LOCKDOWN restrictions in the country have mostly loosened up in preparation for the “new normal,” even as cases continue to surge because of the looser restrictions and expanded testing capacity, say government officials. This means that the battle against the pandemic is a long way from being over. Here is another set of companies and organizations who continue to give a helping hand.

Food delivery service Food Panda celebrated its sixth anniversary by donating grocery packages to local communities in the cities of Makati, Taguig, Quezon, Cebu, and Davao. The grocery packs, delivered by Food Panda’s fleet with the help of the Philippine Army and local government officials, were given to emergency team responders, quarantine center personnel, garbage collectors, and street sweepers.

The company also previously delivered food packs to healthcare institutions during the stricter lockdown period.

“Being on the frontlines of this pandemic and operating through ECQ and GCQ has opened our eyes to the plight of our fellow frontliners. Just as we value our riders who brave the streets every day, we wanted to show our appreciation for our quarantine center staff, garbage collectors and street sweepers who are literally keeping the country together. At a time like this, we, at foodpanda, believe it’s important to celebrate a milestone such as a 6th anniversary by sharing our blessings to these heroes,” said Daniel Marogy, Food Panda Philippines managing director, in a statement.

More than 150 students, alumni, professors, and staff from the Industrial Design program of the De La Salle College of St. Benilde managed to create and donate almost 11,500 face shields, 1,500 face masks, 810 3D-printed ear guards, among many other protective equipment, to 126 beneficiaries including policemen, hospital personnel, and personnel in pharmacies and other health facilities across Metro Manila and Central Luzon, Calbarzon, Mimaropa, the Bicol region, and the Davao region.

The group raised almost P250,000 to produce the protective equipment while several other Benilde programs such as the School of Design and Arts helped with production and logistics.

“Industrial Design is silent, often a discipline that does not take the spotlight, but is a major component in mankind for it to function at ease. We have to show our united support, much more so in these challenging times, in championing an industry that is key in solving the problems of society through form and function,” said Romeo Catap Jr., Benilde Industrial chairperson, in a statement.

The J. Amado Araneta Foundation of Araneta City has donated to the Quezon City government enough COVID-19 rRT-PCR test kits to test 500 samples. The test kits, which were developed by the University of the Philippines-National Institutes of Health, will be used by the Quezon City General Hospital.

“We value the health and safety of the entire community. In these health-challenging times, being responsive, aside from being prepared, is highly important. We are talking about saving lives here, and donation of test kits is the least Araneta City can do to help. This is our way of showing our cooperation to the government in this time of crisis,” said Antonio T. Mardo, SVP for operations at Araneta City, in a statement.

Ayala Malls has partnered with Life Cycles PH, a charitable organization created in response to the shutdown of public transportation, which provides bicycles for free to frontliners, as a way to get to their jobs. Ayala Mall’s UP Town Center has donated more than 20 bicycles for frontliners. Those who want to get a bicycle must present a company ID for verification and monitoring at the Life Cycle station near Mercury Drug at the UP Town Center.

The PLDT-Smart Foundation has donated more than 300 food packs to families of the Yakan Tribe, a Muslim community residing in Tandang Sora, Quezon City. The foundation also provided relief assistance to 600 displaced construction workers located in the University of the Philippines Diliman.

The donations were from an employee-initiated fundraising campaign for frontliners and communities affected by the pandemic and the Your 200 Pesos project which aims to feed families affected by the pandemic. The donation drive was done in partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the University of the Philippines Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Planning and Development.