Hontiveros laments Lalamove’s response to death of delivery rider

Senator Risa Hontiveros on Tuesday, November 8 commended delivery service company Lalamove for responding to the family of one of their riders who died while he was on duty last November 1.

But Hontiveros said she laments the company’s statement that rider Noel Escote was “not fulfilling orders on the day of the incident.”

“Magandang balita na nakikipag-ugnayan na ang lalamove sa naulilang pamilya ni Mr. Noel Escote. Ngunit, ilang mahahalagang punto lamang na dapat ay mabigyang-pansin sa pangyayaring ito (It’s good news that Lalamove is in contact with the orphaned family of Mr. Noel Escote. But there is just a few important points that should be paid attention to in this event),” Hontiveros said in a statement.

“The statement of the company that he was ‘not fulfilling orders on the day of the incident’ is adding insult to injury. On the day he tragically lost his life, Mr. Escote opted to ride his motorcycle to work, even on a holiday, and waited for someone to book his service as a Lalamove rider,” she pointed out.

“Bahagi ng trabaho ng delivery riders ang paghihintay ng order, hindi lang pagsasakatuparang ma-deliver ang order (Part of the job of delivery riders is waiting for the order, not just making sure the order is delivered),” she said.

In a statement, Lalamove’s public relations and communications administrator COMCO Southeast Asia, said the company is deeply saddened about the plight of Escote and its team has reached out to his family to provide immediate assistance once they were informed of the tragedy.

But based on their understanding, the company said Escote “was not fulfilling orders on the day of the incident.”

“However,we understand Lalamove is a crucial source of income for his family and the immense impact ofthe tragedy,”

“We are in continuous conversation with the family to understand their situation andhave provided additional assistance and financial support, to help them go through the difficulttimes. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family,” they said in a statement.

Hontiveros, however, said the fact that Escote was found dead on his motorcycle is sufficient proof that he was carrying out his duties as a delivery rider for Lalamove.

“Hindi ba’t natagpuan siya sa kanyang motorsiklo? Hindi ba’t “workplace” ang kanyang morotsiklo? Hindi ba’t kapag namatay ang isang empleyado sa workplace, considered work-related ang pagkamatay (Wasn't he found on his motorcycle? Isn't his motorcycle a ‘workplace’? Isn't it considered work-related when an employee dies in the workplace)?” she pointed out.

“This precisely demonstrates the necessity of having a policy and legal regime in place for gig economy workers to prevent further abuses and to finally shed light on these gray areas,” the senator stressed.

Hontiveros reiterated Escote was working as a delivery rider for his family and for the company he considered as his livelihood partner.

“Sana sa huling pagkakataon ay mabigyan naman ng dignidad ang kanyang sakripisyo at dedikasyon sa trabaho (I hope for the last time, his sacrifice and dedication to work will be given dignity),” she said.