Foodpanda suspends for 10 years Davao City riders demanding higher pay

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 19) — A number of Foodpanda drivers in Davao City are now facing a 10-year suspension after the food delivery giant got wind of their planned silent protest against the app's earnings policy, a leader of a riders' group in Davao claimed Monday.

In a phone interview, Edmund Carillo, president and co-founder of the Davao United Delivery Riders Association Inc., said Davao-based riders were planning to take a "rest day" as a show of protest against the low income they have been getting since mid-2020.

The group leader, however, stressed details of this planned silent protest were not finalized when Foodpanda suspended an initial 30 accounts on July 13. The suspension is in effect until 2031.

In a notice to affected riders seen by CNN Philippines, Foodpanda said the planned "no-show" on July 14, 15, and 16 was considered a violation under the Freelance Agreement with the company.

Over 300 delivery riders staged a protest in the city on July 15 in response to the decision of Foodpanda, Carillo said.

"July 13 suspended, initial na tinanggalan 30 accounts. Paunti unti tumaas nung nagrally na," he said.

[Translation: An initial 30 accounts got suspended on July 13. The number gradually increased when we staged the rally.]

Carillo said 43 riders were suspended while some were already reinstated as of Monday.

Carillo said they have long approached Foodpanda about the concern on wage policy, yet no action had been taken.

Smaller incomes seen despite boom in food delivery services

While food delivery companies have been booming amid the pandemic, Carillo said the same cannot be said for the riders of Foodpanda—from earning an average of ₱55 per delivery, the number has been cut down to almost half since 2020.

He said riders in the city have been calling for transparency in Foodpanda's earnings policy as their fees are now lower from pre-pandemic operations.

When he applied as a rider in August 2018, Carillo said earnings per day were based on 60-40 computation—where the delivery driver got the bigger pay.

Another change in the policy happened before the pandemic: a rider used to earn ₱55 per delivery regardless of the distance.

However, when the pandemic started early last year, Foodpanda riders in Davao City were greeted with a new system where the firm based rider's fees on the distance covered.

But Carillo stressed Foodpanda failed to discuss the rate per distance. He also noted Foodpanda has been using a "ruler system", measuring only the distance between the vendor and the customer.

"'Yung sa sahod, hindi nila nilabas 'yung computation," he said.

[Translation: As for the salary, they did not release the computation.]

A copy of one of Carillo's bookings sent to CNN Philippines showed he earned ₱27. He said some bookings were as low as ₱23.

From a take-home income of ₱1,600 to ₱1,800 per day, Carillo said they're now earning less, ranging from ₱500 to ₱800, and yet they still have to deduct payment for gas, food, and mobile data. Sometimes, riders go home to their families with no profit at all.

“Ang mensahe lang namin kay Foodpanda, sana magbigay naman po sila ng due process sa mga riders nila. Parang isang pindutan lang, kung gusto nila tanggalin yung isang driver, pindot lang sa computer at tanggal na agad,” said Carillo.

[Translation: Our message to Foodpanda is that they give due process to their riders. It seems that with just one click, they can simply fire a driver whenever they want.]

In a separate statement, the food delivery firm said “difficult” actions such as offboarding a “small number of riders who have violated their agreement” are needed to ensure their platform remains reliable for all its users.