila had to quickly confine themselves to their homes. Unfortunately, most still lack basic supplies, such as food, water, and sanitation items. Many of these people are now turning to MyKuya to get help with whatever they need,” he said without citing figures.