Grab Philippines is offering loans as well onboarding for its food and delivery business to drivers and operators who have been affected by the suspension of the ride-hailing service due to the Luzon-wide lockdown.
The company made the overtures as a group of operators and drivers that calls itself Laban TNVS appealed to Grab to provide emergency financial assistance worth P1,000 daily or P24,000 monthly subsidy.
Grab Philippines has not yet issued a formal statement rebuffing the subsidy proposal but it has sent text messages to its partners urging them to avail of the loan or sign up for its GrabExpress or GrabFood service to compensate for their lack of income during the quarantine period.
Under the loan program, drivers and operators can borrow as much as P10,000 with a monthly interest rate of 5.99%. This amount can then be repaid over 80 days or four months.
But Laban TNVS has rejected these offers from Grab, saying the “inaction” of the company is a “blatant display heartlessness and insensitivity.” The group also scoffed at Grab’s loan offer, adding that it “will only worsen their problems.”
“We are deeply enraged as our calls for emergency aid for Grab chief, Brian Cu, seems to be falling on deaf ears and is being ignored. Amid trying times, this company whom we helped out in reaching its current stature must have a heart and show compassion to us,” Jun de Leon, Laban TNVS spokesperson, said in a statement.
“Offering loans and suspension of the automatic deductions on our loans with Grab will never be enough measures to ease the burden that we are currently shouldering. What we need is an emergency financial assistance that will help us cope with the impacts of the coronavirus outbreak,” De Leon added.
As for the onboarding offer for GrabExpress and GrabFood, a local partner said their vehicles are not suited for delivery service and will only incur cost for them since delivery fees are cheaper than those paid by actual passengers.
Labor group Defend Jobs Philippines also stressed that Grab has the resources to provide the subsidy as its food and delivery services are still operating.
“The 38,000 TNVS drivers and operators deserve to be protected and granted with financial aid at all cost especially during this time of crisis. The government should ensure that private companies like Grab must compensate the services of their partners to the company,” Thadeus Ifurung, Defend Jobs Philippines spokesperson, said in a statement.