DOLE: 30 Davao-based Foodpanda riders remain suspended

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 29) — The Department of Labor and Employment hopes to iron out issues involving food delivery giant Foodpanda as 30 more riders remain "offboard" its system, an official said.

"Ngayon, karamihan sa mga na-suspend ay nakabalik na. 30 na lang 'yung mga hindi pa nakakabalik," DOLE Undersecretary Benjo Benavidez said in a virtual briefing.

[Translation: Now, most of those who got suspended have returned. There are only 30 now who have yet to be reinstated.]

Benavidez expressed optimism the issue would be fixed "in the next few days" as dialogues between riders and Foodpanda continue.

READ: Foodpanda suspends for 10 years Davao City riders demanding higher pay

Edmund Carillo, president and co-founder of the Davao United Delivery Riders Association Inc., confirmed that some delivery riders are now back on the roads of the city to deliver food orders.

However, he lamented the fact that the management of Foodpanda refuses to hold a meeting with Davao riders in the presence of DOLE officials.

"Kami po mga rider ang gusto namin ay may DOLE para magawaan ng agreement kung anong mapag-usapan," he said through a messaging platform.

[Translation: We, the riders, want DOLE to be present so they can come up with an agreement on the matters discussed.]

In a previous 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.

READ: Foodpanda stands by 'offboarding' protesting riders: Disruptions may affect system

According to Benavidez, the agency issued a labor advisory for the delivery service sector which provides guidance on how companies should treat their partner riders.

"Ang labor advisory ay nagbigay din ng proteksyon para sa mga freelancers. Dapat may contract at nakalagay ang fair, reasonable compensation ng mga rider. Rehistro rin sa SSS, PhilHealth, at Pag-IBIG," he said.

[Translation: The labor advisory also provides protection for freelancers. There must be a contract which includes fair, reasonable compensation for riders. Also, they should be registered with the SSS, PhilHealth, and Pag-IBIG.]