Grab drivers must work 18-hour shift to get incentives, lawmaker says

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 08 2018 04:21 PM

MANILA - Ride-sharing service Grab gives incentives to its drivers only if they reach a quota which is not doable within an 8-hour shift, a lawmaker said Friday.

PBA Party-list Rep. Jericho Nograles said, in a consultation with the Grab drivers, he was told that it was only possible to earn if they ply the roads for 18 hours, 6 days a week.

"Kung ang incentive ay naaabot ng driver sa 18 hours ng pagtatrabaho, here is a moral question: ano bang ini-incentivize ninyo? Slavery? Yung magbuwis-buhay? O yung tamang trabaho na 8 oras?" Nograles told DZMM radio.

(If the incentive is only reached after working for 18 hours, here's a moral question: What are you incentivizing? Slavery? Risking their lives? Or working only for 8 hours?)

"Kung imposibleng maabot ng 8 oras, ibig sabihin ay ang ini-incentivize nila ay magbuwis-buhay ka dyan sa kalsada para kay Grab," he said.

(If it's impossible to reach it within 8 hours, it means they were incentivizing the drivers risking their lives on the road for Grab.)

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Nograles said Grab, which acts only as a "barker" for passengers to book their rides, often receives the full payment and not 80-20, according to the drivers he spoke with.

He said he would bring this up in a meeting with the regulators on June 26, and ask that if possible, Grab would only take its share of the base fare and leave the per-minute, per-kilometer, surge or other fees to the driver.

He also wants answers to where the revenue of Grab goes, when despite a virtual monopoly of the market and spike in fares, drivers complain of losses.

"Kailan pa tayo nakakita ng monopoliya na lumaki ang merkado, lumaki ang singil, tapos ang labor umaangal saka sinisigaw nila na lugi?" he said.

(When did we ever see a monopoly that grew its market, increased its fare, but its laborers complained of losses?)

In a statement released on Thursday, Grab Philippines Country Manager Brian Cu said "no one among Grab partners is being forced to drive long hours."

"Grab's commission is given back to the drivers in the form of incentives to supplement their income and to reward passengers with better service," he said.

PER-MINUTE CHARGE

Grab driver Gleen Bajamunde said he believes half of the 65,000 drivers with the ride-sharing app have quit their jobs after the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) suspended the P2 per minute travel charge in April.

"Yung kita namin nawala yung kalahati kasi sinuspend yung P2. Ang problema ang lalayo ng pick-up, 5 kilometers mo pipick-up-in, ida-dropoff mong 5 kilometers ulit, P80. Saan napupunta yan? Sa gasolina lang," he told DZMM in a separate interview.

(We lost half of our earnings because they suspended the P2 charge. The problem is you would pick up a passenger 5 kilometers away from you and drive her for 5 kilometers, but you'll only get P80. Where does that go? It's enough only for fuel.)

A father of 3 with another one on the way, Bajamunde said he is barely able to pay his monthly dues for his car after the charge's suspension.

"'Yung [LTFRB] board, isa dyan gusto ko bumiyahe sila para maramdaman nila naramdaman namin sa kalye," he said.

(The LTFRB board, even just one of them, I want them to drive on the roads so they'll know how we feel.)

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In the statement, Cu said Nograles caused the drivers' income to drop when he questioned the legality of the per-minute charge.

Regulators are deliberating the re-imposition of the additional payment and a fare increase.

LTFRB Board Member Aileen Lizada said the Department of Transportation is also eyeing revising a department order, which Grab insisted allowed transport network companies (TNCs) to set their own fares.