House Bill 6958 or the Food and Grocery Delivery Services Act prohibits the cancellation of online food and grocery delivery services once drivers have already paid for it in advance or when the order is already in transit. The bill covers “instances in which customers order food or grocery items for the purpose of pranking or those who have no genuine intention of availing the services that causes damage and undue duress to the delivery riders and their corresponding service providers.” Shaming and humiliating delivery riders are also prohibited under the bill.
Under the bill, which was filed by AKO Bicol Party-list Representative Alfredo Garbin, violators will have to pay twice the amount of the canceled food item and delivery service as well as reimburse any value advanced by the driver. They shall also be fined P100,000 and face at least six years of jail time. The Cybercrime Prevention Act already covers violations committed by or with the use of information communication technology, which brings the penalty a degree higher.
Garbin explains that the food delivery industry has become an indispensable part of the new normal, which is why the interest of service providers must also be prioritized. Customers, as an additional precaution, will have to submit a valid proof of identity and residential address or proof of billing in the food and delivery service providers’ mobile application or webpage.
The bill also states that a video call verification to authenticate the identity of the customer must also be done. Failure to mandate customers with proof of identification will hold the food and grocery services provider liable for a fine of P1 million per violation. Companies must also reimburse their riders for the amount of any canceled order within 24 hours. Violating this will result in a fine of P5,000 on the service provider.
Exceptions from the prohibited cancellation of orders are as follows:
- When the customer uses a credit card and the payment will still be credited to the service provider despite the cancellation
- When the customer remits to the service provider any reimbursement or payment as a precondition to the cancellation of order
- When the delivery is delayed for at least an hour without prior notice to the customer and through no fault of the service provider
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