House lawmakers seek probe on welfare, rights of delivery app riders

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 27 2021 05:37 PM | Updated as of Jul 27 2021 07:11 PM

House lawmakers seek probe on welfare, rights of delivery app riders 1
Riders queue to receive their COVID-19 vaccine at the Vaccine Express site, led by the Office of the Vice President and the Manila LGU, at the Cultural Center of the Philippines bay parking in Manila on June 22, 2021. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA (UPDATE) - House lawmakers from the Makabayan bloc are seeking a probe into the rights and welfare of food and grocery delivery app riders, after reports surfaced regarding the irregularities that some workers experienced.

House Resolution No. 1973, filed by Bayan Muna Representatives Carlos Zarate, Ferdinand Gaite and Eufemia Cullamat, ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro, Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas, and Kabataan Rep. Sarah Elago, sought to investigate supposed unfair labor practices. 

The resolution said that on July 13, online food delivery services company Foodpanda Philippines in Davao City imposed a 10-year suspension against 30 of its riders after allegedly spearheading a call to go offline as part of a protest. 

The lawmakers also pointed out that the compensation schemes were changed twice without consultation, calling the suspension excessive, repressive, undemocratic and unlawful as they were just exercising their rights to protest.

“The protest was triggered by Foodpanda’s alleged unfair compensation arrangements leading to significant diminution of riders’ wages," it read. 

Romeo Maglunsod, spokesperson for the Foodpanda riders group KAGULONG, earlier said the riders are not going rogue against the company but are instead asking for reforms in the delivery app's system.

In a statement sent to ABS-CBN News, Foodpanda said it communicated its new payment structure to its riders before it was implemented.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) this week issued guidelines regarding the novel business arrangement involving the app and its riders. 

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said delivery riders are covered under the Labor Code of the Philippines, pointing out that employers should give them minimum benefits that are mandated under the law.

This includes, he said, minimum wage, holiday pay, premium pay, overtime pay, night shift differential, service incentive leave, thirteenth-month pay, separation pay, and retirement pay.

- With reports from RG Cruz and Johnson Manabat, ABS-CBN News

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