The enhanced community quarantine imposed by the government in an effort to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus has endangered the livelihoods of tens of thousands of TNV drivers who acquired their units through financing or installment, prompting a party-list legislator on Monday to appeal to TNV managements to seek concessions from car dealerships and auto-loan companies.
Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta Rep. Jericho Nograles said Grab and otherTNVs should ask car dealers and their financing companies “to forego amortization collection during the months covered by the Enhanced Community Quarantine and suspend all foreclosures for their partner-drivers.”
If the car dealers and their financiers prove to be recalcitrant, 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 Chinese virus.
He said majority of Grab’s 60,000 or more driver-partners, are still paying monthly amortizations and their sole source of income as transport network vehicle service (TNVS) providers has been lost with the ECQ caused by the spread of the virus that originated in Wuhan, China.
Following the ECQ, Nograles said, “many of Grab’s driver-partners can now hardly put food on the table because of economic dislocation so it is impossible for them to have the money to pay for their car mortgage.”
“I appeal to Grab to take care of its driver-partners who are now worried over the repossession of their units,” said Nograles, a deputy majority leader, said
“Grab should talk to the banks and car dealers to suspend billing and not repossess vehicles in case the owners fail to pay,” he added.
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 on installment and work for the Grab network.
“This Covid-19 crisis should become an opportunity for Grab to show its support and compassion for its driver-partners.”
In addition, Nograles said that Grab should also extend financial assistance with zero interest to its driver-partners to ensure that they would get by during the ECQ period.
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,” Nograles said.