#TooHotToWork: Delivery riders call for consideration amid extreme heat

May 2, 2024 - 4:44 PM
File photo shows Riders from an online food delivery service wait for orders while maintaining social distancing in Manila on March 21, 2020. (The STAR/KJ Rosales)

“Huwag niyo po sana kaming bigyan ng 1 star”.

A representative of delivery riders appealed to the public to be more understanding with their workforce as they deal with the scorching heat to keep up with deliveries.

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“Sana unawain niyo po pag nade-delay ang mga delivery mula sa mga online delivery apps, hindi po sapat ang benepisyo namin para tugunan kung kami ay magka- heatstroke,” said Norman Portes of the Coalition of Union Courier and Shippers Services PH in a forum.

Portes explained that bad reviews could damage their performance rating, which they rely on to keep their jobs.

This was also posted on X with the hashtag #TooHotToWork.

The coalition joined a multi-sectoral consultation on dealing with the effects of El Niño on service workers, in commemoration of World Day for Safety and Health at Work on April 28 and International Workers’ Day on May 1.

Industry specialists, representatives from the government, and other progressive groups also joined the event.

“Ang aming koalisyon ay nananawagan sa pamahalaan na bigyan-pansin ang kaligtasan at karapatan ng mga manggagawa sa anumang hakbang na kanilang gagawin,” wrote the coalition in a Facebook post.

Heat index

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) warned that the Philippines could reach an “extreme danger” level heat index of 57 degrees Celsius.

This was after Iba, Zambales recorded a “danger” level heat index at 53°C early this week.

Meanwhile, PAGASA said that the heat index in Metro Manila could reach 48°C, after Metro Manila recorded 45°C on April 27.

So far, seven provinces have already declared a state of calamity due to El Niño.

READ: Heat wave in Southeast Asia closes schools, triggers health alerts | Philippine students suffer in wilting heat, thwarting education efforts | Philippines’ ‘dangerous’ heat prompts shift to online classes, power crunch | Extreme heat is closing schools, widening learning gaps worldwide

‘Respect delivery riders’

Aside from the challenges of the climate, online apps riders also called for higher wages.

The National Union for Food Delivery Riders joined other groups in Labor Day protests to demand for better working conditions.

Motorcycle taxi drivers also joined the calls, speaking out against high commission that they said gets deducted from their salaries.

In a statement, the union also called for insurance and benefits from their employers to help riders cope in case of road accidents.

“Nakakalungkot na patuloy ang insidente ng pagkasawi at disgrasya dahil nagmamadali at nagtatagal ng mahabang oras sa lansangan ang mga kasamang delivery riders para maghabol ng kita para sa pamilyang naghihintay,” the group wrote on Facebook.