DOLE mediates conflict between riders, food delivery company over ‘offboarding’ issue

Marje Pelayo   •   July 21, 2021   •   201

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has stepped in to settle the conflict between a food delivery service company and its partner riders over issues of ‘offboarding.’

During the Laging Handa press briefing on Wednesday (July 21), Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said they have set a dialogue for both parties to hear their sides of the story.

“Iyong tungkol sa 10 years suspension, inamin naman ng Foodpanda na glitch ito nung kanilang communication line, technical difficulty nila iyan,” Bello said, adding that the imposed 10-year suspension for the affected riders has been lifted.

“Naayos na rin iyan wala na iyong 10-year suspension. In fact, out of the 2,500 riders, 36 na lamang ang hindi pa bumabalik sa trabaho. Wala na pong problema,” he added.

But according to Davao United Delivery Riders, there are still around 43 who still cannot access the food delivery app.

They said, all they want is to have a decent income and to be appropriately compensated for their services.

The riders’ group argued that their service rate for the first 23 kilometers has been lowered from P50 in 2020 to P23 this year.

“Demands po namin, unang-una, ibalik yung access ng mga kasama namin yung mga natanggalan, iyong mga na-suspend ng 10 years. Saka ibigay din iyong sa earnings. Taasan nila. Iyong ilang araw kami na hindi nakaduty, manghihingi din kami ng ano, bayaran kami,” Edmund Carillo, the group’s president said.

Foodpanda earlier insisted that they are giving appropriate rates to their riders which are even higher than what the competition is offering.

In relation to the issue, DOLE is issuing a labor advisory to guide and remind both the riders and the food service company of their respective obligations. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

DOLE reiterates rights, protection of delivery riders under Labor law

Marje Pelayo   •   July 27, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) reiterates the rights of riders in food delivery and courier activities under the Labor Code of the Philippines or their contract with the digital platform company, depending on the existence of an employer-employee relationship.

In an advisory, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said all delivery riders who are considered employees of a digital platform company are entitled to the minimum benefits under the Labor Code.

Meanwhile, those who work as independent contractors or freelancers shall be governed by their respective contracts or agreements with the digital platform company.

DOLE issued the advisory in order to set the standards in determining work relationships between food delivery companies and their respective riders.

This employer-employee relationship between the delivery rider and the digital platform company, Bello said, may be determined in consideration of the flexibility of work which includes working time, control through technology, and use of the equipment and other inputs.

The advisory stated that all delivery riders who are deemed employees of the digital platform company shall enjoy the minimum standards and benefits which include: minimum wage, holiday pay, premium pay, overtime pay, night shift differential, service incentive leave, thirteenth-month pay, separation pay, and retirement pay.

They are also entitled to get occupational safety and health (OSH) standards, including SSS, PhilHealth, and Pag-IBIG, and other benefits under existing laws.

Riders shall also enjoy the right to security of tenure, self-organization, and collective bargaining.

Meanwhile, riders who are considered independent contractors or freelancers shall be governed by their respective contracts or agreements with the digital platform company.

The contract or agreement shall stipulate the following provisions, including but not limited to:

  • the payment of fair and equitable compensation, which shall not be lower than the prevailing minimum wage rates and facilitation of registration;
  • coverage under SSS, PhilHealth, and Pag-IBIG;
  • compliance with applicable OSH standards;
  • attendance to regular training and seminars on road and traffic rules and road safety. This shall be arranged by the digital platform company in coordination with relevant government agencies;
  • arrangement with concerned local government units and/or merchants in setting up designated waiting areas for delivery riders

The Labor Advisory further states that any complaint or grievance of delivery riders or digital platform company shall be settled and resolved through conciliation, mediation, inspection, or arbitration, whichever is applicable, under existing rules and regulations.

Hontiveros urges DOLE to address labor abuses reported by food delivery drivers

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—Senator Risa Hontiveros is urging the Department of Labor and Employment to address the issue of labor abuses reported by food delivery drivers.

The senator made the call after food delivery app Food Panda suspended at least 500 accredited riders in Davao City after participating in a unity ride in support of other riders who were suspended and denied access to the mobile app for 10 years.

The group is also complaining about the recent fare adjustment which significantly decreased their earnings to as low as P20.00 per ride.

Nananawagan ako sa DOLE na aksyunan agad ang hinaing ng ating delivery riders na nakararanas ng panggigipit sa mobile app operators,” she said.

(I am urging DOLE to address the complaints of our delivery riders who are experiencing problems with mobile app operators.)

Hontiveros called on DOLE to look into the plight of food delivery riders in Davao. She said there should also be guidelines and labor standards to protect the welfare of the riders.

“Failure to act on such grievances is negligence on the part of the government,” she said.

The senator also filed a resolution seeking an investigation into the working conditions of the so-called ‘gig economy’, which includes delivery riders, to address labor issues surrounding the emerging sector. AAC

 

 

Repatriated OFWs from countries on travel ban list to undergo stricter screening — DOLE-

Marje Pelayo   •   July 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is imposing stricter screening of Filipino repatriates following the surge of COVID-19 cases in neighboring countries.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said, all repatriates are required to undergo RT-PCR testing twice.

“Bago sila makaalis doon ay kailangan meron silang testing na. Pagka negative, pwede na silang umalis doon at pagdating dito, panibagong quarantine at panibagong testing,” he said.

Countries covered by the travel ban are: India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Indonesia.

Bello said they are also looking into including Thailand and Malaysia in the list of countries. The government is closely monitoring the status of transmission in the said countries of the highly contagious Delta variant.

Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said that upon arrival in the Philippines all OFWs — even the vaccinated ones — are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine. They will only be allowed to go home when they test negative for COVID-19.

All vaccinated OFWs coming from countries without travel bans will have a shorter quarantine period of seven days upon arrival.

“Sabi naman ng Department of Health, matapos ang ika-10 araw ay napakaliit na ng tsansa na dala pa nila yung virus. So sa tingin namin na ayon sa mga dalubhasa ng DOH, safe na yung 14 days,” explained Cacdac.

The official said, there are about 3,000 Filipinos for repatriation from countries covered by the travel ban. From the said number, three batches have already returned to the Philippines.

Cacdac said they are now discussing the additional amount to be requested from the national government as they are now close to depleting their repatriation funds by September. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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