Singapore, 2 April 2020 – To support our hawkers amidst the COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) situation, stallholders in our hawker centres will receive three-month rental waivers as part of the Resilience Budget, and care packages as part of a National Environment Agency (NEA) and Unilever International collaboration. Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources, Dr Amy Khor along with Chief Executive Officer, Unilever International, Mr Umesh Shah and SG Clean Ambassadors kick-started the distribution process of these 14,000 care packages today by giving them out to 83 stallholders at Newton Food Centre.
During this COVID-19 period, our stallholders have been stepping up cleaning efforts and implementing measures to upkeep good public hygiene, as well as working tirelessly so that Singaporeans can continue to enjoy our favourite hawker food. As part of ongoing efforts to support our stallholders amid the COVID-19 outbreak, 14,000 care packages have been prepared and will be distributed to all stallholders located across 114 hawker centres in Singapore.
Each care package contains cleaning products, which can be used for cleaning of fixtures and food preparation areas as well as washing of cooking equipment and crockery, and a voucher which can be used to purchase items ranging from cleaning products to cooking ingredients and condiments. Cleaning guides with easy to follow instructions are also provided so that stallholders can achieve good cleaning results from these cleaning products. To tailor to the cleaning needs of stallholders, the cleaning products will also vary between the care packages provided to stallholders of cooked food stalls and those of non-cooked food stalls. In addition, a thermometer and a log book have been included in the care package to help hawkers keep track of their temperature, monitor their general health status, and give confidence to their patrons.
Senior Minister of State Dr Amy Khor said, “Like our frontline staff, our hawkers play an essential role in keeping Singapore running by working hard to provide good and affordable food for Singaporeans. It is heartening to see an organisation, such as Unilever, stepping forward to show their appreciation for our hawkers during this challenging period. We would like to remind hawkers to take care of themselves and continue to monitor their temperatures regularly. Patrons can help too by being socially responsible and practising safe distancing, such as sitting on unmarked seats and maintaining a one metre gap when queueing up at both the hawker centres’ cooked food and market stalls. For markets which tend to be crowded on weekend mornings, patrons should make adjustments and visit the markets when they are less crowded either on weekday mornings or very early on weekends.”
Chief Executive Officer of Unilever International, which includes Unilever Professional Singapore, Mr Umesh Shah said, “Unilever Professional believes that cleaning and cleaners matter, and we thank NEA for the opportunity to partner with them on this nationwide hygiene initiative. By offering sanitation products like Sunlight and Cif along with hygiene education, we hope to do our part to support hawkers, who are an integral part of Singapore’s social fabric.”
Non-Governmental Organisation, the Singapore Kindness Movement will also lend their support to this by activating their volunteers to join the SG Clean Ambassadors Network and assist in the distribution of the care packages to stallholders over the next one month.
Supporting our Hawkers
To help stallholders with their operating costs, it was earlier announced that as part of the Resilience Budget, all stallholders in hawker centres managed by NEA or NEA-appointed operators are able to enjoy a three-month rental waiver, with a minimum sum of $200 per month. This will be inclusive of the one-month rental waiver which was previously announced under the Stabilisation and Support Package during Budget 2020. Stallholders will benefit from the rental waiver progressively – they will receive a monthly 50 per cent rental waiver from March to June and a monthly 25 per cent rental waiver from July to October.
Also, to raise public confidence in the cleanliness of publicly accessible premises with high human traffic, NEA had begun rolling out the SG Clean quality mark at hawker centres to showcase the rigorous measures that have been taken by stallholders and cleaning contractors to raise hygiene standards and transform cleanliness levels of our hawker centres. As of 30 March, more than 3,700 hawker and market stalls and 31 hawker centres have been certified SG Clean.
About National Environment Agency
Formed on 1 July 2002, the National Environment Agency (NEA) is the leading public organisation responsible for ensuring a clean and green environment, and the sustainable development of Singapore. Its key roles are to protect Singapore's resources from pollution, maintain a high level of public health and provide timely meteorological information. NEA also develops and spearheads environmental initiatives and programmes through its partnership with the People, Public and Private sectors. It is committed to motivating every individual to care for the environment as a way of life, in order to sustain a quality living environment for present and future generations.
Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Beauty & Personal Care, Home Care, and Foods & Refreshment products with sales in over 190 countries and reaching 2.5 billion consumers a day. It has 155,000 employees and generated sales of €52 billion in 2019. Over half of the company’s footprint is in developing and emerging markets. Unilever has around 400 brands found in homes all over the world, including Dove, Knorr, Dirt Is Good, Rexona, Hellmann’s, Lipton, Wall’s, Lux, Magnum, Axe, Sunsilk and Surf.