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Delivery riders hopeful of business permit exemption

A GROUP of delivery riders is optimistic that lawmakers will hear their petition to amend the city’s Revenue Code of 2021 so they could be excluded from paying the business permit.

Following the first committee hearing on the issue on Friday, April 19. Eduard Quijano, United Davao Delivery Riders Association (UDDRA) president, said they will craft a petition of their position to change a specific provision of the revenue code.

“We have 5-7 days to prepare the petition, nevertheless we find the hearing moving and progressive. Hopefully, it will be amended this year,” Quijano told media after the committee hearing.

To recall, the group pleaded in January to the office of the city Mayor Sebastian Duterte for a  30-day extension to comply with the business permit requirement and other regulatory fees. 

Apart from the extension, they also called for the amendment of the code to exempt them from paying the business permits, as they are not “business partners.” 

Councilor Jesus Joseph Zozobrado, the committee on rules, privileges, laws, and ordinances chair presided over the committee hearing on Friday, said amendments may be possible provided the group submits a position paper of their computations and justifications for the provision they want amended.

Kung makita nato nga tama sila, mas bug-at ilang punto, then it will be amended,” Zozobrado told the media.

However, Zozobrado said their wish for the extension is not allowable under the existing laws. 

The councilor added they will conduct a joint hearing with the committee on finance, ways and means, and appropriations, and the labor and employment opportunities committee, after the group submits the said position paper.

The joint hearing will determine the category covering delivery riders and whether they should be required to secure a business permit or only an occupational permit.

Presently, delivery riders pay an amount ranging from P3,250 to P6,000 annually since their food companies declare their gross sales from a minimum of P50,000-P200,000, which they find “excessive and unfair.” 

Zozobrado said they will probe if the fees such as laboratory fees, health clearance fees, and business permits required for the riders are applicable according to their category for the possible reduction of these fees.

To recall, Councilor Bernard Al-ag proposed the passage of a resolution and ordinance to repeal Ordinance No. 0612-21 to institutionalize their exemption from paying fees. 

Ordinance No. 0612-21 categorized all food delivery riders as individual service contractors and therefore, must secure business permits.

Al-ag said the Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 1 Series of 2021 (the Guidelines for Processing Business Permits) might support the argument of the delivery riders. The Anti-Red Tape Authority, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Interior and Local Government, and the Department of Information and Communications and Technology jointly issued the circular.

However, Zozobrado maintained that riders are still required to comply with the business permit since they are still covered unless the ordinance is repealed. 


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