Hontiveros: Grab riders should not suffer from fare reduction
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Risa Hontiveros has maintained that the move of the transport network operator Grab, to ease the burden of commuters by initiating fare cuts, should not come at the expense of riders.
In a statement on Monday, Hontiveros said that she stands with riders whose livelihood may be affected by Grab’s new fare matrix, which reduces the base fare from P45 to just P45, and the P10 per kilometer rate to P7.
According to the senator, such a practice would not be fair and sustainable to riders especially amid the high prices of goods nowadays.
“Kaisa ako ng mga Grab riders at lahat ng riders sa iba’t-ibang platforms sa laban nila para sa mas makatarungang fare matrix. These platform companies that engage in abusive practices have a lot of explaining to do,” Hontiveros said.
(I am one with Grab riders and all riders from different platforms in their fight for a just fare matrix.)
“If the goal of this new fare matrix is to ease the burden on Grab’s customers, it should not come at the expense of the platform’s riders.Paano naging ‘fair and sustainable’ ito, lalo na sa hirap ng buhay ngayon? Ito na ba talaga ang ‘most competitive earning potential’ para sa mga riders?” she asked.
(How is this “fair and sustainable,” with the hardships of life today?Is this really ‘most competitive earning potential’ for the riders?)
According to Hontiveros, it is possible for customers to indeed save money when using Grab, but it may be at the expense of riders.
“A fare matrix establishes the base fare per delivery, to which the cost per kilometer is added. Kung magpapa-deliver ka, posibleng makamura ka ng P10 sa delivery fee, pero kakargahin iyon ng mga kuya o ate na rider,” she explained.“Sa panahon ng patuloy na pagtaas ng mga bilihin, hindi tama na tatapyasan pa ang kita ng ating mga manggagawa, kahit pa gig workers sila, tulad ng ating mga riders. Maliit na nga ang kinikita nila noon pa, ngayon mas liliit pa.”
(If you would have something delivered, you can save around P10 in the delivery fee, but that would be charged against the riders.In a time where prices of goods are continuously rising, it is not right to reduce the income of our workers, even if they are gig workers, like our riders.They have been earning little even before, but now it might get smaller.)
“Dagdag pa, may mga ulat rin na ang mga riders na nag-protesta laban sa bagong fare matrix ay sinuspinde diumano dahil sa safety concerns. If these are true, we must remind all ride-hailing platforms that their riders have a right to organize and air grievances,” she added.
(In addition to that, there are reports that riders who have been protesting this new fare matrix have been suspended due safety concerns)
Last Thursday, hundreds of GrabFood delivery drivers protested the impending cuts in their daily earnings, gathering in Quezon City object to the base fare reduction as it would drastically reduce their daily income.
“We are one with our fellow Grab riders in the National Capital Region in their efforts to stop Grab’s impending implementation of the unfair reduction of base fare from P45 to only P35, including the P10 six kilometer minimum per kilometer rate to only P7,” a protester from the Kapatiran sa Dalawang Gulong (Kagulong) said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the National Union of Food Delivery Riders, in a separate statement, also demanded the ride-hailing company to lift the suspension on riders who joined the protest.
Hontiveros said the issue only shows the need to further protect workers — like Grab riders — from abusive practices in the industry.
“This new dispute highlights the need to patch the gaps in our laws and policies so we can protect the rights of riders and all Filipinos in the gig economy. Patuloy ang aking pagtulak sa Senate Bill No. 1373 o ang POWERR (Protektadong Online Workers, Entrepreneurs, Riders and Raketera) bill, na naglalayong bigyan ng konkretong benepisyo at proteksyong legal ang mga nagtatrabaho sa gig economy,” she said.
(I continue to push for Senate Bill No. 1373 or the POWERR (Protektadong Online Workers, Entrepreneurs, Riders and Raketera) bill, which aims to give a concrete benefit and legal protection to those working in a gig economy.)
“Empowering the labor force doesn’t only involve dispensing salary. We should also ensure job security and stability, especially for the underrepresented informal sector.As one of the leading platforms in the country, Grab should uphold the principle of equal pay for equal work if they are to truly consider their overall business model a success,” she added.