A group of Foodpanda riders in Davao City is protesting their reduced earnings as a result of pandemic policy changes. According to their leader, some riders are now facing a 10-year suspension after the company learned of their planned silent protest against the new policy.
Edmund Carillo, president and co-founder of the Davao United Delivery Riders Association Inc., revealed that Davao-based riders were gearing up for a so-called "rest day" in protest of the meager pay they've been receiving since mid-2020.
Carillo emphasized that the details of the planned silent protest had yet to be finalized when Foodpanda terminated 30 accounts on July 13 effective until 2031.
However, the food delivery company claimed that the planned "no-show" on July 14, 15, and 16 was a violation of the company's Freelance Agreement.
Carillo reported that about 300 delivery riders rallied in the city on July 15 in response to Foodpanda's decision. Their spokesman, Glen Costan, said they had complained to the delivery company's office in the city, but that no one had responded.
"July 13 suspended, initial na tinanggalan 30 accounts. Paunti-unti tumaas nung nag-rally na," he said.
(Translation: An initial 30 accounts got suspended on July 13. The number gradually increased when we staged the rally.)
Carillo also said they have long approached Foodpanda about the concern on wage policy, yet no action had been taken.
Carillo lamented that while other food delivery companies have prospered as a result of the pandemic, the same cannot be said for Foodpanda riders, who have seen their earnings plummet from an average of PHP55 per delivery to nearly half since 2020.
According to the riders, the corporation decreased the riders' earnings by more than half starting in November 2019. For instance, the average delivery fee for a rider used to be P75. A maximum of P28 can now be given to the same person.
Another policy shift occurred even prior to the pandemic: in the past, a rider was paid $55 for every delivery, regardless of distance.
However, when the pandemic started early last year, Foodpanda riders in Davao City were greeted with a new system where the firm based rider's fees based on the distance covered.
Despite the fact that a client's delivery payment is based on the distance between the customer and the restaurant or store, Costan claims that the drivers only get a fraction of it at a predetermined rate, the details of which are kept hidden.
"Yung sa sahod, hindi nila nilabas 'yung computation," Carillo said.
(Translation: As for the salary, they did not release the computation.)
Ana Catalina Paje is a development journalist passionate about grassroots communication geared towards genuine social change. She also writes about showbiz, lifestyle, and all things Pinoy pride. The views expressed are her own.
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