The enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) imposed in Metro Manila from March until May required public transportation to halt operations. Jeepneys, taxis, motorcycle taxis, and tricycles were nowhere to be found in major roads, when—for the longest time—these vehicles have always been in every corner of the Metro.
Drivers of these vehicles were income-less during the entirety of the ECQ. They were left to wait for the cash aid from the government, which surely wasn’t enough to support their families for several weeks. Fortunately, some establishments and local government units stepped in to help by hiring some of these drivers to deliver food to those who order through delivery apps or the establishment’s own hotline. (Read: Here’s a list of PH restaurants that are open for take out and delivery)
Restaurant for a Cause
One such establishment is Gubat, a kamayan-only restaurant in Quezon City that serves food in banana leaves. The restaurant is relatively ‘hidden’ just like its counterpart Kusina Luntian in Baler, Aurora.
Gubat started to accept orders for pick-up and delivery ever since the enhanced community quarantine to continue their business—and they have hired tricycle drivers to deliver the orders! (Read: Husband and wife create Viber bot for your food delivery needs)
In an interview, Gubat co-owner Cereb Gregorio says that they are lucky that even with a pandemic, they still have income and Gubat’s operations can still continue, even through pick-up and delivery only. She then realized that not everyone is as lucky as them and remembered the tricycle drivers who “have always been kind” to her.
“I don’t have a car, so I take trikes to get around the area. They [drivers] help me carry heavy stuff for Gubat, give me rides in the pouring rain, and I can trust them to return things that I’ve left in their trikes—and I’ve left a lot of things,” she says.
Cereb says she knows some of these drivers found temporary jobs in construction during the quarantine, but others weren’t so lucky. That’s when she thought of asking them to deliver Gubat customers’ orders around the city. (Read: Rizal Baker Rises From Hardships, Now Gives Back To Frontliners)
“Since we were looking to open Gubat for pick-up and deliveries, we decided to ask for their help,” Cereb says. “They know the area better than most and were also happy to find a way to make money in the meantime. It really is a mutually beneficial partnership.”
The drivers who deliver Gubat products receive 100% of the delivery fee for the food they delivered throughout the entire day. Cereb admits that they charge a little higher than food delivery apps, but they remind their customers that all delivery fees go to the tricycle drivers’ pockets and none goes to Gubat or their staff. (Read: Bring your restaurant faves to your home with these easy recipes!)
Gubat’s delivery initiative is surely one that deserves to be heard and followed by many. Good thing, some local government units like Quezon City and the City of Manila have caught up with this trend. Both have partnered with food delivery service FoodPanda, in hiring tricycle drivers as FoodPanda riders to help them earn an income amid the pandemic.