GRAB Philippines on Tuesday said it had resumed its food and delivery service to support food outlets allowed to operate during a Luzon-wide lockdown.

“Upon careful assessment of the situation on the ground and after discussing with our regulators, we have resumed GrabFood and GrabExpress operations as of 1:30 p.m. today, (March 17), with skeletal delivery-fleet,” it said in a statement.

“The decision was made to support the food establishments that will continue to operate and maintain continuous flow of goods to serve the essential needs of Filipinos during these trying times,” it added.

The ride-hailing company said it would use safety measures such as contactless delivery, temperature checks and increased cleaning frequency of delivery bags to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Food delivery company Foodpanda Group issued a separate advisory saying it had been allowed to operate along with other food service platforms as providers of basic goods.

“In light of this recent mandate, we would like to reassure you that Foodpanda continues to operate as usual with free delivery on every order,” it added.

The government suspended public transportation including buses, jeepneys, taxis, transport network vehicle service, FX, UV Express, Point-to-Point buses, motorcycle taxis and trains.

The Trade department earlier said supermarkets, drugstores and banks would remain open, while cargo transporting basic goods would be allowed to cross the checkpoints unhampered. — Arjay L. Balinbin