Frontliner is often associated with soldiers during war but today, the word is used to identify workers who are still performing their duties during community quarantines and lockdowns across the globe. After all, these frontliners are also waging war against the threat of coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19.
In the Philippines, when the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) was imposed by the government in the whole Luzon island, most of the labor force were ordered to work from home. But for others, this was not an option. Today’s frontliners are composed of medical and healthcare workers, police officers, security guards, cashiers, warehouse staff, maintenance personnel, and others who continue to go to work and clock in despite the danger of the virus.
Several establishments had to temporarily cease operations, from malls to hotels to office buildings. The abrupt stop left busy areas around the metro into empty ghost towns.
But for companies like Robinsons Land Corporation (RLC), one of the country’s leading property developer, keeping a skeleton staff is essential to the operations of it properties even during the quarantine period. Some vital personnel help keep everything in check, especially in terms of security and sanitation.
Despite safety concerns, RLC ensures the welfare of its service providers amidst the lockdown. The company was quick to disseminate information across all of its properties when the quarantine was announced. This included health and safety precautionary measures and policies in relation to the ECQ. The property developer likewise immediately complied with government recommendations and guidelines regarding operations.
In compliance with the directive of the government, RLC temporarily closed majority of its hotels, office buildings, and residential properties. Likewise, Robinsons Malls nationwide are temporarily closed with only a few essential stores remaining open like supermarkets and pharmacies.
The mall group’s most important frontliners include security guards, engineering personnel, and housekeeping personnel. These workers make sure that the properties are secure and clean. Even before the ECQ, the malls’ housekeeping personnel have been working tirelessly to sanitize every nook and cranny of each mall like comfort rooms, escalators, elevators, handrails, and more. Security guards followed safety protocols, like checking customer’s body temperature through non-contact scanning, and observing social distancing guidelines among customers and guests.
Meanwhile, the engineering personnel serve as technical support for the properties, making sure each property is operational during and after the lockdown.
However, the safety of its workers is still top priority for Robinsons Malls. Sleeping quarters and shower rooms are provided for those who opt to stay inside the mall during the quarantine. Food is provided for the personnel as well.
On the other hand, for RLC’s residential properties, building administrators, security guards, and housekeeping personnel remain to be on top of things during the quarantine. They make sure that the residents of each property are secure and safe.
Since residents still go in and out of the properties, sanitation is most important. The housekeeping staff clean and sanitize elevator buttons, handrails, and walls every hour. There’s also a weekly disinfection operation conducted at common areas like lobbies, amenities, common comfort rooms, and hallways. Security guards monitor the movement of residents within each property. They also follow and implement safety measures like taking body temperature of each resident before coming in the properties, implementing social distancing measures such as limiting the number of people in the elevator, and many more.
And for the frontliners who reside outside Metro Manila, the properties have also provided temporary sleeping quarters for those who choose to stay in. Meal allowances are provided, as well as vitamins and necessary weekly medical checks. For those who choose to stay in, it’s a small sacrifice to pay compared to risking going out and mixing in crowded places.
Aside from malls, RLC’s office building properties have high foot traffic that is why housekeeping personnel continue to sanitize and disinfect the buildings regularly. There’s hourly sanitation by the housekeeping staff, cleaning spaces and areas prone to human contact. There’s also a disinfection provider that meticulously disinfect public spaces and common areas like lobbies, comfort rooms, elevators, and more.
Moreover, for Robinsons Hotels and Resorts (RHR), although some properties temporarily stopped receiving bookings and reservations, some hotels in Metro Manila are still housing guests like employees of business process outsourcing (BPO) companies. Opening its doors to workers guarantees their safety, going to and from their offices has become a lot quicker and easier.
During the duration of the ECQ, the housekeeping, engineering, and security personnel choose to stay working to provide necessary service to guests. These service providers deliver exceptional guest services despite this challenging period.
And like most RLC properties, the housekeeping personnel of RHR make sure everything is clean and sanitized while security staff implement safety and precautionary measures. The engineering staff likewise make sure everything is in order once properties become fully operational again after the ECQ.
These frontliners are also provided with accommodation in the hotel with meals, vitamins, and essential grocery items.
For RLC, these frontliners are its modern day heroes. Choosing to work in this trying times is a difficult decision but for them, providing the necessary work is essentialto themselves and the company. While they make sure everything is up to order, they give a sense of continuity, ensuring people that there’s still a safe place to come back to after the quarantine.