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By Johannes L. Chua
What do RedDoorz, OYO, and Zen Rooms have in common? As competitors, they are all online hotel management and booking platforms addressing the needs of budget-conscious and techie travelers. As businesses affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, they are all doing their share to bring some sort of relief (and rest) to medical frontliners.
RedDoorz was one of the first companies to answer the call of the City of Manila for accommodation of medical frontliners. Through its “Red Heroes” initiative, it has provided healthcare workers with a place to stay and rest during the enhanced community quarantine.
“Our Red Heroes program helps alleviate the heavy pressure placed on governments by providing free, clean, safe, and comfortable accommodation for those on the frontlines. Through our partnerships with key sectors, we are positive that we will be able to overcome this challenge if we stand together,” says Amit Saberwal, CEO and founder of RedDoorz.
As of April 15, it has provided three hotels in Manila, which are located near UST Manila, Quiapo Church, and LRT Quirino Station. These hotels were selected and offered by RedDoorz due to their close proximity to the Manila hospitals like Gat Andres Tondo, Hospital ng Tondo, Justice Abad Santos, Hospital ng Sampaloc, Hospital ng Manila, and Sta. Ana Hospital.
“These strategically situated properties make it easier for frontline healthcare workers within the area to find a place to cut their commute times and find a comfortable place to rest amid the Luzon lockdown,” adds Saberwal.
Those stay at the hotels are provided with essentials such as health and wellbeing kits, consisting of washable face masks, sanitizers, energy drinks, droplet hats, among others.
RedDoorz was also tapped by the Department of Tourism (DOT) to house overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who arrived in the country recently. The Red Heroes program, to date, has provided temporary shelter to 100 OFWs in various properties across Metro Manila.
Meanwhile, OYO is also doing its share. It has opened 500 rooms in various parts of Mindanao to house frontliners, stranded guests, government employees, and essential service workers during the quarantine. It is also going further, by allocating a fund to assist its partner-hotels.
“OYO is concerned about the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on people and businesses across the region and the world. We stand in solidarity with all entrepreneurs and our partners in the Philippines. Our responsibility compels us to extend our full support to everyone connected to OYO as we navigate through this difficult phase,” said Dr. Mandar Vaidya, chief executive
officer of OYO Hotels & Homes Southeast Asia, Japan, and Middle East.
Aside from the $200,000 fund to support OYO partners and their families in Southeast Asia, the company executives have also pledged to donate a portion of their salaries for the cause.
“The fund is our way of returning the love and support we’ve received, which we hope will go some way to help our partners recover from the effects of Covid-19,” Vaidya adds.
Zen Rooms is also stepping up efforts to help the country in its battle against Covid-19. Just this week, the company partnered with Philippine General Hospital (PGH) to house doctors, nurses, and workers in its hotel in Quiapo for free.
“We understand the pressure and stress of these medical frontliners as they battle Covid-19. As the hotel in Quiapo is just 10 minutes away, we want to provide a comfortable and safe accommodation where they can rest and recover, or even isolate for the safety of their families,” says Zen Rooms co-founder Nathan Boublil.
The company has also partnered with the Philippine Red Cross in an initiative called “#ZenCares,” whose the main objective is to support the frontliners. The project, where people can donate via GCash, will raise funds to give personal protective equipment to health workers, help the most vulnerable with cash and kind, and provide water and handwashing facilities in slums, hospitals, and markets, among other programs.
The fund will also be used to provide psychological aid to those who are afraid about their situation, something which is not given attention as of the moment.
These three booking platforms show that hospitality is not only provided during good times when people travel and see the world, but also best exemplified in times of crisis.

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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