By Annika Gorgeana Maningo

About 100 Grab delivery drivers held a "unity ride" on Thursday, November 10, along Fuente Osmeña Circle to protest and voice their complaints about decreases in delivery pay and incentives.

Photo Courtesy of The Freeman/Bloomberg

According to Grab PH managers, most protesters were not actually delivery partners anymore.

Jefren Abalo, the United Delivery Riders of the Philippines (RIDERS) organizer, said in an interview with Rappler, "Gusto namo ipadayag nga wala mi nalipay sa gibuhat sa Grab management sa among mga ka-Grab sa tibuok Cebu,” claiming that they are not happy about Grab’s decision of salary cuts.

The riders said many businesses used their services to help families and frontline workers who were stranded at home during the pandemic. In addition, they said they were also paid between P1,500 and P2,000 per day at that time.

“We were hit during the pandemic but we’re proud to have served and supported the economy during those times,” Abalo exclaimed.

Grab PH confirmed on November 11 that Abalo's final month of employment with the company was December 2021.

They claimed to have given him a permanent position, but he was unable to accept it since the local authorities needed a certain permit.
“Our team was able to engage a huge majority of our delivery partners in Cebu and they don’t express the same sentiments as the protesting group,” the administrators mentioned. 

“For Grab, each delivery partner will earn no less than the living wage and for them to earn much higher than their peers on other platforms—that is our commitment at Grab PH,” they added.

The majority of Grab delivery drivers complained to Grab PH about unfair work practices, as well as not having health insurance and a reasonable fare matrix while participating in a program near the Robinsons Fuente in Cebu City.

Paul Aedes, a member of RIDERS and a grab driver, complained about the company's insufficient compensation and incentives.

"We're on the road 24/7 in the heat, rain, and floods, but fares are quite low,” he said.

In response to the significant modifications in the "Gems" incentive system, the drivers collectively vented their frustration since it was their only source of income, Abalo said.

According to the corporation, however, the drivers' pay is still covered by their health insurance plans through their Ka-Grab Rewards Plus program, regardless of whether the gem incentive scheme is in place.

“We even waived our part of the commission for rides recently in Cebu. We’re not deducting anything from their earnings,” Grab PH company said.

On October 19, the top management of Grab PH in Central Visayas conducted a video conference via zoom with the Grab delivery drivers to easily address their concerns.

However, the drivers stated that they were not given the opportunity to voice their opinions. Instead, the management only informed them they would "learn more about it [the concerns]."

Edited by Quian Vencel A. Galut