Office of the Vice President
12 May 2020 – present
Digitization & New Technologies, and Perspectives on Productivity, Governance, and Development
The Community Mart is an online grocery mobile application launched by the Office of the Vice President of the Philippines (OVP) that aims to help small-market vendors and tricycle drivers while ensuring community safety by encouraging people to stay home. Through this application, users can purchase vegetables, fruits, meat, and other products and have them delivered on the same day with a minimal fee.
Background and Problem
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, a significant number of transactions have shifted to e-commerce platforms where people can purchase essential goods and other products online instead of going physically to markets and stores. Public market vendors, most of whom lack the means to participate in the shift to online transactions, have seen their sales dwindle as the public has avoided going out in fear of contracting COVID-19. Local public transportation such as tricycles and jeepneys have also struggled in this new context, as people have largely been staying at home.
Solution and Impact
The Community Mart is a program spearheaded by the OVP, in coordination with local government units (LGUs), that aims to provide public market vendors and tricycle drivers an opportunity to improve their income by becoming part of an online service that delivers fresh goods to the doorsteps of customers within their communities. The program was launched on 12 May 2020, with the Kamuning Market in Quezon City as the initial partner. The Pasig City Mega Market and the Muntinlupa City Public Market later also became part of this initiative.
Unlike most e-Commerce platforms that centralize transactions, goods, and control, thus disrupting the local economy, the Community Mart is designed to favor local enterprises in the community, allowing them to maintain their customers and revitalize the local economy depleted by the social restrictions that became necessary because of COVID-19.
The key stakeholders involved in the program’s implementation include the LGUs, Public Market Offices (PMOs), Tricycle Operators and Drivers’ Associations (TODAs), and Market Vendors’ Associations. LGUs are in charge of the overall coordination and supervision of the project by providing a list of existing public markets to be considered for enrollment in the program, identifying vendor groups, assessing the capacity of the public market to operate using the online platform, and issuing the necessary licenses and permits to operate. PMOs coordinate with the market vendors and tricycle drivers on the specific orders that need to be supplied and delivered. They are in charge of preparing and organizing the flow of transactions, which includes posting photos and prices of products on the app, dispatching delivery riders, managing collections, and ensuring that the revenue generated is distributed to all stakeholders properly.
For their part, market vendors coordinate with the PMO to ensure the quality of goods, prepare orders, and update the availability of items for sale. The TODAs handle the delivery of goods to respective customers, and collect remittances and payments for each order to be given to the Officer-in-Charge after every trip. As for the Community Mart team, they are in charge of setting up the eStore with the data provided by the PMO, train personnel, provide eStore account access, and regularly update content in coordination with the PMO.
Adopters of the Community Mart are provided with PHP 20,000.00 per month which covers the one-time eStore set-up and training, monthly maintenance of servers, and customer support personnel handling customer follow-ups, feedback, and technical support. A small fee of PHP 15.00 per delivery goes towards other back-end fees and the sending of system-generated SMS messages.
Using the Community Mart application is straightforward which includes the following steps:
- Download the Community Market app which is available on Google Play or the Apple Store.
- Sign up and verify the customer’s account.
- Indicate the address, which could be labeled home, work, etc., to deliver the goods.
- Shop for groceries that must be placed before 10:00 A.M. every day so that these can be delivered on the same day.
- Check out and pay for the groceries.
Steps on Using the Community Mart App (Source: Yugatech)
As of May 2021, the total sales of the 3 markets combined has reached PhP 29.1 million and has involved 248 vendors and 41 tricycle drivers. This success has led to wider adoption of the model, both through the Community Mart app itself or other similar approaches. For instance, a similar project, using Facebook Messenger in place of a dedicated mobile app, has been launched in Zamboanga called Angat Buhay Mart – Compra Yo. As of May 2021, its total sales has reached almost 245,000 and has reached 41 barangays in the city.
The project has also facilitated financial literacy training for 44 market vendors and 7 TODA members in Kamuning Market, who also received Small Engine Preventive Maintenance training last December 2020. Other associated activities such as livelihood assistance, bike maintenance training, and direct financial support have also been conducted as part of the Community Mart program.
Table: Summary Report on Community Mart’s Branches as of November 21, 2020 (Source: OVP)
“This is an innovative idea that potentially hits three birds with one stone. It will provide a source of income for tricycle drivers who have few passengers right now, increase the sales of our vendors while minimizing the number of close contacts that buyers have.” – Hon. Victor Ma. Regis N. Sotto, Mayor of Pasig City
The Community Mart App and Interface (Source: Office of the Vice President)
The Community Mart Process and Stakeholders (Source: Office of the Vice President)
Enano, J. O. (2020, May 28). Robredo rolls out Community Mart app in Pasig. Inquirer.net. Retrieved from https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1282071/robredo-rolls-out-community-mart-app-in-pasig.
Lalu, G. P. (2021, February 4). OVP awards certificates to QC trike drivers who finished bike maintenance training. Inquirer.net. Retrieved November 24, 2021, from https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1391863/ovp-awards-certificates-to-qc-trike-drivers-who-finished-bike-maintenance-training.
Maquinto, A. (2020, May 12). OVP, QC gov’t launch community mart online delivery service. Yugatech. https://www.yugatech.com/news/ovp-qc-govt-launch-community-mart-online-delivery-service/#sthash.M7RjZXLD.wYDT86em.dpbs
Office of the Vice President. (n.d.) Community mart public markets: Innovating, elevating & alleviating our public market vendors through eCommerce. Deck.
Perez, R. (2020, May 29). Shop at this online palengke where tricycle drivers provide delivery. Smart Parenting. https://www.smartparenting.com.ph/life/home/community-mart-app-a00041-20200529
Sarao, Z. (2021, May 13). More tricycle drivers get financial aid from OVP’s Community Mart Project. Inquirer.net. Retrieved November 24, 2021, from https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1431007/more-tricycle-drivers-get-financial-aid-from-ovps-community-mart-project.
VP Leni Robredo. (2021). Watch: Recap of the Ovp’s Community Mart initiative in Kamuning, Pasig, Muntinlupa, and Zamboanga. Facebook Watch. Retrieved November 24, 2021, from https://www.facebook.com/283945495056459/videos/106020124929141/.