DAVAO City-based delivery riders of a prominent online food delivery app are appealing to the City Government to intervene with the company's "low and unclear" computation of their commission.
Several riders of food delivery service provider Foodpanda trooped along Roxas Avenue on Thursday morning, July 15, to protest the questionable practices of the food delivery platform following their diminishing take-home pay.
Around 200 riders were estimated to have participated in the protest.
In a letter addressed to Davao City Councilor Pamela Librado-Morata, which was forwarded to SunStar Davao, Davao United Delivery Riders Association Incorporated President Edmund Carillo said they are asking for the City Government's help after several riders were removed access by the Foodpanda management from catering deliveries.
Carillo said many riders on Tuesday, July 13, were restricted from accessing their accounts after the management suspended them for baseless reasons. The following day more riders were retrenched. He said the management will continue to retrench other riders.
"Kung inyo namatikdan na closed ang apps sa Foodpanda kay walay riders nga nikuha og schedule for delivery tungod sa kagamay nga earnings nga ginahatag ni [Foodpanda] sa matag per distance nga among delivery (Many of you might have observed that there were issues with the Foodpanda app the previous days. This was because the riders have decided to not pick up the food in protest of our low earnings that the company is giving us per distance)," he said in the letter.
Aside from the unclear computation of the distance-based payment scheme, Carillo said there is also no clear insurance for riders in case of accident, despite having P280 deduction from the management as part of their health insurance.
"Taliwala sa pandemya, kakapoy, ulan ug init naningkamot kami aron manginabuhi ug mahatagan og maayong kinabuhi ang among pamilya apan ubos ug walay igong basehan ang computation sa among ‘earnings’ o kita nga ginahatag sa Food Panda sa amo (Amid the pandemic, exhaustion, rain, and heat, we are working hard to support our family despite the low and baseless way Foodpanda is computing our earnings)," he said.
Carillo said they have raised their concern to the management, but there was no development.
Meanwhile, he clarified that the riders are not asking for a commission hike, but they only wanted to know the clear computation scheme of the management.
The riders’ association head said they are asking for transparency on the computation, considering that prices of important commodities and gasoline are increasing.
“Sa sagunsong pagsirit sa presyo sa lana labi na karong semana, gisi na kaayo among bulsa, lata na kaayo among lawas apan nagkaubos gayod ang among makuha nga ‘earnings’ sa among pagbyahe isip food delivery riders sa Food Panda (The prices of commodities have been increasing, we are getting short of cash, and our bodies are tired despite have low earnings from Foodpanda),” he said.
The group said they are also disappointed with the management's treatment of their riders, which are considered frontliners in the ongoing pandemic.
He also said the riders are asking the help of President Rodrigo Duterte and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio to help them in their plight.
Joonie, who requested anonymity, was among whose accounts were suspended for no reason. He said with his account suspended, he is worried that he may not be able to get his earnings.
Although Joonie said some riders were allegedly terminated from the company for participating in the delivery strike, he said he was not among those who participated in the strike but his account was still suspended.
Joonie said that prior to the pandemic, his monthly income reached an average of P6,000 per month. But now, he is only earning around P2,000.
Jeremy, another rider who requested anonymity, said the company’s unclear compensation is putting his motorcycle on the brink of being sold since he has yet to fully pay it. He also said that they are the ones shouldering their uniform, bag, and load, which are also being taken from their take-home pay.
“Lugi kaayo mi karon. Dako-dako among kita prior tong pandemic. Pero karon, natingala mi nag niubos among kita (Prior to the pandemic, we are earning more but now, our earnings have declined, which seems questionable),” Jeremy said.
The same day of the strike, Foodpanda hired riders at its main office on Juan Luna.
Arnold, one of those who applied to be a rider, said he is aware of the current situation of the company. But he said he chose to apply since he has no other source of income.
“Aware ko sa ilang issue. Pero sayang pud kay isa ko sa ilang gi-hire. Lisod mangita og income aning panahuna (I am aware of the current issue. But it would be a waste too if I don’t apply. It is hard to find a job during these times),” he said.
SunStar Davao reached out to the management of Foodpanda for their statement on the rider’s allegations, but they have not yet responded as of Thursday, July 15.
Meanwhile, Restaurant Owners Association of Davao City Inc. (RestoDC) president Benjamin Lizada told SunStar in a text message that the management should not only be considerate with the riders but also with the business establishment as well.
"FoodPanda should be more generous and considerate not only to their riders, but to their merchants as well. Times are difficult and we all need to make little sacrifices so others may ride out this pandemic. Tutal nandiyan naman na iyong vaccines," Lizada said.