Dela Rosa advises Grab: Think about security, not money

MANILA, Philippines – After a press conference presenting the killer of a model Grab driver on Wednesday, November 6, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa went on to talk to the head of the transport giant, Brian Cu.

He had one advice: Think about your drivers' security, not the money.

"Kung meron pa kayong maisip na ibang measures para ma-protektahan 'yung mga driver, mas maganda mag-isip kayo. 'Wag lang 'yung palaging mag-isip kung magkanong kikitain ng Grab, 'yung kuwan din, 'yung security din ng mga driver ninyo, kung mas maganda ma-enhance pa ninyo. Ako advice ko lang," Dela Rosa told Cu while surrounded by reporters.

(If you can think of other measures to protect your drivers, that's better, not just always thinking about how much Grab will earn. It's just my advice.)

Dela Rosa's warning did not come out of nowhere, as the top cop said that criminals have focused on other crimes ever since the Duterte administration focused on bringing down the illegal drug trade.

"Hirap na sila sa drugs, wala nang mapagkitaan sa drugs pupunta sa kidnapping at hold-up. Magshi-shift sila doon eh, so bantayan natin," he added.

(They're having a hard time doing drugs so they are going to kidnapping and hold-upping. They are shifting there so let's keep watch.)

The "good Samaritan" Grab driver Gerardo Maquidato Jr, was shot dead by his own passenger who attempted to rob him.

The self-confessed killer Narc Delemios said the driver fought back while he was attempting the robbery. The claim was dismissed by Maquidato's family. 

In an interview after his conversation with the top cop, Brian Cu said tightening the security for passengers and drivers is a balancing act for them.

"If we will make it too hard for people to register it will deter riders and reduce the convenience, so that's the balance that we have to do. We are working on things that would provide safety to drivers, and in effect, safety to the passengers as well," he said.

So far, the transport network company (TNC) has allowed its drivers to implement a "No ID, No entry" policy, allowing them to decline trips from passengers who cannot prove that their accounts used to pick up rides match their real identities.

Cu also said they are planning to create a "blacklist" database of passengers who are rude or abusive to their drivers.

"So we call on other TNCs to work with us: form a safety committee that would blacklist passengers so we can report that immediately to the relevant authorities, both for passengers and drivers," Cu said.

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.