One year into the pandemic and authorities are still working on balancing economic activity and safety, tightening and loosening restrictions as they see fit.

In these ambiguous times, it’s best to anticipate scenarios, especially for your employees who are your greatest assets and are most affected by the fluctuating economy. Here are a few tips to help you navigate your business landscape:


Was your business prepared for this pandemic before it hit? If the answer is no, then you must have had to set up or update your business continuity plan.

To recap, a BCP is a process that helps a business prevent and recover from threats, including natural disasters, cyberattacks, and pandemics. It refers to the preparation your team goes through in case any of these occur.

Though your BCP has surely been revised to accommodate remote work, work-from-home, with SOPs in place, there is still room to make the transitions between different scenarios smoother.

It’s best to set up a resilience team. This is a group of people that represent each department and assigned essential roles. There should be someone in charge of the following tasks:

The size of your business determines the size of your resilience team. Just make sure you cover all the crucial steps to manage a crisis such as this one. Aside from determining your resilience team and their roles, also consider teammates who can boost employee morale and keep everyone’s emotional well-being up. Activities related to this are also important.

Pro-tip: Make sure operations that directly affect your employees continue despite the situation with Cloud Payroll and GCash for Business.


Even after vaccines are rolled out and we start feeling a sense of normalcy, it would be hard to ask your employees to get back to work as usual.

What you need to do is assess the situation of your employees through these steps:


Gauge the number of employees whom the virus has affected. See if they are experiencing serious financial or medical issues, or if any other concern is impeding their ability to get back to work.

Also, consider if there’s any form of aid you can provide these employees. After all, your team is the most vital aspect of your business. Empathy and solidarity are more important now than ever. The option to release 13th-month pay in advance can mitigate some of the financial difficulties they may experience during this time.

This is also the perfect time to update employee contact information and emergency contacts. It’s important to keep a record of emergency contacts in case anything happens.


Your survey should also be able to find out those who are healthy versus those who aren’t feeling well or immuno-compromised. See to it that they receive the care and consideration they need.

Take note of employees who have cars and motorcycles versus those who need to commute. From there, you’ll be able to figure out the best arrangement. As an example, you can rent a service vehicle. Conversely, you can rotate jobs and assign those with vehicles to come to work while those without to work from home.

Pro-tip: Make sure you save all this data within a cloud so you and relevant team members can access and edit the file easily. Use Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace, which have forms and cloud storage that can help you track information better. You can also take it one step further by exploring chatbots, like Globe Telecom’s own DUDE bot.


Once you’ve got a feel for how many workers can report to work again, establish a system. Those who can continue to work remotely should stay home. Schedule your skeletal workforce to ensure your team follows social distancing measures.

Pro-tip: Provide them prepaid internet kits or mobile plans to help them stay connected with you and each other.



List your team for COVID-19 vaccination from private sector initiatives, or encourage them to sign-up at their respective barangays. This is imperative so that businesses can help fast-track the economy’s recovery.


Make sure that the office space is properly sanitized. This is a new normal practice that shouldn’t be overlooked. Deep clean the office and try practicing color-coded cleaning. Fit the place with soap and alcohol dispensers in every corner. Make sure everyone is following proper hygiene methods through posted reminders.


As we wait for the vaccines to roll out and innoculate more citizens, mask-wearing is still needed. Give your employees face masks. Use this guide from the World Health Organization (WHO) on when and how to use masks. Take note of the WHO’s advice on wearing, removing, and disposing of face masks. For work settings that deal with close customer contact, food handling, and the like, provide your team with face shields and gloves, too.


Another thing to continue doing is social distancing, especially that the World Health Organization updated its guidelines on April 2021 on how COVID-19 is transmitted, now mentioning airborne-like tendencies for poorly ventilated and/or crowded indoor settings.

Re-layout workspaces with six feet in between employees and customers. You can space tables so people are about two meters away from each other. Another example is making sure only one person at a time can enter the restroom.

Pro-tip: You can even conduct virtual meetings through Microsoft Teams or Google Meets (part of Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace) instead of meeting up physically, or go as far as enforcing temperature checks upon entry.


Lastly, make sure that you have learned from this experience and are better prepared for the next disaster.


Ensure that you cover all the major diseases, COVID-19 and related complications, for the assurance of your employees. As mentioned earlier, sign your employees up for vaccination whether from private sector or government initiatives.

Pro-tip: Get a mobile plan that already comes with KonsultaMD, so that employees can have access to medical care without having to leave their homes.


Create a directory of everyone’s contact details. Better yet, set up communication channels on a messaging application of your choice.

Communication is more important now that we can’t meet face-to-face. Setting up the proper channels can help build assurance and solidarity during this time.

Pro-tip: For employees who have limited access to the internet, you can use M360 to send bulk SMS notifications.

UNTIL THEN, TAKE #ExtraCareatHome

We know how hard it has been for you and your employees, and we’re committed to helping you manage this situation.

This is indeed a challenging time for everyone, but we must stay vigilant. With the proper planning and preventative measures, we can get through this together. We can come out better and more prepared than ever before.

Until it is safe again, remember to take #ExtraCareatHome and share these tips with your friends and colleagues.


Want to get more tips on how to manage the team effectively? Sign up for a free consultation today!

COVID-19 is 2020’s wildcard shaking up every industry with new challenges and opportunities. It’s forcing businesses to evolve and change the way they bring their products to their customers – from their physical delivery to crucial brand messaging.

You’ve learned about the IT/BPO, Education and Finance industries in our part 1 article. Here we continue to share with you more learnings generously shared by business leaders in different fast-moving Philippine industries, and how they are handling the hurdles with the help of technology, partners, and internal teams.

Retail: NAVCO

Empowering Filipinos to live better with technology

Incorporated in 2009, NAVCO is a distributor and retailer of consumer electronics with exclusive rights to sell big US brands like Garmin. NAVCO is also introducing Smart Home Automation in the country. As a retailer, they have 40 brick and mortar stores that are either single-brand (Garmin and Anker) or multi-brand (Nifty). They have been strengthening their e-commerce presence since 2015 through their online stores and partnerships with Shopee, Zalora, and Lazada. They’re one of Lazada’s selected accredited partners in the country.


Despite the strong foothold NAVCO has established in the market over the years, CEO Ryan Tan shares that COVID-19 challenged them to look at the bigger picture and reposition their brands. “We set a goal [for our brands] to be a source of hope and joy during this crisis. That to us is our lighthouse. Then we pivoted there.” They made all services, content, and product positioning act as tools against the COVID-19 crisis without being hard sell. Their initiatives include giving away free smartwatches and creating exercise challenges to promote working out at home and monitoring one’s health.

Likewise, they took care of their employees through grocery purchases, work-from-home set-ups, financial support, and offering physical and mental health benefits. NAVCO prioritized automating parts of their operations using cloud-based solutions. They use the latest cloud-based technology for their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and HR Information System. Teleconferencing tools such as Zoom have made it easy for them to work remotely even during the quarantine.

On the sales end, letting their customers know that their products are on-hand and ready for same-day delivery has given them a boost. Partnering with third-party delivery operators helped them with that. They’ve proven that with a crisis of this scale, introspection is necessary. Their audits revealed ways to simplify and streamline their processes to help them cope.

After the Crisis

Tan hopes that all efforts they’re making will help seize new opportunities in the future, preparing the company for expansion in neighboring Asian countries. He also sees NAVCO becoming a partner for other businesses wanting to be technologically savvier. After being shaken up by COVID-19, they’re formulating business decisions to safeguard against possible threats, guided by the company’s core values: integrity, magis, boldness, innovativeness, and forward-thinking.

“This is the time to sharpen the pencil. We keep working even from home. We advanced planning sessions to help us become more effective after the lockdown… and make us stronger when we reopen. Revisit [your] plans and zoom in,” Tan advises other retail businesses like his.

Restaurants, Cafes, & Kiosks: Auntie Anne’s

Meeting the demand for freshly baked treats through digitized deliveries

Auntie Anne’s hails from the US and became popular in the Philippines for the delicious taste and inviting scent of their freshly baked pretzels, natural lemonades, and coffee. Since 1995, they have grown to 65 branches with 400+ employees nationwide, occupying key locations in malls.


COO Mikkel Paris shares that they’ve experienced and adapted to closing their stores during typhoons or fire incidents, but to close all branches was a completely new scenario. They had to reallocate resources and shift gears for their deliveries quickly. They rely heavily on social media to connect with clients. Logistics partners Grab and FoodPanda helped them get back on track quickly to help fulfill customer orders, too.

The inspiring positivity of Auntie Anne’s pretzel specialists, aka their staff, who volunteered to work despite the odds, also had a significant role so they can operate and maximize the reach of the remaining 13 branches that were kept open. The company provided the employees with bikes so they can get to work due to the lack of public transportation. Constant communication through apps like Viber kept the team updated on tasks ahead and assured of each other’s safety. “You are nothing without your team. Take care of them, and they’ll look after you,” he stresses.

After the Crisis

While a pandemic of this scale is hard to foresee, Paris recognizes the need to develop their own app that will directly process delivery and pick-up orders from their customers, and be another avenue for online-based marketing. Accelerating digital transactions through GCash will also be invaluable for restaurants and cafés as Filipinos grow accustomed to e-wallets and the speed and convenience of online shopping.

Paris shares, “Take this as an opportunity to grow. Explore to [go] the next level. Sometimes a virus is what it takes to adapt. It’s difficult not to.”

Manufacturing: Desktop Bags

Pioneering manufacturing through skills and technology

Desktop Bags was born in Bataan in 2012, manufacturing high-quality fashion bags for designer brands like Coach, Michael Kors, and Kate Spade. Their core competency lies with their 6000 skilled workers who are trained and fully equipped with machinery, including an AI-powered high-speed robotic cutter. Once completed, the bags are patented in the US then sold all over the world.


Due to high-transmission risk, COVID-19 paused many factories’ operations in the country, including Desktop Bags. Mark Leo Gamboa, the company’s IT Supervisor and Head, describes that only their admin personnel are working during the Enhanced Community Quarantine to process salaries and orders for imported materials. This makes up only 1% of the manpower, leaving the rest with no regular income – save for the advanced salaries, 13th-month pay, and the grocery fund the company generously released, despite having zero purchase orders.

Unlike other industries that sell directly to local consumers, Desktop Bags services retailers abroad that are also hard-hit by the pandemic, mainly because their luxury products are not considered essential items during a crisis. Despite having specialized software to measure mass production efficiency, these technologies are no substitute for the expert human touch that creates top-quality, high-fashion bags.

After the Crisis

Pre- and post- COVID-19, Gamboa identifies stable internet connectivity as a critical ingredient for improving business communication and operations, especially in the provinces. When the factory reopens, they’ll enforce social distancing. They will half their once 70-persons per line to maintain safe distances between workers. Shifting focus to products with a higher demand seems to be the first and most viable step to combat the threats of the pandemic, which in turn they foresee will guide their marketing strategies and personnel training.

Gamboa shares that in these trying times, manufacturing companies should “be on standby.” He adds, “Ready computers or invest on laptops for remote work. Use apps like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Webex for collaboration.”

Logistics: Lalamove

Empowering MSMEs through an efficient and rapidly expanding logistics network

Lalamove started in Hong Kong, expanded to the Philippines in 2016, and is currently operating in 12 countries intending to provide reliable intra-city deliveries. Dannah Majarocon, Managing Director, recognizes the need to support micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) with low-cost but efficient deliveries via motorcycles to light trucks that can be booked on-demand or scheduled through their mobile app or website. In her words, “Our advocacy is to empower local communities and also drivers. To provide livelihoods and uplift lives; to change the perception of ‘driver lang.'” They’re able to connect thousands of vehicle and business owners with the same desire to grow their income. Helping them succeed means financial freedom for many Filipinos.


Lalamove is highly tech-dependent and will survive so long as there is internet, but only if their team is safe and ready with a protocol to follow during times of crises. They readied their business continuity plan for Manila and Cebu offices early — nurturing talks with trusted suppliers and testing work from home long before the announcement of the Enhanced Community Quarantine.

“Previously, we trained drivers in our offices. When ECQ was announced, we activated our virtual training program,” Majarocon discloses. The trainings come with online exams, helping them bring drivers onboard efficiently and quickly. Lalamove also purchased and deployed mobile phones, laptops, and hotspot devices in a span of 2 days to ensure minimal business interruption.

Aside from checking in on their team through Google Workspace (previously known as G Suite) and their internal communication platforms, they bought groceries for their staff’s families and will soon introduce online consultations to ensure good morale and mental health. Still, Majarocon shares that there are many things they could have done, like highlighting Lalamove as a reliable partner in their clients’ business continuity strategy which could have prepared more firms for the ECQ and helped them minimize disruption.

After the Crisis

COVID-19 will permanently reshape the economic landscape, and Lalamove’s data mirrors this with the rising demand for cashless transactions and no contact deliveries. Technology is on our side and will continue churning easier and safer ways to do business online, so a tech company like Lalamove must recalibrate plans at least quarterly, if not monthly.

“Because of the COVID-19 global impact, there’s high level of uncertainty. It’s valuable to be positive but what’s imperative is to have a highly flexible action plan to catch up on events to ensure business continuity. Lalamove is gearing up to support the evolving demand of existing and new MSME players as we enter a new normal. This is to keep clients’ trust, because there’s minimal business disruption, and to secure livelihoods,” she ends.

Hotels & Accommodation: The Henry Hotel

Enlivening the spirit of creativity, rest, and relaxation amidst challenges

The Henry Hotel takes pride in bringing an exceptional experience to its guests through carefully curated art and design, picturesque against the busy backdrop of Pasay and Cebu City. Their two boutique hotels offer modern amenities, in-house gourmet restaurants, artsy event spaces, intimate celebration packages, and photoshoot sessions in their stylized interiors – all elevated further by their penchant for warm customer service.


Before the pandemic, Brand & Marketing Strategist Andrea Agahan shares that the hotels’ focus had been on booking events like weddings, and enticing foreigners to visit the Philippines during their long holidays.

However, with all the travel bans that soon followed after the virus broke out, they quickly had to shift from the usual Hotel and Accommodations business to aid their fellow countrymen. They were able to refocus their services because they’re guided by The Henry Hotel’s core brand values, which ultimately center on providing an experience like no other.

During the ECQ, they are closed for guests other than those who are seeking a safe and comfortable place. Despite the associated risks, they give the best customer experience possible through stringent sanitation and, more importantly, offering stable and strong internet connectivity so guests can connect with loved ones. Internet is a demand that The Henry Hotel sees as essential, even more so now when guests cannot leave their rooms.

No matter the uncertainty that blankets the nation, The Henry Hotel strives to deliver topnotch guest experience that ultimately dispels worries and provide comfort to customers in these trying times.

After the Crisis

With many customers hesitant to travel or host big events, The Henry Hotel plans to tweak its target market and their marketing message, but in a way that’s consistent with their branding. First, they want to add value to domestic travelers’ staycations and make it feel like a novel holiday appreciating the local arts and culture. They will also tap budget travelers who are seeking a balance of leisure, sensibility, and safety.

Brand loyalty is key, so a digital marketing campaign with a slice of their signature hospitality will help retain their local and international repeat guests. Stricter sanitation standards and new ways of serving guests that push safety in the forefront, such as self-service methods, are their top priorities once the pandemic settles. With social distancing becoming the new norm, they aim to cater to events with 100 guests or less, turning them into intimate yet superb gatherings when given The Henry Hotel personalized touch.

“Coming from a brand that values our customers’ loyalty, my advice is for hotels to stick to their brand values. That should dictate your marketing or operation efforts. Guests should feel that sense of security and safety amidst what happened with the COVID-19 pandemic. Your brand values will also be what your guests will be sharing to their [connections,] so please your guests,” Agahan shares.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced everyone to look at the same problem but with different lenses. Adaptive technology, efficient logistics, and proactive teams are viable partners during these testing times. Pivoting your brand message is also important to show sensitivity to the situation, help your customers cope, and let them see how your products and services can help them.

Globe myBusiness can help you pinpoint what unique solutions and processes are perfect for your company’s business continuity. Get in touch with us to learn how.



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COVID-19 turned our worlds upside down, shocking our usual routines, and peppering it with a rare fear of uncertainty many of us are experiencing for the first time. Every business decision gets tougher as owners balance cash flow and profitability while protecting team morale and well-being.

Passionate entrepreneurs wouldn’t be where they are today, though, without being adaptable. Instead of accepting COVID-19 as a roadblock, they have been leading their teams carefully through viable paths to the ‘new normal’ in their respective industries.

No matter what sector you are operating in, feel free to find inspiration from these business leaders’ stories of resilience.

ICT/BPO: PearlPay

Sharing the power of digital transformation to the banking industry

PearlPay unlocks a noble solution for financial institutions, especially rural banks, to step-up from old-school passbooks to digital wallets. Sparky Perreras, Co-Founder and CEO, describes their PearlPay product line as an end-to-end banking solution that offers a cloud-based core banking system, mobile POS for digital bank transactions, PearlPay E-Wallet, and PearlPay Remit. Unlike their competitors, they charge a monthly subscription based on the number of serviced accounts or branches. With this, PearlPay is fast-growing in the country and Southeast Asia.


An industry-specific challenge they faced during COVID-19 is how regulated their customers are. “The threat is that they need to operate because they are frontliners,” Perreras shares. They are an essential part of the economy that must continue to serve the population, despite substantial infrastructure costs. PearlPay’s platform hasn’t stopped its operations, and is proving to be just what their customers need to continue their activities safely and smoothly.

“In our case, even before ECQ, we were already practicing remote working,” says Perreras. “We have tools in place with ongoing projects and supporting the rural banks amid COVID-19. There’s no need to visit sites or bank clients to install or update anything to implement PearlPay.” Collaboration is essential and Perreras shares how their team stays connected through Google Hangouts, video conferences, apps, and the cloud.

After the Crisis

While their service seems like it’s a Business Continuity Plan in itself, Perreras recognizes the need to adjust for future disturbances by applying for a faster and more robust internet connection. Further automating their service through Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence are in the plans so it can serve its business purpose better.

Perreras emphasizes how industries have to “survive the pandemic as early as possible.” He adds, “This is the perfect opportunity for start-ups in digital transformation because it’s now very pronounced. Seize the opportunity and catch this wave.”

Education: Ateneo de Davao University

Using technology to strengthen learning despite uncertainties

Ateneo de Davao University is among the premier schools in the country, established in 1948 for grade-school students. It eventually grew into a full-fledged university by the 1980s with rare and specialized course offerings like robotics and aerospace engineering.

Jeremy Eliab, Executive Vice President, shares that besides providing valuable education, the school has also made it its goal to improve quality of life by facilitating Bangsamoro peace talks for a more unified Mindanao. Given the sensitivity of this issue they are tackling, they centered their business continuity strategy on operating even during a time of civil unrest or war.


“Since our location is in Mindanao, we plotted out different scenarios for peace and order protocols,” he shares. “This pandemic is strange for us, but preparations are more or less the same. We prepared for this six years ago in case of war or suspensions. We modified that protocol for COVID-19.”

Ateneo De Davao University adapted by bringing all lessons online and deploying programs to support their virtual learning system for their 15,000 students. They provided prepaid internet kits for all students free of charge. Students who are unable to buy laptops are offered loans payable throughout their stay at the university. They also sent iPads to scholars for educational use.

Eliab proudly shares that student government officers volunteered to deliver equipment to their classmates, proving that the spirit of ‘bayanihan’ is not lost on the youth.

After the Crisis

This system is a new normal that the school will continue to hone as they roll out plans integrating online learning with classroom social distancing, and also extracurricular activities, once the situation settles.

It pays to rely on technology, Eliab stresses. “We’re able to automate processes. Enrollments are done online. You can apply or be admitted from anywhere in Mindanao. Students can pay online through bank transfer or GCash. Even scholarship applications and interviews are done online. It makes processes efficient and easy even in the context of ECQ.” He further explains how technology can open new doors for Ateneo de Davao University, with the possibility of admitting students from other parts of the country and in the future, the world.

Eliab advises other schools to also prepare for crises. “We’re forced to shift. For small schools that don’t have the proper IT infrastructure, use limited resources. Do classes by email or phone, or what your bandwidth can accommodate. Deal with the limitations and shift online.”

Finance: BXB Employee Solutions Corp.

Securing workers’ futures through financial education

No matter how hard we work, money still always feels short. Being a smart spender is not enough these days. This is the problem seen by BXB Employee Solutions’ CEO Chip Winternitz, and why he incorporated his financial education company in 2017 with employees in mind.

First, they offer a curriculum helping employees manage their daily spend so they can save for emergencies. Second, they partnered with several financial institutions where their clients can apply for low to no-interest loans and credit lines. “We have the rank-and-file, the blue-collar workers in mind. We do not just work on giving them access to easy, reliable, and affordable financial services. We get them into financial shape through good planning and encouraging financial habits. These will help them toward their goals no matter what stage in their life they are in.”


As a business-to-business financial coach, technology plays a big part in their functions – from disseminating loans seamlessly via GCash to developing responsive online platforms for their clients. In the time of COVID-19, when financial fears are intense, their services help to appease customer concerns directly.

They’ve also made sure to care for their clients in these trying times. “Even before Bayanihan To Heal As One Act [was in place], out of our goodwill we already held the payments, talked to partners to hold the loans, and did deals to extend payment terms. We addressed these early on,” Winternitz shares.

Technology makes it easy to pivot from in-person to digital correspondence as they leveraged this to connect with their customers. Winternitz says his company is taking this time to look at different opportunities, such as moving their training and seminars online. Above all, he reminds businesses not to lose their focus on their customers. “We sometimes forget what the customers really want. What are they telling us? Elicit their help also,” he adds.

After the Crisis

Right now, he foresees that after the crisis, customers will focus on building back their savings. Companies will also give more importance to financially educating employees. This is where BXB Employee Solutions will come in with products and services to address these demands.

“The key to the ‘next normal’ is understanding the supply chain towards your ecosystem,” Winternitz mentions, stressing the importance of assessing all your stakeholders and processes and how they can be affected. “Study what it exactly means to work from home. For startups, don’t lose the drive and the passion.”

If there’s anything all businesses have learned during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that the wildest what-ifs can turn to reality.

While the situation has affected the economy as a whole, there are unique challenges per industry and indeed, per company. PearlPay, Ateneo de Davao University, and BXB Employee Solutions have demonstrated that more than just writing a literal Business Continuity Plan document, it is more important to nurture a resilience mindset and harness correct technology to minimize the impact to operations.

Learn about more industries and how they’re tackling business continuity here.

Globe myBusiness can help you pinpoint what unique solutions and processes are perfect for your company’s business continuity. Get in touch with us to learn how.



Help the team stay connected and productive from home without the high cost with Globe Business Starter 399 with a FREE Prepaid Kit. Click here to know more.

Ensure that you’re able to coordinate with your employees and address customers queries at all times with Unli Internet 1899. Click here to know more.

Learn more about how Globe myBusiness can help your school. Download our product guide here.


Accept and fulfill orders from home, plus continue to send salaries to employees, with GCash and myBiz Wallet. Get the details here.

Enjoy seamless collaboration and communication with your team even when crises keep you apart with Google Workspace (previously known as G Suite). Learn more here.

Back up important company and transaction information when you can’t go to the office with Virtual Private Cloud. Be disaster-proof and find out what VPC can do for you here.

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