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A Note to Media from foodpanda Philippines

July 27, 2021

Dear friends in the media, There’s been a lot of stories written about foodpanda in the past weeks. We’ve heard the feedback, and feel it might be helpful, and important for us to share the following with you, to provide more facts, and explain the factors contributing to these scenarios. 1. On July 13, 2021, foodpanda made the difficult decision to offboard 37 riders who were found to have violated the agreement which all foodpanda riders agree to. These violations included making fake bookings and instigating other riders to jointly breach their agreements with the company. As of July 26, all the riders who were offboarded have been invited to small group dialogues with the foodpanda team to openly discuss the situation on each case, and the possibility of reboarding them. 2. The 10 year suspension message was sent to the riders due, in large part, to a system glitch: due to violations of the agreement described above, foodpanda's intention was to inform the rider that they have been offboarded. In fact, this offboarding is mentioned in the accompanying text to the suspension message which states (in part): "Ang actions mo ay in violation of the said Agreement. Dahil dito, nais naming ipaalam sa iyo na offboarded ka na mula sa foodpanda" Unfortunately, our rider software did not recognize the offboarding option and instead, sent out the message for the 10-year suspension. Our technical team has taken all the necessary steps to address this error and we have explained the same to riders who have attended our invitations for open dialogue. 3. Rider fees are dynamic,and are calculated based on multiple factors that include the route and distance of the delivery, making the payment structure more organized and fair. Riders’ earnings on each order are transparent at the point of their accepting each order before proceeding. If an order falls under a Free Delivery campaign, foodpanda shoulders the full delivery fee so riders still get their full fee for those orders. As a company, foodpanda is always working hard to keep operations running smoothly everyday - so that restaurants can get orders, riders can deliver them for a living, and customers receive satisfactory service. There are complex areas of balance that are critical so that everyone can be fairly compensated and satisfied. There are times when we fail to communicate better and we’re always open to feedback for improvements, but please rest assured that all communication channels are open especially to our hard working riders to express their concerns and feedback. We will continue to initiate and continue with regular dialogues to help riders better understand their earnings structure, and other benefits available to them. We hope this gives you a good glimpse into the circumstances surrounding these recent stories, and help contextualise these incidents and the sentiments surrounding it. Sincerely, foodpanda Philippines

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IMEE: VAT SA OIL PRODUCTS, SUSPENDIHIN MUNA SA GITNA NG PANDEMYA

July 16, 2021

Isinusulong ni Senadora Imee R. Marcos, chairperson ng Senate committee on Economic Affairs, na dapat suspendihin muna ng isang taon ang ipinapataw na Value Added Tax (VAT) sa oil products sa gitna ng nararanasang krisis dulot ng Covid-19 pandemic sa bansa. Nitong Martes, nagpatupad na naman ang oil companies ng price hike na umabot sa P1.15/liter sa gasoline, P.60/liter sa diesel at P.65/liter sa kerosene. Mula Enero 2021, sinabi ni Marcos na pumalo na sa P13 per liter ang itinaas ng gasolina; P10/liter sa diesel at P9/ liter sa kerosene. "May domino effect ang oil price hike sa mga produktong agrikultura at iba pang essentials. Ipapasa lang ang dagdag na presyo ng langis sa mga consumer na kawawa na nga, walang trabaho, tumataas pa ang halaga ng pagkain, kuryente at mga bilihin," pahayag pa ni Marcos. Kung pansamantalang masuspindi ang 12% VAT sa langis, sinabi ni Marcos na malaking ginhawa ito sa mga motorista at mga konsyumer. Nagpatupad ang pamahalaan ng dagdag na 12% VAT sa fuel products bukod pa ito sa excise tax na ipinataw sa ilalim ng Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law. Noong December 2017, nilagdaan ni Pang.Duterte ang batas na nagpapataw ng excise tax sa diesel sa halagang P2.50/liter at P7.00/ liter sa gasoline.  

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Race Against Time for Safe 2022 Elections - Imee

May 26, 2021

Millions of eligible voters are at risk of being disenfranchised in the May 2022 elections if a bill allowing vulnerable citizens to vote early is not passed soon, Senator Imee Marcos has warned. Marcos, who chairs the Senate committee on electoral reforms and people’s participation, cited the country’s 2021 population statistics projection of some 9.8 million senior citizens, 9.2 million indigenous peoples (IPs), 2.2 million pregnant women, and 1.7 million recorded persons with disability (PWDs) that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) must provide with alternative arrangements to cast their votes. “This is no small deprivation amid pandemic restrictions and fears that will affect the ability and willingness of these vulnerable groups to go out and vote. Not to mention the teachers, poll watchers, AFP and PNP personnel, and even members of the media who will be full-time at work on election day,” Marcos said. Marcos has proposed to expand Senate Bill 1104 which she filed in 2019, to now include more groups eligible for early voting. Marcos stressed that the Comelec is pressed for time to adopt new election measures amid a pervading health crisis, including more accessible polling precincts for the elderly, pregnant, and disabled; transportation for IPs living in remote mountainous areas;  and new outdoor voting venues that comply with pandemic-related restrictions. “Preserving health and safety calls for alternatives to the usual cramped classrooms. We can prevent the spread of infection by using stadiums, auditoriums, multi-purpose halls, even covered elevated parking lots in malls,” Marcos said. “So many issues need to be resolved by Comelec less than six months to the filing of candidacy in October. Let’s provide the budget to put the necessary measures and manpower in place, and soon,” Marcos said, citing that the work shift of teachers alone may need to be doubled. If Marcos’s bill is approved, voters eligible for early voting can cast their ballots two to 30 calendar days before the election date set for the general public. Marcos also said that mail-in voting should be piloted even on a small scale, since the Philippine Postal Corporation has said it can do so with the recent upgrade of its computer system.

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IMEE: CONVERT BILLIONS IN BAYANIHAN LOANS TO DIRECT ASSISTANCE

April 30, 2021

Senator Imee Marcos has urged the government to convert the bulk of stimulus funds that are lying unused in state financial institutions and directly assist businesses hit hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic. Marcos, who chairs the Senate committee on economic affairs, expressed alarm during Wednesday’s committee hearing that international financial institutions like the World Trade Organization, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and Asian Development Bank have forecast that the Philippines could become Asia’s “laggard” in economic recovery due to the lack of economic stimulus funding.   “We can solve the sluggish disbursement of billions in stimulus funds by converting part of the budget for loan programs in state banks and pension funds into more direct forms of assistance like wage subsidies and job programs,” Marcos said.    "For example, despite 65% of carinderias and small neighborhood shops having temporarily or permanently closed, this target group cannot access these loans, being mere barangay-level operations that are not qualified according to the requirements of the Small Business Corporation and the DTI (Department of Trade and Industry),” Marcos explained.   “Even MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) that are capable and ready to borrow will hesitate to avail of loans while the pandemic continues. Until there is a clearer policy on imposing community quarantines, they will lack the confidence of being able to pay back,” Marcos added.   Marcos cited that only Php3.3 billion has been lent out from the Php10 billion allotted to the DTI’s CARES (COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises) program for MSMEs under Bayanihan 2.   The Php6 billion earmarked for the hard-hit tourism sector may also remain unutilized, “until a more expansive vaccine roll-out takes place and tourist confidence returns,” Marcos said.   Funds provided by the Land Bank of the Philippines, Development Bank of the Philippines, and the Philguarantee Corporation are “similarly slow-moving,” Marcos added.   “We need to convert billions pumped into banks and other financial institutions into ‘ayuda’ from the DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development), from DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment) through the CAMP and TUPAD programs, and increased assistance to the unemployed through the SSS (Social Security System), plus other direct subsidies for digitizing, retrofitting, retooling, and retraining MSMEs,” Marcos said.

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BACK-UP PLAN FOR VACCINE DELAYS: REPURPOSED DRUGS

April 28, 2021

Senator Imee Marcos has renewed her call on the Department of Health (DOH) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to consider preventive treatments for Covid-19 and grant wider emergency use approval of repurposed drugs like Ivermectin to back up the government’s erratic timeline to procure vaccines.   Marcos issued the statement after the expected arrival of Russia’s Sputnik vaccine Sunday was delayed, adding that earlier delays have taken place even from the COVAX facility of the World Health Organization (WHO).   “Let’s use preventive treatments and repurposed drugs while waiting for the vaccines. Setbacks in delivery timelines are taking place worldwide, not just in the Philippines,” Marcos said.   India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, has cut back on its vaccine exports as it faces an overwhelming surge in cases, while the EU and the UK continue to bicker over production and delivery delays, Marcos explained.   Marcos also cited the drawback in vaccine shipments of Moderna to rich countries like Canada and Britain, adding that safety reviews have also delayed the roll-out of AstraZeneca and the J&J vaccine in other countries.   “We need a back-up plan to ease the burden on our healthcare system. The global vaccine supply will remain uncertain for months to come, so what’s the back-up plan to stop infection and transmission, especially of these Covid variants?” Marcos asked.   Repurposing drugs to treat Covid-19 has been undergoing further studies worldwide, following testimonials of relief from patients and doctors alike, particularly in the use of Ivermectin, originally an anti-parasitic that has been used in humans to treat diseases such as elephantiasis and onchocersiasis or “river blindness.”   “The FDA has granted emergency use of Ivermectin but only to certain hospitals. I hope the hesitation is not because it is beholden to the interests of big pharma, since the drug costs only 35 pesos,” Marcos said.   Marcos also cited recent results of a study by infectious disease experts in Singapore that showed the likelihood of Covid-19 infection was reduced with the use of hydroxychloroquine, Ivermectin, and a povidone-iodine throat spray among some 3,000 trial participants after the May 2020 outbreak in the dorms of migrant workers.   Only 201,521 Filipinos have received complete vaccination since the government’s roll-out started in March, with 1,205,697 having received their first dose, according to the April 21 report of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).   The government’s yearend goal is to administer 148 million jabs of single-dose and double-dose vaccines to cover 78 million Filipinos, or more than two-thirds of the country’s population of about 108 million, as recommended by the WHO to achieve herd immunity.   “That means the government needs to achieve a daily vaccination rate of about 313,446 people every single day starting May until the end of the year,” Marcos pointed out, adding that the latest IATF report said the fastest vaccination rate in a day has only been 93,849 people.  

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