Grab urged to forego amortization of drivers

A PARTY-LIST lawmaker on Sunday called on the management of Grab Philippines to make proper representations with car dealerships and auto-loan companies to forego amortization collection during the months covered by the Enhanced Community Quarantine and suspend all foreclosures for their partner-drivers.

If this is not possible, Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) party-list Rep. Jericho “Koko” Nograles said Grab Philippines could offer to pay in advance or underwrite the unpaid loans of the driver-partners who are now left without any livelihood because of the crisis caused by the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19).

Nograles said many of Grab's 60,000 or more driver-partners, are still paying monthly amortizations and their sole source of income is by being a transport network vehicle service (TNVS) provider.

Following the ECQ, Nograles said many of Grab's driver-partners can now hardly put food on the table because of the economic dislocation so it is impossible for them to have the money to pay for their car mortgage.

"Nakikiusap po ako sa Grab na bigyan ng kalinga itong kanilang mga driver-partners. Marami sa kanila ngayon ang problemado na maaaring mabawi ang kanilang mga sasakyan dahil hindi nila ma-update ang payment sa kanilang mga loans.

Kung maaari ay makipag-usap ang Grab sa ating mga bangko at sa mga car dealers para matigil muna pansamantala ang kanilang paniningil at huwag munang ilitin ang mga sasakyan kapag hindi sila nakapagbayad," said Nograles.

Having earned billions of pesos since it started its operation in the Philippines, Nograles said Grab owes its success to their driver-partners who have capitalized their life savings to purchase vehicles and work for the Grab network.

This COVID-19 crisis should become an opportunity for Grab to show their support and compassion for their driver-partners.

Apart from making representations to ensure that their vehicles are not repossesed, Nograles said that Grab should also extend financial assistance with zero interest to their driver-partners to ensure that that they can get by during the duration of the ECQ.

"It is just right that Grab should share the risk of their driver-partners. Itinaya nila ang kanilang life-savings upang maging Grab drivers kaya sana naman tumaya rin ang Grab para sa kanila.

Napakarami sa kanila ngayon ang nanganganib na tuluyan nang mawawalan ng kabuhayan dahil maaaring bawiin ng mga bangko ang kanilang mga ipinanghahanapbuhay na mga sasakyan," Nograles appealed.

Nograles said that saving their driver-partners from foreclosures would be a wise business decision because this would also ensure that they will continue to have enough TNVS operators when the ECQ is lifted and the COVID-19 crisis is finally over.

"Grab is making tons of money because of the commission that they get from their driver-partners. Therefore it is to their best interest if they can ensure that all their driver-partners will still have their vehicles after this crisis is over," said Nograles.