Manila, Philippines -- Prior to becoming a full-time driver, Evelyn Gurango was a typical Filipina housewife and a sari-sari store owner who simply wanted to drive around and explore yet uncharted territories in Metro Manila while earning a little money on the side. “Noong una gusto ko rin maging driver [ng Transportify] kasi wala akong alam na mga daan eh. Sabi ko gusto ko ma-explore yung daan para malaman ko lang”.
Now, after registering as a driver for Southeast Asian firm Transportify for close to a year, Evelyn can now easily navigate her way in and out of Metro Manila, has regular delivery bookings, and has another steady source of income aside from her sari-sari store while continuously surprising her clients who are all but expecting burly, muscular men for their delivery services.
The same goes for Abegail Mangabat, a former call center agent who initially signed up as a driver for Transportify in order to have something to do during her free time instead of just whiling it away inside malls. She also adds that it’s a very good source of income. “Nagpe-pay ng cash si customer, mas maganda. May mga times lang talaga na na medyo mabigat ang dadalhin pero they pay for it naman”.
Evelyn and Abegail are just some of several women who became partner drivers with Transportify, “A” Bangkok-based delivery firm whose Manila office opened up just last year. Known as Deliveree regionally, Transportify aims to lessen business delivery costs for general merchandise and belongings by charging less than 40% as compared to regular delivery services. It comes with a mobile application where clients and drivers alike can book and confirm services and connect clients with drivers as well.
Now, Transportify aims to further revolutionize the industry as it starts to incorporate women drivers into the highly-masculine world of delivery logistics services, where the majority of drivers have to deal with carrying parcels of varying sizes in addition to incessant driving to and from various destinations.
Before joining Transportify as a partner driver, Raquel ran a computer shop as her business. However, in spite of the many challenges and difficulties that women delivery drivers face in the industry, Raquel feels nonetheless empowered as a woman every time she drives and does her deliveries for the day. “Nagagawa na rin namin yung nagagawa ng mga lalaki. Dati mga lalaki lang yung mga driver. Kaya nga ‘yong mga customers nagugulat, natutuwa.”
Evelyn also states that customers tend to appreciate their extra care for delicate deliveries, such as flowers and food. “Halimbawa dine-deliver ko flowers, tapos sasabihin ni Ma’m, “dito natin ilagay sa sahig.” “Ay Ma’m, no! Kasi sayang ‘yan bulaklak ‘yan eh. Mas gusto ko ‘yan dito sa upuan kasi kumbaga siya ang pasahero ko.” In addition, Abegail also says that most of her customers become amazed especially when she handles deliveries all by herself. “Nakaka-amaze daw. Unusual din kasi ‘pag girl driving then at the same time nagbubuhat ng delivery.”
But according to Abegail, being able to inspire other people as a female driver in a predominantly male industry has got to be the most fulfilling part of her job. She now talks to clients and tells her female clients to try out Transportify as a source of extra income. She also highlights how being a female driver in the Philippines is something unusual, especially since most Filipinos are used to having only male drivers in sight, particularly in the delivery industry. “Transportify is something that really changed something we didn’t try in the Philippines. Nakakatulong talaga siya.”