The advisor calls for better working conditions for delivery people
A DAVAO city councilor proposes the revision of existing laws and the development of new policies to improve the working conditions of food delivery people in the city of Davao.
On April 6, 2021, Davao City Councilor Pamela Librado passed a resolution to revise Davao City’s tax code after her office received reports that food delivery people needed to obtain multiple permits before be able to offer food delivery services.
“During a hearing on the proposed office for the protection and development of workers by the SP committee on work and employment opportunities conducted on March 22, 2021, we were made aware of another situation in which food deliverers are now required to obtain business or professional permits. This would result in additional annual expenses on their part and a significant reduction in their income, ”said Librado.
In March, John Paul Manapat, operations manager of Grab Philippines-Mindanao, sent an official letter to city council regarding the requirement for additional permits for food deliverers.
Mr. Manapat called on behalf of their food delivery partners that delivery people be allowed to continue operating as food delivery people or independent contractors without the need to apply for a business or professional license. The Grab representative added that if they were required to apply for a work permit for their riders, this arrangement should not mean recognizing the riders as employees of Grab, ”said Librado.
According to article 1, section 94 of the Davao City Tax Code, any person or entity without a permit from the mayor and paying the necessary fees to the city treasurer, cannot conduct or engage in any business, trade or occupation in the city.
She added that the permits are “beyond the management capacity of individual riders”.
“By requiring the permits, runners would have to pay the city’s environment and natural resources office even if they don’t have a waste disposal; they would have to pay a fee and BFP certificates even if they don’t run physical stores and they would need to shell out extra money for BIR registration, ”Librado said.
She said these additional requirements would place the same responsibilities on food deliverers as those placed on well-resourced businesses.
“They will have to file a claim with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) for payment of certain fees, taxes and penalties, if necessary, in addition to the fact that they are not exempt from tax like minimum wage employees.” , said Librado.
Based on an initial investigation by his office in the barangays, they discovered that runners bear the cost of obtaining their own permits.
“We have found that runners pay for their own gasoline or fuel and will end up paying all the extra costs if they are required to have a business or work permit,” said Librado.
Meanwhile, the adviser said there was a need to develop policies to improve the working conditions of food deliverers.
She said runners complained to the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) “that mobile app operators are treating them like mere business partners, freelancers and / or independent contractors, instead of ’employees’.
Librado added that the runners did not have a fixed salary or social protection benefits.
Based on an initial investigation by his office in the barangays, they found that the runners were paying most of their operational expenses.
“The motorbike they use is also purchased at their own expense, which includes taking out other loans. In addition, bikers do not get overtime despite working 10 to 12 hours a day, and most have no insurance in the event of an accident. Said Librado.
She said that while the company will take care of the insurance coverage, it will still be the rider who will bear the cost.
Librado said the runners also raised the issue of the “batch system”.
“They also denounced a so-called batch system that determines their income brackets and assigns specific riders for delivery,” she said.
Librado said bogus bookings or delivery scams also endanger the financial security of delivery people because “these end up being listed as order cancellations and could result in a passenger being suspended.”
“Where there is very little financial and social security for users of local services, the City requires them to obtain a business or work permit in accordance with the Tax Code. the same rigid process for commercial permits for individual riders, ”said Librado.
Librado said there was a need to study the city’s current policies and find workable arrangements to address issues regarding the terms of employment and the nature of the work of local service users as independent contractors.