Philippine NewsPress Release

Digital: On-Demand Services Platform MyKuya Sees Surge in Services Catering to Basic Needs Following Quarantine

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – With the entire city of Metro Manila under lockdown as part of countermeasures against the spread of COVID-19, much of the city’s 12 million-strong population has been confined indoors. With movement in and around the city then restricted via a combination of checkpoints and curfews, citizens have had to find new ways in order to get things done: This is where the app MyKuya steps in. 

Recently, the on-demand service has had to contend with an unprecedented spike in demand for services catering to basic needs. 

“Because of the growing threat of COVID-19, Filipinos in Metro Manila had to quickly confine themselves to their homes. Unfortunately, most still lack basic supplies, such as food, water, and sanitation items. Many of these people are now turning to MyKuya to get help with whatever they need,” explained Shahab Shabibi, the founder of MyKuya and a Forbes 30 Under 30 inductee. 


Founded in 2017, MyKuya is a Filipino super app that assists each user with hiring the people and services they need in two minutes or less. They’ve become known for their ability to provide people with a personal assistant for just about everything – standing in line for you to pay the bills, grabbing something in particular for you from the stores, or even just simply cleaning your home. 

Such a service would already be helpful in a normal state of affairs – but as thousands around the metro are starting to discover, it can be an absolute game-changer in the midst of a pandemic and lockdown. 

“Normally, I’d just put things off after work,” explained one of the app’s newest users, Sofia Hernandez. “Take for example having to buy an item at the grocery. I would normally head over to one after my shift is finished to pick up what I need.” 

But because of the combination of checkpoints around the city and curfews recently enacted by the city’s local government units, even getting to a grocery store will be difficult – to say nothing of the endless lines if patrons do manage to arrive and shop.

“I was able to use MyKuya the night the lockdown was announced. Instead of having to struggle through the chaos of the grocery store, I was able to get a kuya to help me. He picked up some of my usual essentials, along with items I’ll need specifically because of the pandemic,” said Reyes.

Additionally, MyKuya users have found the app acts as a shield against the unfortunate instances of price gouging that have started surfacing in the wake of COVID-19. In one case that was documented in the New York Times, a Tennessee man had hoarded close to 18,000 bottles of hand sanitizer, some of which he had sold up to US$70 online. In stark comparison, since MyKuya connects users directly with service providers, nearly all of whom are small businesses and enterprises, people will be protected from unfair charges on critical goods or services as they all have long-term reputations to uphold. 

Laid-Off Contractors Find Work in MyKuya

It isn’t just users of the app that have benefited from MyKuya’s presence.

With schools, restaurants, malls and cinemas across the city also having closed down indefinitely, the hit to the economy is expected to be of gargantuan proportions. According to the Asian Development Bank, the nation’s economy could take a loss between $669 million and $1.94 billion. Additionally, it’s also estimated that about 87,000 to 252,000 jobs could be lost across multiple sectors in the country.

To cushion themselves from the unfortunate effects of sudden unemployment, many have also signed up to become ates and kuyas on the app. 

“Nagpapasalamat ho talaga ako sa MyKuya,” said one of the apps newest partners, Paul Clarito, a contractual restaurant worker. “Hindi na ho kasi sapat yung dati ko pong tinatrabauhan. Konti na lang yung mga tao tapos at least one month pa itong lockdown na ‘to. At least sa MyKuya, may trabaho pa kahit papaano.”

(“I’m thankful for MyKuya. My old job isn’t enough. There are only a few people at the restaurant, and this lockdown is for at least a month. At least with MyKuya, there’s work to do regardless.”)

Clarito represents just one out of the many underemployed and unemployed that MyKuya originally set out to help. Over the coming weeks, MyKuya will stand ready to take more of the recently laid off contractors on as service providers. For them, COVID-19 is as much an economic pandemic as it is a biological one: The financial consequences of not having regular income for even as little as a week – to say nothing of a full month or longer – can be devastating for themselves and their families, as many have shared on social media, to news reporters, and with the MyKuya team. 

Because they need gainful employment, the ones currently working on MyKuya are doing so 100% voluntarily. New kuyas come to MyKuya through one of two ways. Either they join one of the Enterprise Partners already using MyKuya as their on-demand platform, or they sign up directly with MyKuya, which then refers them to an Enterprise Partner.  

Because they work directly for an Enterprise Partner, the kuyas get the domain-specific training they need to excel in their particular service, while MyKuya can scale to meet the incredible demand.  

“It’s unfortunate that it had to happen this way, but this story is directly in line with MyKuya’s aims to create jobs for millions of Filipinos. With the values of bayanihan and nation-building in mind, we’ve always been about creating real livelihood opportunities for people here in the Philippines. It’s actually our goal to create 1 million jobs by 2022,” said Shabibi. 

While MyKuya is certainly positioned to be the super-app of choice by the surge of Filipinos now discovering all that it can do, Shahab is focused on making a difference to the millions of people affected by the pandemic and lockdown in the weeks to come, including their partners. When the MyKuya team surveyed their partners what was their biggest need at this time, they responded that it was the opportunity to have an income while also serving their community. The kuyas actively working during this lockdown are thus 100% volunteer-partners. 

As a platform, MyKuya’s responsibility is to enable them to safely serve their customers.

“To help our partners who are working 100% voluntarily to serve their community during this period, we’ve given them guidelines on how they can reduce the risk for everyone, especially themselves. We’re working with the Enterprise Partners that employ them to provide them with the masks, sanitizers, and alcohol that will protect everyone’s safety, while giving them the opportunity to provide a valuable service to their community,” said Shabibi. 



MyKuya is a Filipino super app that assists each user with hiring the people and services they need in two minutes or less.

Founded by Machine Ventures and the team behind HeyKuya (an SMS-based personal concierge that was acquired by Indonesian analogue YesBoss in 2016, and MyKuya’s spiritual predecessor), this company aims to provide value to every Filipino – helping customers to save time, enable businesses to grow & provide unemployed and under-employed Filipinos full-time and part-time job opportunities.

For more information & inquiries visit or contact us at 

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One Comment

  1. How unfortunate that some brands like these exploit our current situation so that they can shamelessly market their brand. Shame on you, guys. Shame on you. Don’t even try to fool us that you are “here to help”. If you really want to help, stop grandstanding with these awfully written press articles.

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