In times of crisis, it is inspiring to see that initiatives to help employees do not always have to come from the top company executives only. At URC, for example, possible solutions to employees’ transportation woes were dreamt up at various levels within the company. One of the more practical ideas—sourcing kick scooters for the workforce—has already borne fruit, helping a handful of URC merchandisers who needed them most, with more, hopefully, to follow.
The idea popped up in the early days of the enhanced community quarantine period, when Denise Paula Quesada, an employee from URC’s Trade Marketing Department, touched base with one of the merchandisers she used to meet regularly with for work. Due to the public transportation shutdown during the ECQ, the merchandiser said he often had to walk from Rosario, Pasig, to Quezon City every day, just to provide for his family. This story, as many inspiring ones do, quickly found its way to social media and from there people began asking how they could help. Someone wanted to give the merchandiser a bicycle, but as he didn’t know how to ride one, they decided that he could try a kick scooter, which is easier to use. Quesada contacted Toys“R”Us, a sister company of URC under the Gokongwei Group, to find out if they sold adult scooters. Inspired by the initiative, Toys“R”Us decided to support the fundraising campaign to help other merchandisers as well.
This is how the Scooter Para sa Merchandiser fundraiser literally got on its feet. Then, with the help of the third-party agencies that hire the merchandisers, URC was able to determine which merchandisers needed the scooters the most. During the ECQ, the agencies would provide shuttle services for employees, but some of the staff had difficulty in reaching the pickup and drop-off points. It was these merchandisers who benefitted from the first scooters purchased through the fundraiser.
URC merchandiser Carlos Dionisio immediately sent a message of thanks to Quesada when he received his scooter. “’Sakto po ma’am, may service na po ako. Malaking tulong na po sa akin iyan. Maraming maraming salamat po, ma’am.”
Michael Bareng from Robinsons Supermarket Malabon expressed his gratitude by saying, “Thank you po sa libreng scooter na binigay sa akin. Malaking tulong po ito sa akin. Lalu ngayon sa panahon ng COVID crisis sa bansa. Salamat po.”
Joemark Baguio from Robinsons Easymart Mariposa had almost the same sentiment: “Thank you po sa libreng scooter. Malaking tulong po ito para sa akin bilang isang merchandiser, lalo na po sa panahon na ito ng pandemya.”
Alfredo Escat from Robinsons Supermarket Metroeast shared, “Malaking tulong po ito sa pang araw-araw na pagpasok sa trabaho. Salamat at ’di ninyo kami pinabayaan sa oras ng pandemya.”
Efforts to raise additional funds for more scooters are still underway. Even after the quarantine restrictions are lifted and public transportation services resume in full, these scooters can still provide a safe, sustainable, and viable option for staff to get to their places of work. “It’s still safer for our kuyas to have their own means of transportation instead of taking the jeepneys or bus,” says Quesada. Using the scooters instead of crowded public transportation, there is a lesser chance for the employees to contract the virus, thus making it safer for their colleagues and customers as well.”
Donations of bicycles and scooters are also welcome.