House bill demands fines, six years jail time for people who cancel delivery orders

In contrast, a paying grab customer.  <i>Photo: Grab Philippines / FB</i>
In contrast, a paying grab customer. Photo: Grab Philippines / FB

A bill filed at the House of Representatives is seeking to punish the “unreasonable” cancellation of confirmed orders that Filipino delivery riders have paid for in advance, as demands for such services surge during the lockdown.

House Bill 6958, or the Food and Grocery Delivery Services Protection Act, was filed by Bicol AKO Bicol Party-list Representative Alfredo Garbin on June 4, and was released to the media today.

Under the bill, offenders will be penalized with at least six years of jail time. On top of this, the offending customers should also reimburse the riders for the canceled items that they paid for in advance, and violators are likewise required to pay a fine of PHP100,000 (US$2,000).

“This covers instances wherein customers order food and/or grocery items for the purpose of pranking or those who have no genuine intention of availing of the service which causes damage and undue duress to the Delivery Riders and their corresponding services,” the bill reads.

Read: No More Cry: Facebook group Order Hero helps delivery guys sell canceled food orders

Garbin wrote in the bill’s explanatory note that more people are turning to delivery services to access food and groceries amid the pandemic. He said he does not want delivery riders working for mobile apps to be at the mercy of “unscrupulous individuals” who “unreasonably, unceremoniously, and unconsciously cancel their orders.”

However, those who paid in advance, and clients whose orders arrive at least one hour late are exempted from punishment. Customers who discover that their credit cards have been charged for transactions despite canceling their orders will not be prosecuted as well.

Meanwhile, the bill also prohibits any customer from shaming delivery riders in any social media platform, and those who do will be imprisoned for at least six months.

“More than the penalty awarded, it is hoped that the passage of this bill into law will serve as [a] deterrent to unreasonable cancellation of orders,” Garbin said.

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