COVID-19 testing of 60,000 Grab drivers in Metro Manila set

Published July 30, 2020, 2:53 PM

by Alexandria Dennise San Juan

Ride-sharing firm Grab Philippines launched on Thursday a COVID-19 testing facility for its 60,000 drivers and delivery partners in Metro Manila in cooperation with the National Task Force and the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA).

Grab Philippines President Brian Cu said the facility, located in the Quezon City Memorial Circle, will use the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction or RT-PCR swab test for all of their partners as part of the firm’s commitment on platform safety. Testing shall be provided free of charge.

(Grab Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)

“Matagal na naming hinihintay na sana ma-test ang ating mga Grab drivers and delivery riders dahil sila ay mga frontliners din (We have been waiting for this time to have our Grab drivers and delivery riders tested because they are also frontliners),” Cu said during the launching of the testing center.

To encourage all of its partners to be tested, Cu assured that Grab will provide income protection of up to P10,000 for drivers and riders who will test positive and will be required to undergo quarantine.

“It is our responsibility not just to the general public but also to our drivers to make sure na kahit nagpatest sila at natuklasan na positive sila, kami ay magbibigay ng (that when they tested positive, we will provide) income protection of up to P10,000 for the 14 days of quarantine,” the Grab official said.

60,000 partners to be tested

According to Cu, they are aiming to test all of its 60,000 drivers and delivery riders, including the 40,000 active ones, as well as the 20,000 who are still waiting for the approval of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

“Right now we will be scheduling [the drivers and delivery partners] and advising them on their respective schedule since we want to strictly observe social distancing,” Grab said in a separate interview.

“In terms of the number of testing booths, it won’t be a fixed number as it would really depend on the number of partners who come onsite. But the goal is still to test all 60,000 driver and delivery partners,” it added.

The ride-hailing app said this two-month initiative is in addition to the recently rolled-out GrabProtect program which further raises the bar of safety and hygiene across its suite of essential services.

“Safety has always been at the core of everything we do at Grab. We believe that through our partnership with the National Taskforce on COVID, the BCDA, and our driver- and delivery-partners, we continue to ensure our communities’ safety as we navigate our paths to the new normal,” Cu said.