Out of Work Due to ECQ, This Driver Was Surprised With Food and Supplies By Grab PH
Times have been difficult for everyone, but it’s been especially rough for people who have lost their livelihood during the enhanced community quarantine. Every bit of help matters, which is why we commend those who have gone out of their way to lend a hand.
During the ECQ, multinational ride-hailing company Grab extended help to a select few, one of whom was kind enough to share his story with us.
Roger Suyong, 50, works as a driver for Wheelmobile, a foundation that provides free transportation for disabled people, primarily those in wheelchairs. The sole breadwinner of a family of six, Roger lives paycheck to paycheck and was one of many who were hit hard by the lockdown.
“Nang magsimula ang ECQ nung March, hindi na kami nakabalik sa trabaho kaya natigil rin yung sweldo,” he tells us. “Wala talagang pumapasok na pera. Pati yung ayuda na galing sa gobyerno, siguro mga apat na beses lang kami nakatanggap sa loob ng tatlong buwan.”
He also admits that his family doesn’t have the means to pay the rent of their Quezon City home and hasn’t been able to do so since he lost his income. “Hindi ako umuutang sa mga kamag-anak kasi hindi rin naman sila mayaman,” he adds.
Part-time jobs were also hard to come by. "Nagtanong-tanong din ako sa mga kakilala kung may trabahong pwedeng pasukan habang may ECQ, kasi may experience din ako sa construction dati," Roger points out. "Yung asawa ko wala rin magawa kasi walang mag-a-alaga sa bunso namin—three years old pa lang."
The family spent weeks trying to make do with what was provided to them, but it barely covered their basic needs. This is a scenario no father wants to find himself in, but this has become all too common for many families during the lockdown.
More than halfway through the ECQ, word of Roger’s struggles reached his former employer, who wished for him to receive a little extra support through Grab’s "Sagot Kita" campaign. It didn’t take long for him to receive a call from a Grab representative, but he thought it was a hoax.
“Walang sabi-sabi kaya hindi pa nga ako naniwala nung una,” Roger says. “Gulat na gulat ako na tumawag sila sa akin; wala akong ideya talaga. Hiningi nila lahat ng detalye tapos totoo nga—may dumating na taga-Grab na may dala-dalang pa-grocery.”
Roger received grocery bags full of food and supplies. While not life-changing by any means, it was enough to get his family by for a week or two. “Laki ng pasalamat ko sa kanila. Iba yung pakiramdam ng makatanggap ng tulong sa mga hindi mo inaasahan na tao.”
The GCQ has been kinder to the Suyong family; Roger was recently called back to work, three times a week, at a daily rate of P600—a far cry from his previous monthly salary of P10,000. “Sobrang namuti buhok ko nitong mga nakaraang buwan—muntik pa akong hindi papasukin sa MRT kasi napagkakamalan akong senior citizen ng mga guards,” he recalls with a laugh.
It’s going to be a while for families like Roger’s to bounce back from the economic uncertainty brought by the pandemic, but he’s not dwelling on the situation. If anything, he believes the assistance that he received from Grab is the universe’s way of paying it forward: “Huwag tayo mahiyang tumulong at huwag din tayo mahiyang humingi ng tulong.”
Through their "Sagot Kita" campaign, Grab has shown that they can be your partner in navigating through life in the new normal. With its range of services, such as GrabFood, GrabMart, GrabPay, GrabExpress, and GrabCar— Filipinos have easier access to their everyday necessities.
To learn more about Grab and its new campaign, visit www.grab.com/ph/featured-blog/grabsagotkita/.
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