I previously wrote about managing communities and how community commerce, through its many manifestations (e.g., bartering), is paving the way for more community-led engagement and activities. Because of mobility and travel restrictions, many of us are confined to our homes or limited to the vicinity of our residence or office. This has affected the way we conduct our day-to-day activities.
And we are still at it. On Monday, the government rejected calls to place the country under modified general community quarantine (GCQ), as coronavirus vaccines are yet to roll out.
Considering the lengthy process in distributing vaccines and the list of priority recipients, it would take some time before we all get vaccinated. In the meantime, focusing on the community is the only thing we can do now.
There are many things that can be done. There’s community commerce, for one. A lot of us order items online and have these sent to our homes. More often than not, deciding where to buy depends on how much the delivery costs. This is why many in our communities are also selling or offer services that otherwise would only be availed of at the mall or specialty shops. Those days are almost gone and the days of getting goods within your vicinity are here to stay. In short, some form of livelihood is established within the community. One can be a distributor or reseller of specific products, creating new job opportunities or adding income amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Who wouldn’t want that? This is essentially community commerce.
Of course, with the growth of community commerce, engagement and other services will also follow. You would end up being friends with the person you always get your vegetables or fruits from, or something similar. If you’re selling in your community, chances are you are already friends with them and repeat orders are not hard to come by. Community engagement and services are always good to have, especially if services are beneficial to residents. Viber groups created and classified according to communities are examples of engagement, as these enable organized community watches, which basically entails looking out for one another. Services could include having your own marketplace, weekend markets, a standby ambulance service (this is especially good for communities with lots of senior citizens) and a catalog of service providers allowed to provide internet connectivity.
Another idea is using vacant lots as vegetable-growing areas and distribute the produce to residents, assuming they pay their dues and are in active standing. Truth be told, many services are possible.
We should not underestimate the power of the community, especially when the welfare of its residents is at stake. This is where community development also comes into play, especially when the mother community is big enough to be opened and connected to other neighboring communities. While this is admittedly the price of progress we all have to pay, the underlying security challenges that will also be part of it should be focused on and addressed.
Kay Calpo Lugtu is the chief operating officer of Hungry Workhorse, a digital and culture transformation firm. Her advocacies include nation-building, sustainability education and financial literacy. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.