Senator Risa Hontiveros (File photo) 

MANILA – Senator Risa Hontiveros on Tuesday lauded Lalamove, a delivery service, for reaching out to the family of one of its delivery riders who was found lifeless while resting on his motorcycle.

Noel Escote, delivery rider of Lalamove, was found lifeless on his motorcycle on Nov. 2, in Barangay Kapitolyo, Pasig City apparently suffering from heart attack.

Magandang balita na nakikipag-ugnayan na ang Lalamove sa naulilang pamilya ni Mr. Noel Escote (Good news, Lalamove is now in contact with the orphaned family of Mr. Noel Escote)," she said.

In a statement sent to the Philippines News Agency, Lalamove said they were deeply saddened by the death of Escote, a Lalamove partner.

"Our team has reached out to Mr. Escote’s son to provide immediate assistance once we were informed of the tragedy. We understand Lalamove is a crucial source of income for his family, we are in continuous conversation with the family to understand their situation and have provided additional assistance and financial support to help them go through the difficult times. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family," it said.

Hontiveros earlier filed Senate Bill No. 1373 or the "Protektadong Online Workers, Entrepreneurs, Riders at Raketera (POWERR) Act," which seeks to protect the rights and welfare of "gig" workers, including delivery riders and freelancers, who are facing low pay and precarious conditions at work.

A gig worker is a person who does temporary or freelance work, especially an independent contractor engaged on an informal or on-demand basis:

One of the key points of SB 1373 is to ensure that these workers are enrolled in government social protection programs such as PhilHealth, SSS, PAG-Ibig, among others. Furthermore, online platforms will be held liable for injuries sustained by the workers in the performance of their duty, especially among delivery riders.

"Nakikiramay kami sa pamilya ni Noel Escote na binawian ng buhay sa gitna ng paghahanapbuhay bilang delivery rider (Our condolences to the family of Noel Escote who lost his life in the middle of making a living as a delivery rider). Let his death be a wake-up call to our colleagues in the legislature to immediately act on pending bills that will make sure that the rights and welfare of the increasing number of gig economy workers are upheld," Hontiveros said. (PNA)