PHILIPPINE on-demand service company MyKuya reported a 300% increase in service demand last week as Luzon is under enhanced community quarantine, including getting more than 500 job applications because of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, according to the company’s founder.

“Because of the growing threat of COVID-19, Filipinos in Metro Manila had to quickly confine themselves to their homes. Unfortunately, most still lack basic supplies, such as food, water, and sanitation items. Many of these people are now turning to MyKuya to get help with whatever they need,” Shahab Shabibi, founder of MyKuya, said in a statement on March 18.

In a separate email interview, Mr. Shabibi said they saw service bookings increase by 300% compared to the prior week, with grocery delivery occupying 60% of job bookings and “a considerable chunk of the remaining 40% is for messenger services & shopping.”

The three-year-old company functions via an app that helps users hire people and services from “standing in line for you to pay the bills, grabbing something in particular for you from the stores, or even just simply cleaning your home,” according to the release.

They claim to provide said services “in two minutes or less.”

Mr. Shabibi also said the app has been able to provide work for people who are left jobless because of the lockdown and that they were processing more than 500 applications on the app last week.

MyKuya partners with manpower agencies, service providers, and staffing companies that “train, equip, and manage” the employees. Individuals wanting to work for MyKuya can sign up with said partners or the company will recommend a partner for them.

To date, Mr. Shabibi said they have onboarded 5,000 individuals.

“It’s unfortunate that it had to happen this way, but this story is directly in line with MyKuya’s aims to create jobs for millions of Filipinos. With the values of bayanihan and nation-building in mind, we’ve always been about creating real livelihood opportunities for people here in the Philippines. It’s actually our goal to create 1 million jobs by 2022,” said Mr. Shabibi.

“Over the coming weeks, MyKuya will stand ready to take more of the recently laid off contractors on as service providers. For them, COVID-19 is as much an economic pandemic as it is a biological one: The financial consequences of not having regular income for even as little as a week — to say nothing of a full month or longer — can be devastating for themselves and their families,” he added.

The company is also taking care of the health of its workers by providing them with masks, sanitizers, and alcohol, via their partners. — Zsarlene B. Chua