House bill seeks jail for pranking food delivery riders, canceling orders
MANILA, Philippines – A bill seeking to penalize those who cancel food delivery orders is being pushed in the House of Representatives, amid incidents of pranking and high demand for the service during the coronavirus pandemic.
House Bill No. 6958 or the proposed Food and Grocery Delivery Services Protection Act filed by Ako Bicol Representative Alfredo Garbin Jr seeks to protect delivery riders and their corresponding service providers from last-minute cancellations and people who have no intent of paying up.
The bill proposes that orders that have already been paid, already in the possession of the delivery rider, or already in transit to the customer can no longer be canceled.
Pranksters who have no intention of availing of the delivery services and those who will humiliate delivery riders in any platform will also be penalized. (READ: Why these GrabFood riders find their job rewarding)
For customers that will not pay up, they may face jail time of 6 to 12 years, if the bill becomes law.
For those who demean riders, they may be jailed from 6 months to 6 years.
The bill exempts customers using credit card as a mode of reimbursement, provided that the payment will still be credited to the food and delivery service.
Customers who have paid prior to the cancellation will not be penalized.
Most popular delivery services like GrabFood do not allow cancellations once the order has been placed.
In the case of no-show customers, Grab told Rappler that they have a reimbursement policy in place, which allows drivers to get full payment for unclaimed orders.
"This April, we have improved the process by expediting process of reimbursement. Delivery partners just need to submit their claim online and get their reimbursements as early as 4 hours, within the same day. Thus, no need to sell unclaimed orders for safety purposes," Grab said in a text message.
While the bill is still pending at the House, Angeles City in Pampanga has already passed an ordinance with similar provisions, but lighter penalties.
Under Angeles City's Ordinance No. 536, any individual who will prank delivery riders would be imprisoned for 1 to 6 months and pay a fine of P1,000 to P5,000. – Rappler.com