Virtual Palengke this ECQ
The Enhanced Community Quarantine was announced by Pres.Duterte last March 16. This is to limit people from going out of their homes and thus lessen the spread of the virus COVID-19.
I went out to buy grocery items last March 20 and I realized how hard it was to go out for people like me who don’t have a car. I only went to the nearest grocery store in our area and yet I was so exhausted from walking to and going back home carrying bags full of items.
I also saw some photos of markets that shows uncontrollable crowd and social distancing is not observed.
If social distancing is observed, you on the other hand need to spend at least 2-4 hours to be able to shop peacefully. With the hot weather, that is unbearable to do.
That’s why I thought that it would be nice if there are sellers inside our subdivision who will supply for basic essentials like fresh meat, seafoods, fruits and vegetables. There’s only one seller who agreed to do it at that time because of permit issue (thanks Maila of Miggy’s Kusina).
It’s a good thing that co-homeowners and officers of a nearby subdivision came up with an idea to organize our own virtual palengke.
The goal of the project is to lessen the volume of people going in and out of the subdivision so that the possibility of getting the virus is lower. Also, to help the co-homeowners like me who doesn’t have any means of transportation to go to the grocery store or palengke. Another reason is to help the senior citizens and parents who can’t leave their kids to go out and buy food.
We also want to support the homeowners who wants to earn a little income in this trying times.
How did we do it?
First, we collected the data of sellers in the neighborhood who wants to participate. We only allow basic necessities such as frozen and fresh meats, rice, ready to cook food and of course fruits and vegetables. Disinfectants, alcohol and masks are also included.
Then we brainstormed for guidelines on how are we going to make the transaction safe between the seller and the buyer and in line with the mandated rules of the government about social distancing etc.
Sellers should wear proper protective gear: mask, gloves, DIY face cover.
Buyers should also wear face mask when receiving the item and/or provide an area outside their home to receive the item. They can either leave the payment inside a plastic container or they may choose to pay via GCASH, Paymaya or online bank transaction. As much as possible NO physical contact between the seller and the buyer.
We also asked the seller not to make the prices of their goods too high.
Sellers are only allowed to deliver twice a week to avoid them from going out the subdivision everyday to get stocks too.
How does the buyer place their order?
It’s a good thing that before this pandemic happens, our subdivision already has a buy and sell FB group. This is where the sellers post their items for preorder.
Yes we also don’t want to have unsold items that is why we asked them to just have a preorder. No cancellation in the sellers part.
As the organizer, we also want to have a harmonious relationship between our buyers and sellers (we are just neighbors, so dapat lang matiwasay ang lahat).
If there’s a negative feedback regarding the items purchased, we require them to talk about it first and deal with it via refund or just return and exchange the goods for a new one.
When our barangay captain learned about this project, he praised it and want us to do a video so that he can share it with other homeowners association in our area.
It’s almost a month since we started it in our area, if you want to get an idea, watch this video: