It has been four years ago since COVID-19 changed our lives dramatically. Many among us stepped up in our own ways and fought the pandemic to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. At Certis, most of us had to take one step further for the greater good amidst uncertainties then.
We will not, and cannot forget the sacrifices our frontliners made, and we celebrate and honour those who had risen to the occasion with unwavering dedication and selflessness.
From the very first day COVID-19 hit our shores, Certis was activated by various government agencies. Operations were severely disrupted, the pandemic situation evolved rapidly, but our officers continued to play an instrumental role in serving our communities beyond their regular scope of work.
Certis demonstrated remarkable resilience and determination by adapting and transforming our business and resources towards long-term sustainability. For instance, when airport flight activity plummeted, a notable challenge was the surplus headcount.
Our leadership acted swiftly. New roles were identified and created to ensure our people continued to be employed. Staff stepped out of their comfort zone and were re-trained in new roles to be redeployed across various facilities, such as the extensive re-training conducted for approximately 1,200 Aviation Security Officers and 500 armed guards so that we could redeploy them as Quarantine Orders Agents to support the Community Care Facility at Singapore EXPO. Our people were able to sustain through the difficult period and remained employed as a result of these quick measures.
Supporting the celebrations of Chinese New Year in 2020 amidst the restrictions and strict regulations stipulated by the authorities was a challenge for us; yet, we nailed it and ensured full public’s cooperation in the unsettling circumstances.
SUPT (APF) Jackie Ong, Vice President and Head of Land Security, Certis, recalled how Certis had to review the overall plans and strategise operations to fulfill requests from multiple government agencies. At one point, Certis was engaged to ensure the safety and security of the hawker centres in Singapore when all patrons and stallholders had to use their TraceTogether Token or TraceTogether mobile app to record their entry. Our officers had to be composed and well-trained to maintain law and order whilst managing the demands of users. There were many moving parts, and Jackie had to oversee the multi-layered operations and processes amidst the uncertainties.
Certis had merely 24 hours to plan and operationalise a site, upon activation by Singapore Police Force. On one occasion, we had to build our protocols and operations at 20 different facilities within a day. The urgent training and deployment of approximately 1,400 Security Officers and 400 Auxiliary Police Officers at 150 quarantine facilities island-wide was a testament to our capability and commitment in fostering a trust and reliability in our community.
DSP (APF) Md Hafizuddin Happy, Assistant Vice President of Land Security, Certis, stepped up to lead the Certis COVID-19 taskforce, overseeing operations of the newly-formed Integrated Quarantine Order Services, consisting of the call centre, serving of quarantine orders and delivery of items, amongst many other tasks. He came forward to assist in various capacities and offered his time, skills, and knowledge, to ensure that our channels were available to meet the overwhelming demand.
Our frontliners' dedication, compassion, and unwavering support have played a pivotal role in protecting and healing communities. Like Jackie and Happy, more than 1,000 other employees have proven themselves to be an essential pillar in the fight against the pandemic. For their efforts, they were commended with COVID-19 recognition accolades from various government agencies in Singapore throughout 2023, including the President’s Certificate of Commendation (COVID-19). It is heartening to have their invaluable contributions recognised on a national level as we continue to navigate these challenging times post pandemic.
Truly, they are the unsung heroes behind-the-scenes who make our world safer, smarter and better.
Through the course of 2023, our colleagues in Singapore have been commended with the following awards:
COVID-19 Resilience Certificates
Ministry of Health
10 - 14 December 2023
Land Transport Authority
29 November 2023
Singapore Food Agency
23 November 2023
Ministry of Transport
26 October 2023
Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment
4 September 2023
President’s Certificate of Commendation (COVID-19)
Public Service Division
18 June 2023