We have always been consistent in saying that public hearings in Congress are a waste of time because almost always they do not produce any legislation or measure which is the reason why this exercise is provided for in the constitution.
But this time we would like the Senate or the House to open an inquiry into the operations of food delivery appts that have sprouted in Metro Manila and other major cities in the country.
Last week, some 100 Foodpanda riders, wearing their pink uniforms and riding in motorcycles fitted with the company’s pink delivery box, held a motorcade from Pasay City to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) as a show of support for the advocacy aired by some of their co-workers.
Since this is a new food delivery industry with orders sent online, conflicts between the workers and their employers are bound to happen. What triggered the Manila protest was the suspension for 10 years of some Foodpanda riders in the Davao City. The riders were penalized for planning to protest wage issues by going online.
Aside from FoodPanda Philippines, which is considered the biggest, other delivery apps are LalaFood, GrabFood Philippines, and Zomato PH.
Indeed, it is about time that some measures be instituted to protect the food-hailing groups from greedy employers who have taken advantage of the riders who work long hours and sometimes under bad weather just to serve their customers. There has been boom in the industry during the pandemic.
In their protest, Foodfanda riders expressed their concerns on a new payment scheme and an unclear freelancing system that they said has resulted in lower earnings for them. While they claim to have earned better–as much as P90 per delivery–back in the early days of the quarantine period, the riders said many of them are now struggling to earn enough to feed their families.
They also decried a so-called batch system that determines their earning brackets and who gets scheduled to delivery runs. A new scheme implemented in June computes the rider’s pay by the distance traveled but the riders said they earn less under this scheme.
Thus, Congress should thoroughly look into the working conditions of the riders not only to avoid interruptions in the service, but also to ensure the delivery riders’ protection as workers and that they be given a fair share in the income of the company.