CDO delivery riders’ union to Foodpanda: ‘Open the hub to address our concerns’

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – To address various concerns of the delivery riders, the United Delivery Riders of the Philippines-Cagayan de Oro Chapter called on the Foodpanda – an online food and grocery delivery platform – to reopen their hub here.

Many Foodpanda delivery riders gather and conduct a unity motorcade and silent protest, expressing various concerns to the said company from Barangay Igpit in Opol town, Misamis Oriental to Rodelsa Circle, Barangay Macasandig, Cagayan de Oro City on Monday, January 30. (Photo courtesy of United Delivery Riders of the Philippines via Chris Canizares, Union’s CDO chapter President)

Chris Canizares, Union’s CDO chapter President, in a phone interview on Wednesday, Feb. 1, stressed that they want the company to reopen the hub for them to have immediate assistance and answers to their queries and concerns, and not relying on electronic communication.

“Asa man mi mudangat? asa man mi mu-complain? Muadto mi sa amo apps, and mutubag saimo murag a certain robot, murag scripted na daan ang tubag. Murag walay puso ba, murag walay dignity (Where can we go? Where can we complain? If we go to our apps, the one who responded to us is like a certain robot, like the responses are already scripted. There was no heart on it, there was no dignity),” Canizares said.

The said group asked for help from the local government unit (LGU) here to address their concerns to the company.

“Among demand gayud first sa LGU, kung pwede i-require ang Foodpanda nga hub pagaabrehan, naay tao muatubang sa amo (Our first demand from the LGU, if they can require the Foodpanda hub to reopen, where there is an in-charge who can face us),” he said.

The Foodpanda hub, situated in Barangay Carmen here, has been closed since the start of the pandemic, prompting the in-charge and other employees of the hub to work from home, he said.

Among their concerns are related to their daily earnings, healthcare insurance for delivery riders and other internal problems from the company such as glitches in the system – which can affect their daily earnings – and inappropriate suspension and termination.

“Kung dili ihatag sa amo ang SSS, Philhealth and Pagibig, kato lang gayud healthcare nga package; insurance namo in case madisgrasya o mamatay, naay madawat ang among mga pamilya, kay ang pamilya nga mabilin luoy (If we don’t have SSS, Philhealth and Pagibig, just the healthcare package; our insurance so that in case there is an accident or deaths, our family will receive something, because it would be very hard for them),” Canizares said.

The chapter president said there was previous insurance from the company, however, it was discontinued as many delivery riders weren't in favor since it covers only the riders who are involved on shift.

In a separate phone interview on Wednesday, City Councilor Malvern Esparcia, who also expressed support to the delivery riders, wanted a formal complaint from the group and documentation in order to make a special report during the council session.

The special report would possibly lead to a meeting together with the delivery riders and in-charge of Foodpanda here, and discussing the reopening of the hub.

City administrator Atty. Roy Hilario Raagas, on the other hand, assured the delivery riders that the city government, with the leadership of City Mayor Rolando Uy, would be one of them in achieving their objectives, underscoring the big role of the delivery riders in boosting the economy.

”Kay kamo anaa ani nga serbisyo, gapaulan, init, tunga sa gabii, kadlawon, daghan sa atong mga kaigsuonan ang nakabenipisyo sa inyong serbisyo, apil nako (Since all of you are not in this service, rain, heat, middle of the night and dawn, many of our brothers and sister have benefited your services, including me),” Raagas said during the union’s CDO chapter public launching at Brgy. Macasandig covered court on Jan. 30.

Prior to public launching, the group conducted a unity motorcade and silent protest, participated by more or less 200 Foodpanda delivery riders from Barangay Igpit in Opol town, Misamis Oriental to Rodelsa Circle, Barangay Macasandig in this city.

Canizares said the Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa group helped them to join the United Delivery Riders of the Philippines.