Moving under the banner “Tuluy-Tuloy, Tulung-Tulong,” the conglomerate rolls out unified efforts to create a big impact in uplifting the economy and helping the workforce adjust to the “new normal.”
As much of the country shifts to general community quarantine (GCQ), the MVP Group of Companies is stepping up the delivery of their services to help the Filipino people get back on their feet.
Step-by-step, in line with evolving government guidelines, companies like the Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC), Maynilad Water Services Inc., Manila Electric Company (MERALCO), and PLDT-Smart are offering the public greater convenience and better service while ensuring the safety of their both customers and employees .
TRANSPORT: LRMC sets the bar high for safe transportation
For commuters returning to work, the LRMC, which operates the LRT-1 line, has begun servicing passengers since June 1 for trips to major cities in Metro Manila such as Pasay, Manila, and Quezon City.
Safety measures have been put in place such as limiting passengers to only 160 per trip, requiring them to wear face masks and checking their body temperature before boarding the trains. Anticipating long lines for temperature checks, the LRMC has procured thermal imaging scanners that can quickly take people’s body temperature and installed them in high-traffic stations such as Monument North Bound, Roosevelt Mezzanine, Doroteo Jose, Gil Puyat South Bound, EDSA South Bound, and Baclaran. Contactless payments are also being encouraged through the use of Stored Value Cards.
LRMC is working with partners to develop innovative sanitation technologies and methods to be more efficient and effective in keeping the railway safe for passengers. In addition, employees are being provided with face masks, hygiene supplies, regular health checks, and modified work arrangements.
The LRMC has upgraded its disinfection equipment with Ultraviolet C (UVC) technology developed by the University of the Philippines Diliman’s National Engineering Center (UPNEC). A prototype disinfection chamber fitted with UVC lamps is currently being used to disinfect personal protective equipment (PPE) used by station staff and employees. Handheld devices and 360˚ UVC lamps are being used to complement chemical disinfection inside the trains once they reach end stations in Roosevelt and Baclaran every five-minute intervals, and also during nightly sanitation activities at the LRT-1 depot facility.
Sanitation protocols such as foot baths/disinfecting mats, alcohol sanitizer dispenser, and floor markers for physical distancing are also being continued in all stations. Regular disinfection of commonly touched areas such as the ticket booths, ticket vending machines, handrails, elevators, escalators, platform benches, and comfort rooms is done every 30 minutes.
WATER: Maynilad resumes major construction works to enhance services amid GCQ
Maynilad is set to resume its major construction projects in June. Since early 2019, the company has been intensifying its long-term water loss reduction initiatives, particularly the repair and replacement of old pipe networks that cause spillage or water loss in some areas. It has also reactivated existing deep wells within Maynilad’s concession area. These, along with other priority projects that had been put on hold during the early quarantine phase against COVID-19, will now resume in order to improve service to customers.
Maynilad’s actual meter reading and onsite billing activities also restarts this month. Beginning June 1, customers of the West Zone concessionaire will be receiving a single “transitional” water bill that will reflect actual billing and consumption for the months of March to May 2020, plus the current actual billing and consumption for June 2020.
The total actual consumption will be computed by subtracting the February 2020 meter reading from the actual meter reading in June, and divide by four months to arrive at the monthly consumption from March to June. All bill payments made during ECQ will already be subtracted from the Total Amount Due in the said bill.
Business Area offices of Maynilad will also gradually start re-opening this month, with new safety policies in accordance with public health safety and social distancing guidelines. “Since the start of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), we have been putting in place new safety policies and procedures to adapt to the so-called ‘new normal’ workplace scenario. This is necessary so we can ensure the continued health and safety of our workers and customers,” Maynilad said.
POWER: MERALCO vows to protect employees, #KeepTheLightsOn amid COVID pandemic
The Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) continues its commitment to #KeepTheLightsOn. Mindful that the COVID-19 virus still threatens public health, MERALCO President and CEO Atty. Ray C. Espinosa has emphasized the importance of keeping their employees safe in the workplace as they serve the company’s over 9.6 million customers. Strict return-to-office health protocols are now being implemented to keep employees safe from COVID-19.
Using technology as its first line of defense, MERALCO is keeping tabs on employees’ whereabouts and health status by declaring their daily information on an online app called Code Light. This makes contact tracing faster and easier in case an employee begins to manifest symptoms of COVID-19. The app also has a feature that triggers contact tracing if an employee has come into direct contact with a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 case. A 24/7 COVID-19 Hotline was also set-up for online medical consultation for employees manifesting virus symptoms.
Transportation services have also been provided for employees to reduce random contact with people on the streets. PPEs such as facemasks, face shields, goggles, gloves, and hazmat suits are also provided for personnel engaged in external work. Meanwhile, work arrangements like flexible hours, shifting, and work-from-home are also being adapted depending on work requirements.
For employees and contractors required on-site, MERALCO has also partnered with the Pasig CIty Health Office to conduct rapid mass testing using an RT-PCR based test to ensure that asymptomatic employees are screened, detected, and isolated to minimize the spread of the virus.
CONNECTIVITY: PLDT-Smart commits to keep families connected amid physical distancing
PLDT and its wireless subsidiary Smart Communications continues to provide vital communication services to help people keep in touch with their loved ones, stay informed and entertained, and, able to work and study during the pandemic. “Our customers need us now more than ever. Our internet services and solutions power homes and businesses, and keep families connected while maintaining social distance in these trying times,” said Al Panlilio, PLDT Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer.
To keep network services going, PLDT and Smart are now carefully controlling the operations of its field and support personnel such as repair and maintenance crews, agents deployed in call centers, and sales and service centers. At the same time, the two companies are gradually restarting its network roll-out activities in order to further increase the capacity and reach of their fixed and mobile networks.
“Given that there are still COVID-19 cases in our country, we need to pursue a delicate balance. We remain steadfast in our commitment to serve our customers while also ensuring the health and safety of both our employees as well as our customers,” adds Panlilio.
Similar to its sister companies, health, safety, and sanitation practices are also strictly being enforced in all offices and business areas. Field crews remain ready to address emergency requirements and critical operations, all while following strict health, safety, and sanitation measures.