Following the implementation and subsequent extensions of the enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila and other provinces in the Philippines, workers from several sectors have been vulnerable to livelihood disruption – one of which are those working in tech platforms.
As a technology company, Grab provides a digital platform where prospective driver-partners can easily sign-up and onboard. The Grab platform enables earning opportunities for tens of thousands of its driver-partners who enjoy the flexibility of the work and the freedom to work whenever they need to. As independent contractors on the Grab platform, these drivers are our partners, and Grab partners with them to help them earn an equitable income for their families.
Despite the unprecedented limitations and disruption, Grab has actively rolled-out GrabBayanihan – a COVID-19 response program that includes several initiatives to protect and support its tens of thousands of driver-partners who are greatly impacted by the pandemic. These initiatives involve the introduction and implementation of health and safety policies on the Grab platform, as well as protecting the livelihoods of its driver-partners, and extending partner support assistance in the form of goods and support funds.
Safeguarding The Health And Welfare Of Its Driver-Partners
The health and safety of our partners has always been a key priority for Grab. In this period of health crisis, Grab has immediately implemented safety policies to protect the health and welfare of its partners, such as contactless delivery, regular temperature checks, beefing up the Grab Safety Hotline, and a robust contact tracing system in tandem with the government and health officials.
Grab continues to provide one-time financial assistance to those who are under government-mandated quarantine, and a similar financial assistance to cover medical bills of driver-partners who test positive for COVID-19.
Grab has likewise distributed over 30,000 face masks and 2,000 bottles of alcohol. Through these sanitary essentials, Grab has been able to equip its driver-partners to safely fulfill delivery services for consumers staying at home during the Enhanced Community Quarantine.
Protecting Partners’ Livelihoods Amid A National Health Crisis
Prior to the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine, Grab Financial Services Philippines immediately rolled out deferred payment arrangements on the loans of driver-partners. Likewise, Grab Philippines has worked closely with several of its institutional partners such as PSBank, EastWest Bank, BDO, Security Bank, BPI, RCBC, Union Bank, Robinsons Bank, Metrobank, UCPB and Toyota Financial Services to provide car loan payment breaks for driver-partners to ease financial burdens which its driver-partners may face during this time of livelihood disruption.
With public transportation being suspended following the announcement of the Enhanced Community Quarantine, Grab has been able to offer virtual training to its GrabCar driver-partners and quickly onboarded them as GrabFood, Grab Express, and GrabMart delivery-partners in the time being. To date, almost 4,000 driver-partners have temporarily transitioned to Grab’s delivery fleet, thus allowing them to have an alternative source of income for their families.
To help them tide through their financial needs, Grab has also given its driver-partners access to several pools of financial aid. Through its series of dialogue with the government, Grab has been able to confirm that DTI, through its lending arm SB Corp, will be extending SME loan support to Grab driver-partners. To add, Grab has worked very closely with the LTFRB and DSWD, and was able to include thousands of its driver-partners as beneficiaries of the government’s social amelioration program.
Lastly, Grab has dedicated and provided access to an Emergency Support Fund to help its driver-partners tide through the period of uncertainty as public transportation and TNVS remain suspended in most areas in the country.
Extending Support To Driver-Partners
Grab, together with its employees, communities, and corporate partners has also raised more than PhP 20M worth of relief items which includes grocery vouchers, rice, canned goods, medicine and drinks and will benefit around 65,000 affected partners.
Given the uncertainty of the situation around the suspension of public transportation, Grab will distribute relief items to its driver-partners in batches weekly. The first batch, which consists of 270,000kg of rice, 164,000 assorted canned goods, 64,200 bottles of beverages and assorted food items, and 202,000 units of medicine, have been initially distributed to 20,000 driver-partners.
“Since the suspension of public transportation following the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila and other key cities in the country, we have been relentless in finding ways to protect and assist our driver-partners. To our Grabbers, volunteers, communities, and corporate partners, thank you for the hard work and heeding our call for bayanihan. As we chart our paths towards the new normal, Grab will remain to be a strong, steady, and reliable partner, and we will continue to protect and support our driver-partners as we come out of this crisis as a stronger #OneGrab community,” says Brian Cu, Grab Philippines President.