ComfortDelGro Taxi drivers who have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak are expected to receive an extended daily rental relief till September, said ComfortDelGro on Monday (30 March).
ComfortDelGro said that the company’s move to help the drivers will effectively push the taxi division into the red for the year ending 31 December 2020, as it will cost the company as much as $80 million.
“This will be the first time Singapore’s largest taxi operator will post full-year losses,” said ComfortDelGro.
On top of the government’s Special Relief Fund (SRF) where eligible drivers will receive up to $10 per day, ComfortDelGro also provide its taxi drivers a daily rental relief of $36.50.
Hence, if the situation of COVID-19 outbreak does not get better, ComfortDelGro said the drivers can expect to receive a total of $46.50 per taxi per day in rental relief from now till the end of September.
According to ComfortDelGro, the relief amount are supposed to reduce gradually in April and May on the basis of original timeline.
As the economic conditions worsen, ComfortDelGro said they “have made it imperative that more help be extended to cabbies”.
“As such, the Company will match the SRF amount of $10 till September and, depending on the prevailing conditions, also extend the additional $26.50 per day relief till then,” it added.
Noting the precarious situation of the drivers, ComfortDelGro Taxi’s Chief Executive of Officer (CEO) Ang Wei Neng said, “Our priority is our cabbies’ survival. The dramatic drop in tourist arrivals, the increased number of people working from home, the enhanced measures to restrict crowd at shopping malls and eateries as well as the closure of nightspots, are having a massive impact on our cabbies. It is unprecedented.”
He added that the company would like to help the drivers to sustain their living as drivers are part of the ComfortDelGro family.
Other than this, ComfortDelGro will also pass on all savings from the licence fee waiver and the $2,200 given by government for each unhired taxi to cabbies through a waiver of the call levy till September.
ComfortDelGro said, “All these are over and above the $1,000 per month that the Government is giving to self-employed persons over the next nine months.”
Last Thursday (26 March), Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said in Parliament that the government will extend the point-to-point support package (PPSP) until September to provide further assistance for taxi and private-hire car drivers who are affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
The self-employed persons, including taxi and private hire car drivers, will be paid $1,000 per month for nine months under a new Self-Employed Income Relief Scheme to temporarily alleviate the issue of reduced income during the COVID-19 outbreak.
In view of the ongoing coronavirus crisis, many taxi drivers are struggling to make ends meet as they’ve lost a lot of business when the country imposed stringent measures to curb the increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases in the country.
Some taxi drivers have been affected by the declining demand of taxi services due to the night activities being banned by government.