Amid a wave of complaints from its partner drivers, Lalamove maintained that it has helped over 100,000 drivers to earn additional income since the start of the strict community quarantines brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The on-demand logistics company released a statement following protest rallies held by its partner drivers, who slammed Lalamove’s low base fare and called to reduce its 20% commission rate and scrap the monthly P200 rental fee for its insulated bag.
In a statement, Lalamove said since the start of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), it has managed to help over 100,000 drivers earn additional income.
“During this time, we’ve seen a more than 200-percent growth in orders, providing our partner drivers a vital source of income during these difficult times due to COVID-19. And our commitment to our partner drivers remains stronger than ever,” the statement said.
The company also explained it is important that it offers small businesses affordable logistics solutions during these tough times to reach their customers in a cost-effective way.
“Our affordable delivery prices have created more demand from at least hundreds of thousands of businesses, which in turn has created more opportunities for our partner drivers to earn more than what they did pre-ECQ, and much more than the country’s minimum wage through the industry standard commission rates.”
(According to its website, a Lalamove motorcycle driver has the potential to earn between P6,000 and P30,000 per month.)
The company also addressed the concerns about the monthly rental of its “Lalabag,” the insulated bag that drivers carry to secure the items they are handling in place. The bag is not mandatory for its motorcycle partners, the company says.
“Being optional, a monthly rental of P200 provides these drivers with the ability to safely take orders that require temperature control of goods, ensuring high standards of service for our customers.”
Lalamove explained it retains the ownership of the insulated bag to “guarantee the integrity of the bag should it need replacement due to wear and tear.” In the event that the bag needs replacement, the company will replace it for free “but subject to the said rental fee to ensure that they are only in the possession of accredited Lalamove partner drivers to protect the safety of our customers.”
“Lalamove is committed to working hand in hand with our users and partner-drivers to offer the most competitive and reliable service to support our communities. The majority of our partner drivers value the opportunities that are created by working with Lalamove and they are aligned with our values,” the company said.
On Feb. 19 and Feb 26, a number of Lalamove motorcycle drivers, together with group Defend Jobs Philippines, staged a unity protest, to call for the company’s consideration of their appeals as they are still experiencing the effects of the pandemic, just like many workers in these uncertain times.
Some of their appeals include: reduce the commission rate to 15- to 10-percent and have a standard P60 to P80 base rate, with an additional P7 up to P10 per kilometer. Currently, the company’s motorcycle services base fare is P50, with additional rates starting at P6 per kilometer.
Banner and thumbnail photos by Michael Varcas/The Philippine STAR