Superheroes on Wheels: PWDs Ride for Foodpanda

Photo from Ronald Ar-Ar Ouano

In celebration of National Heroes Day, foodpanda recognizes its riders who are on the road and serving the public to the best of their abilities. It also gives special recognition to foodpanda riders who are performing at their peak with the super capabilities that they have developed because of their disabilities.

Arnel S. Yobido, Clark Nel Garol, Christopher G. De Asis, and Jayson M. Papa overcome their challenges as Persons With Disabilities and ride with pride as they deliver with foodpanda in order to earn a living for their families.

Christoper De Asis used to work with the DSWD and as a subcontractor of a construction company. Now he rides the streets of Negros and even with one eye visually impaired, he is able to navigate carefully and not only deliver his orders but also an inspiration to his customers. The Marketing graduate has experienced discrimination before, he says, when a security guard at an office told him outright that they don’t hire PWDs. “I’m happy that there are employers like foodpanda that offer equal opportunities. Because of my job, my partner Primalou and I are able to save for our future.”

Jayson Papa was a security guard before donning the pink uniform. ‘Masaya rin ako sa pagiging foodpanda rider dahil sa kabila ng aking kondisyon na pagiging physically disabled, nakakapagbigay ako ng inspirasyon sa ibang tao,” he says. He adds that foodpanda is a big help for his family’s support and it gives him the opportunity to live a normal and productive life.

Clark Nel Garol was a construction worker and ‘habal rider’ before becoming a foodpanda rider. “Na-appreciate ako nang ibang customer nakita nila ako dahil sa kabila ng aking sitwasyon ay nagsusumikap daw ako. Tuwing narinig ko po sila na ganyan ang feedback nila sa akin, sobrang saya ko po. Mas lalo ko pa pinagbuti ang aking trabaho.”

Arnel Yobido previously worked as a family driver and is now happily delivering good service in Davao City. Despite his challenges where he experiences pain in his leg while making deliveries, he is happy to be working as a foodpanda rider, especially as he and his wife are expecting a baby girl. “Kapag sumasakit ang binti ko, pinapahinga ko muna, patuloy akong lalaban para sa aking pamilya at sa mga pangarap namin.”


Superpowers activated

The four foodpanda heroes are ready to face adversity in order to serve their communities.  Arnel says his superpower is prayer. “Ang pag-pray ko araw-araw para healthy ang pangagatawan ko ay nakakatulong na maging 100 percent sa paghatid ng pagkain sa mga customer sa maayos at mabilis na paraan.”

Clark shares that he wants to inspire those who are facing challenges in life with what he does. “Kahit na napansin ko na ang paglaki ko ay hindi katulad sa ibang mga bata, gustong kong patunayan sa lahat ng tao ang kaibahan ko na kahit ganito ako — may mararating ako sa buhay. Sa pamilya ako humuhugot ng lakas ko na magpatuloy maging foodpanda rider — lalong lalo na sa anak kong babae.”

Christopher notes that he can give inspiration to other PWDs. “Natutulungan ko ang aking kapwa sa pamamagitan ng paghatid ng wastong serbisyo para mapadali ang pangangailangan ng [mga] customers. Bilang isang PWD foodpanda rider, nakakapagbigay inspirasyon ako sa iba — hindi hadlang ang kapansanan para ipagpatuloy ang buhay, tumulong sa iba, umasenso at makamit ang mga pangarap.”

For his part, Jayson says that giving money is not the only way that one can help others. “Bilang isang food delivery rider, tumutulong ako sa pamamagitan ng paghahatid ng order sa mga customer sa kanilang bahay. Lalong-lalo na sa mga taong ayaw lumabas at sa mga taong takot mahawaan sa sakit mula sa COVID-19. Para sa akin, ang ibig sabihin ng pagiging bayani ay pagbibigay tulong sa kapwa ng walang anumang kapalit.”


Honoring heroes

In recognition of the service rendered by its riders in these unprecedented times, foodpanda awarded 99 PWD riders with P2,000 each and 500 non-PWD riders P1,000 each.

“We believe that they are truly heroes, ensuring efficient deliveries and keeping us safe as we stay home. We want to thank all our Bayaning Ka-Panda and salute their efforts to support their families. Arnel, Clark, Christopher, and Jayson are all sources of inspiration on how to overcome hardships and emerge as heroes,” says Jao Manahan, foodpanda Operations Manager for Rider Experience.

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