NLRC rules in favor of 7 delivery riders in Davao City

DAVAO CITY – The National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) 8th Division has ruled in favor of the seven delivery riders here who filed a complaint against Foodpanda Philippines Inc. for illegal dismissal.

In a 19-page decision dated Dec. 7, 2022 released on Wednesday, Jan. 4, the NLRC said the complainants are regular workers and affirmed the decision of the labor arbiter holding the company liable for illegal dismissal and upholding its determination of employer-employee relationship between Foodpanda and delivery riders.

NLRC dismissed the position of the company that the delivery riders were mere independent contractors.

In a statement on Thursday, Jan. 5, Foodpanda said it has already appealed the decision of the NLRC and that complainants have yet to reply to the appeal.

“We are awaiting the formal notification on our appeal,” it said.

It added that it remains committed to holding continuous dialogues with its delivery riders to provide them the support they need “as we serve our vendor partners, customers, and community.”

The NLRC said the 10-year suspension of Foodpanda rider applications until June 13, 2031 is tantamount to a constructive dismissal.

“The unusually long period of suspension is clearly a dismissal in disguise as the complainants-appellees or any one in their position would have felt compelled to give up his position under the circumstances,” it added.

Edmund Carillo, president of the Davao United Delivery Riders Association Inc. (DUDRAI) and one of the complainants in the illegal dismissal case lodged against Foodpanda, said that the decision of the NRLC is “an affirmation to us, that our struggles and our contributions amid the pandemic are seen.”

“Para pud ni sa ubang riders. Gawas sa money claims, kadaugan ni para mas ilhon sa mga kompanya isip Food Panda ang katungod ug benepisyo na dapat ihatag sa mga delivery riders (This is also for our fellow riders. Aside from the money claims, this is also a victory so that the company, Food Panda, will recognize the rights and benefits that they should give to delivery riders),” he said.

Carillo said they are ready to fight Foodpanda all the way to the Supreme Court.