THE Red Cross (RC) is a humanitarian organization, and never has it been associated with profit. If we go by the International Red Cross (IRC) and Red Crescent Movement (RCM), it is an "international humanitarian movement with approximately 97 million volunteers, members and staff worldwide. It was founded to protect human life and health, to ensure respect for all human beings, and to prevent and alleviate human suffering."

THE Philippines is 123 years old and in all these years, we have often worn the Luzon lens when we talk of the country; more so of the National Capital Region (NCR). There are people from Luzon who have not traveled to Mindanao because of the peace and order situation there and the preconceived notion that Mindanao is different from the rest of the country.

Today's article is actually a follow-up on what I wrote on this column two weeks ago. At that time, my father, Daddy as my sister and I fondly called him, was diagnosed with COVID-19 and was rushed to a private hospital in Laguna. He was intubated and was fighting for his life when that article appeared on this column two weeks ago.

Global Nutrition Company, Herbalife Nutrition, unveiled on 31st August the results of its third annual Asia Pacific Breakfast Habits Survey 2021. Revealed were the desire to improve health and well-being was the top reason that motivation Asia Pacific consumers to adopt positive breakfast habits. Read the full press release here:

As part of its expansion, aims to grow local team to 1,500 and create new digital jobs. This will help governments and enterprise leverage digital technologies to transform the way they operate and thrive in the digital economy. This also expands on NCS presence in Australia and aims to encourage innovation collaboration between Australia and Singapore. Read the full press release here:

Its commitment to build a team of #ConnectedPeople has won itself this accolade across nine countries in the region, including a re-certification in four countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam) which also won this accolade in 2020. Notably, this marks the first time the company has earned this honor in Australia,  the Philippines and Thailand. Read the full press release here:

After releasing the fourth edition of the Safe CIties Index, The Economist names Copenhagen as one of the top cities in the list. Read the full press release here:

A huge growth of 430% for SMEs was brought the foodpanda, Asia’s largest delivery platform, by helping 30,000 new retailers and shops digitize their business. Read the full press release here:

As businesses prepare for a rebound in the post pandemic world, Asia's quick-commerce (q-commerce) pioneer, foodpanda, has remained committed to supporting SMEs across the region to embrace digitalisation. Almost 30,000 retail shops were onboarded on foodpanda shops in the past year, with SMEs making up almost half of shops that had gone digital. This marks the first step in helping SME businesses build a strong digital core, to become more risk-resilient and cater to their customers' new purchase habits.

Online and on-demand delivery platforms have helped retail stores and SMEs stay afloat during the pandemic, during a time where organic in-store traffic was affected due to lockdowns, foodpanda has provided shops a new channel to reach new, digital customers and still generate new revenues.

Unlike traditional e-commerce, q-commerce allows SMEs to have their goods delivered to customers on-demand in 15 to 30 minutes. With a digital platform to grow their business, SMEs can also tap into services like ads, listing boosting and run promotions to increase revenues. In the past year alone, the number of new SMEs embracing q-commerce increased by more than 430 per cent. This spike in SME growth contributed an overall growth of more than 330 per cent for the overall foodpanda shops business vertical, which includes other retail and supermarket chains such as Tesco, 7-Eleven, Family Mart, Watsons and Guardian.

Globally, Delivery Hero, of which foodpanda is a subsidiary, reported on 12 August 2021 in its Q2 Trading Update a 249% growth in orders for its Integrated Verticals comprising the q-commerce business, illustrating an increase in demand for grocery deliveries across the globe. GMV for the segment also more than tripled from just the year before.

Commerce 3.0: A launchpad for business scalability on a level digital playing field

Ushering in a new decade of digital innovation, speed and convenience will continue to transform to meet customer needs, giving rise to Commerce 3.0 — where tech meets commerce. A global trend driven by developers who create APIs and plug-ins to integrate online activity directly with merchants, Commerce 3.0 is a powerful strategy for SMEs to level the digital playing field and fend off larger competitors that may have an advantage in a traditional physical retail environment.

As the gap between physical stores and online environments shrink, foodpanda is playing a key role in enabling SME brands to create a frictionless, technology-enabled, and interconnected customer experience, by connecting shops with customers' demands, without the hassle and heavy costs of building and running their own delivery platform.

Abhishek Sahay, Senior Director of New Verticals at foodpanda shares: "Digitalisation is more than just going online. foodpanda shops helps SMEs take charge of their growth with digital solutions, so they can fully adopt Commerce 3.0 to increase sales, especially when traditional retail models have been disrupted in the pandemic. In this unprecedented time, it's especially critical to empower SMEs to adopt a new hybrid online-offline business model with quick-commerce, to scale their business urgently."

Pioneering the next generation of on-demand deliveries

Beyond the traditional e-commerce that revolutionized the delivery landscape through online ordering, q-commerce will be the next inflection point where delivery time shortens from three days to just 30 minutes. Being the pioneer in q-commerce built on years of logistics and technology expertise spanning 12 markets, foodpanda is driving the growth of the q-commerce category in Asia.


About foodpanda 

foodpanda is a leading delivery platform in Asia dedicated to bringing consumers a wide range of food, groceries and more, quickly and conveniently. Powered by technology and operational excellence, foodpanda is spearheading the growth of quick-commerce (q-commerce) across the region with its network of retail partners, as well as pandamart cloud stores to provide more on-demand options beyond the millions of food delivery options. foodpanda operates in more than 400 cities across 12 markets in Asia - Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Pakistan, Taiwan, Philippines, Bangladesh, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Japan. foodpanda is a subsidiary of Delivery Hero, a global leader of the food delivery industry.


It is only fitting that one of the leading technology solutions providers in the Philippines is in partnership with the leading DDoS security solution provider. Total Information Management Corporation (TIM) announced its strategic partnership with Nexusguard to build the first true-hybrid DDoS scrubbing center in the Philippines in Aug. 24, 2021. Read the full press release here:

Article VI, Section 21 of the Philippine Constitution grants the Senate or the House of Representatives or any of its respective committees with the power to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation. Under Senate Rule No. 5, Section 17, the concerned Committee shall have "the powers of an investigating committee, including the power to summon witnesses and take their testimony and to issue subpoena and subpoena duces tecum, signed by its Chairman, or in his absence by the Acting Chairman, and approved by the (Senate) President."

I am deviating from my usual practice of writing a commentary on politics, business and social events to write on something more pressing and close to my heart and closer to home.

As the title of this essay suggests, COVID-19 is real. It is so real that has come closer to home. I am never a doubter of COVID-19 and I am not an anti-vaxxer but I never imagined myself and my family to experience it the disease first-hand when our father has been diagnosed with it last August 30, 2021.

THE 2022 General Appropriations Act (GAA) is an election budget, which was submitted by the Executive last August 23 to the House of Representatives, where budget review will commence. Speaker Lord Allan Velasco has set September 16 as the date for its House passage. The Senate will therefore have half a month to complete its review before the end of the general registration on September 30 and the filing of the candidacy certificates from October 1 to 8 per the Commission on Elections (Comelec) calendar.