Bill seeks jail time and P100K fine for those who cancel food, grocery orders online


Posted at Jun 08 2020 01:12 PM

Bill seeks jail time and P100K fine for those who cancel food, grocery orders online 1
A GrabFood rider traverses the streets of Quezon City amid rains. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - A lawmaker has filed a measure against cancellation of food delivery orders that were already paid for by couriers.

The Food and Grocery Delivery Services Protection Act, or House Bill 6958, bars customers from abandoning their orders when it is already in possession of the delivery rider or it is on its way to the recipient.

The bill covers those who order with the purpose of pranking or has no genuine intention of availing the service which "causes damage and undue duress to the delivery riders and their corresponding service couriers."

The bill seeks to penalize violators of up to 12 years in prison with a fine of P100,000. They will also reimburse the delivery service providers for the items and be made to pay an amount twice the fee relevant to the cancelled transaction. 

The measure also bars any customer from shaming, demeaning, embarrassing or humiliating delivery riders. Those who violate this provision may face up to 6 years imprisonment, according to the proposed law. 

The following are exemptions from the prohibition of order cancellation:

- 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

- The delivery of ordered food and grocery items will be or was delayed for at least 1 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

Rep. Alfredo Garbin filed the measure last Thursday, citing the importance of delivery services as the country placed areas under quarantine to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

"In order to protect the interest of service providers who are risking life and limb to keep us safe within out abodes, this bill seeks to provide safeguards to the riders and to penalize those who will unreasonably, unceremoniously and unconsciously cancel their orders," he said in his explanatory node.

The bill remains pending at the House committee on trade and Industry.