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Airbnb to help provide housing to COVID-19 frontliners in the Philippines

Airbnb will help in providing housing to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) frontliners in the Philippines starting April, as the company extends their "Frontline Stays" initiative in the Philippines.

The program which has been launched to help house 100,000 healthcare professionals, relief workers and first responders around the world is now preparing to extend the program to assist frontliners in the Philippines, a statement released by Airbnb said.

Airbnb will partner with the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF) and hospitals like St. Luke's Medical Global City, the Medical City, and Makati Medical Center, who will help determine "priority areas with health workers in need of temporary housing."

General Manager of Airbnb in SEA, Hong Kong and Taiwan Mike Orgill said the team was inspired by the Bayanihan spirit of Pinoys.

“We’ve been inspired by the Bayanihan spirit of Filipino hosts and nonprofits who have reached out to us seeking ways to support frontliners. In light of the Enhanced Community Quarantine, we’re glad to be working closely with the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation to do what we can collectively to provide a comforting home to our local heroes who are putting themselves at risk for us every day," he said in the statement.

Airbnb is also finding ways to work with other local civil society and non-profit organizations to gain more support for this initiative.

The Frontline Stays program is expected to happen in April through a joined effort between Airbnb and Filipino hosts, who are "aiming to provide healthcare staff and frontliners with safe and convenient places to stay while they carry out their critical work."

PDRF will also be partnering with Unilever who will donate disinfectant kits for hosts who will be signing up for the program.

The Airbnb community has already offered 100,000 spaces for COVID-19 responders and frontliners amid the pandemic, where they can book free and paid stays in 160 countries and regions.

Philippines is the latest country to be part of the local program in Asia Pacific, following local Frontline Stays launches in Thailand, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand

"Airbnb’s Frontline Stays initiative has been launched with the support of medical organizations around the world such as the National Health Service in the UK, Sutter Health in California, the Ministry of Housing in France and Barcelona Official Doctors Association."

How can hosts join?

For Airbnb hosts who want to open the doors of their homes to Filipino frontliners, they can do so by signing up on the website

Airbnb has a cleaning checklist that hosts and frontliners need to follow, given the danger of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

They also said that every dollar is to support the frontliners and the hosts, which is why they are temporarily waiving the fees for the stays.

Lastly, Airbnb said COVID-19 responders or frontliners need the entire listings with no people present "to protect the community and themselves.

How do frontliners sign up for a space?

According to the website, Airbnb will ask a few questions about their job and the type of accommodation they need. The person should be logged in to their Airbnb account to be able to do this.

Airbnb will verify your information first before they invite you to book a stay on Airbnb and if accommodations are available based on the info you have given.

You can sign up here

Airbnb is just the latest institution to lend a helping hand. Organizations, schools and churches have opened their doors to provide shelters for COVID-19 frontliners to help ease their duty as they continue to fight the disease to flatten the curve. The Office of the Vice President meanwhile has already opened at least nine dormitories for COVID-19 frontliners.

Luzon is still on enhanced community quarantine as the country fights to curb the spread of COVID-19. On Wednesday, the Department of Health has reported 5,453 confirmed cases in the country. — LA, GMA News