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House bill prohibits unreasonable cancellation of food, grocery delivery orders

/ 09:49 AM June 08, 2020

Food delivery workers continue to provide service despite the community quarantine declared by the Philippine government during the COVID-19 coronavirus lockdown in Manila on March 20, 2020. (Photo by Maria TAN / AFP)

MANILA, Philippines — A House of Representatives bill seeking to prohibit the cancellation of confirmed orders when the items are already in the possession of the delivery rider or in transit to the customer has been filed.

Under House Bill No. 6958 or the Food and Grocery Delivery Services Protection Act, filed by Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Alfredo Garbin Jr., the bill covers “instances wherein customers order food and/or grocery items for the purpose of pranking or those who has no genuine intention of availing of the services which causes damage and undue duress to the delivery riders and their corresponding service providers.”

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The bill likewise prohibits the shaming and humiliation of delivery riders.

“In this time of COVID-19 crisis, where staying at home and avoiding crowded places have become the new normal, the food and grocery delivery services have become an indispensable and booming industry,” Garbin said in a text message.

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“In order to protect the interest of the service providers who are risking life and limb to keep us safe within our abodes, this bill seeks to provide safeguards to the riders and penalize those who will unreasonably, unceremoniously, and unconsciously cancel their orders,” the lawmaker added.

If approved into law, violators will be fined P100,000 and face imprisonment of six years and one day.

The violator shall likewise reimburse the food and delivery service and providers for the value of the items advanced by the delivery rider and be made to pay the said food and grocery delivery service provider an amount of money double the fee charged for the cancelled transaction, the bill states.

Meanwhile, those proven to demean, embarrass, or humiliate delivery riders shall result in imprisonment of six months and one day to a maximum of six years.

If the violation was committed by or with the use of information communications technologies (ICT), the penalty shall be one degree higher since the prohibited acts are covered by the Cybercrime Prevention Act.

As an added protection, food and delivery service providers shall also require their customers, prior to registration with the mobile application or web page, to submit a valid proof of identity and residential address or proof of billing.

“It shall likewise endeavor to verify the identity of the customer through video call verification. Violation of this role shall render the food and grocery services provider liable for a fine of [P1,000,000] per violation,” the bill states.

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There are, however, several exceptions from the prohibited cancellation of confirmed orders which includes the following:

  • when the customer uses credit card services as mode of reimbursement and payment and any such reimbursement and payment will still be credited to the food and grocery delivery service provider notwithstanding the cancellation;
  • The customer remits to the food and delivery service provider any such reimbursement and payment as a pre-condition for the cancellation order; and
  • The delivery of ordered food and grocery items will be or was delayed for at least one hour from the expected time of arrival given by the delivery rider upon confirmation of order except when previously notified by the rider or the service provider and the delay is through no fault of their own
GSG
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