On March 13th, we announced some of the measures that we will be taking to keep our staff and community safe, abiding by the guidelines set for the Luzon-wide community quarantine. These measures include the following:
- Moving to 100% work from home arrangement for our staff
- Closing our offices while we’re practicing the work from home arrangement; if it is necessary to be on-site, we are restricting access to staff only
- Moving our community events online to reduce mass gatherings and keep COVID-19 from spreading within the community
- Adjusting our acceleration program timelines and exploring alternate modes of delivering our program content.
We also wanted to take some time to recognize the different tech startups that have been working to support communities in the middle of COVID-19.
Pandalivery (available in Naga and Legazpi) and Bukid Fresh have been facilitating the delivery of vegetables, fruits, groceries, and even medicine for their communities. Their hyperlocal focus has allowed people to abide by the community quarantine while still having access to their needs.
Educational technology startups such as Frontlearners and IOL (also IdeaSpace alumni) have been instrumental in helping schools and students transition learning. Frontlearners allows schools to create their accounts and enroll their subjects. Currently, their e-learning content covers five academic subjects for Grade 1-10, core and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects for Grade 11 and 12, and general education subjects for college.
Meanwhile, IOL offers access to its courses, suitable for college-level or post-college level learners. From March 17-30, 2020, online learners can choose any course, request for coupon codes, and get access to their courses for free (with the exception of mock exam assessments). The access can run from three (3) to six (6) months. Their PRC-accredited CPD courses for certified public accountants may also be accessed for free. With their initiatives, we hope that students and schools can transition to e-learning more smoothly.
Another startup providing a valuable service during these times is Taxumo. Taxumo makes it possible for people, particularly freelancers, small and medium business owners, and remote workers/professionals to file and pay their taxes and pay for their SSS contributions online.