Food delivery riders in Davao City protest vs policies that reduce their earnings

Foodpanda riders in Davao City held a protest on Thursday, July 15, 2021, to dramatize their complaints which, they claimed, the management continues to play deaf to. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

DAVAO CITY, Davao del Sur, Philippines — Riders of food delivery company Foodpanda are complaining of reduced earnings due to changes in policies that were not made clear to them.

In a protest staged by some 300 riders on Thursday, Glen Costan, spokesperson of the Davao United Delivery Riders Association Inc., said they had been complaining before the office of the delivery company in the city, but its officials had not faced them.

Chief among the riders’ complaints is that, beginning in November 2019, the company reduced their earnings by more than half. For example, a rider used to receive P75 on average for delivery. Now, the same person can only receive a maximum of P28.

“We are not asking for anything more than what we deserve. But we must know how the computation is done,” Costan said.

Although he explained that the delivery payment of a customer is dependent on the distance between the customer and the restaurant or store, Costan said the drivers only get a portion of it at a fixed rate, the computation of which is kept in the dark.

Riders are classified by batch, which has four rungs, based on their individual performance, including as a factor the rating that the customers give them.

Lately, Costan said the company removed access to the app where riders were notified of delivery requests.

“It is like killing our livelihood slowly even in this pandemic,” Costan said, adding that they were exposing themselves to possible COVID-19 infection every day.

Costan also added that they were complaining against the P280 monthly deduction supposedly as payment for their insurance policy even though they did not hold any document to prove it. He cited a case of a driver who figured in an accident but failed to obtain medical service through such an insurance policy.

“We have been telling them of our complaints since last year, but they have not faced us, so we resorted to this [protest],” Costan said.

In their statement, the protesting riders called on President Rodrigo Duterte, Sen.  Christopher Go, and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio to help them.

The Foodpanda office in the city and its main office in Makati were sought for comment, but they have no replied as of this writing.

“[We] have been working every day but we are receiving just the crumbs while Foodpanda is devouring a huge income especially in this pandemic when food delivery service has grown,” the riders said.