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To protect food delivery riders, Lapid calls for jail term, fine payment for pranksters

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

MANILA – Senator Lito Lapid has proposed jail term for inconsiderate prank orders in various app-based and online food deliver services.

Lapid recently filed Senate Bill 1677 which seeks to provide protection to delivery riders/drivers, by requiring food and grocery delivery service providers to establish a mandatory reimbursement scheme for cancellation of orders.

According to Lapid, many delivery riders during the lockdown period have been exposed to “unjustified cancellation of orders” or even to instances of “no-show” customers, despite the fact that they have already advanced or paid the ordered items.

“Masakit isipin na sa kabila ng panganib na hinaharap ng mga delivery rider para lamang makapagserbisyo sa mga customer at kumita ng maliit na halaga, sa huli, sila pa ang naloloko,” said Lapid.

“Bukod sa nasasayang ang oras at salapi ng mga riders dahil sa pagkansela ng order, ang mas malala pa, may mga pagkakataon na ni hindi matunton nag address ng nanlokong customer dahil sa fake address. Hindi tuloy sila mapanagot at naiiwang lugi at abunado ang mga delivery riders,” he added.

Lapid stressed that for months now since the COVID outbreak in March, most of the residents and workers are forced to stay at home and avoid crowded places that they usually visit such as restaurants and groceries and instead have resorted to delivery services.

He noted that delivery riders became the front-liners who take the daily risk of going out and ordering food or buying groceries and deliver them at the doorstep of their customers.

Lapid’s SB 1677 penalizes repeated acts of unjustified cancellation of confirmed orders for the delivery of food and/or grocery items when the same has already been paid by the delivery rider/driver.

If a customer cancels for at least three times in a period of one month, he or she, upon conviction, be subject to the penalty of arresto mayor or imprisonment of one month and one day to six months.

The customer will also need to pay a fine of an amount not exceeding P100,000.

The measure also requires the service providers to establish a reimbursement scheme in favor of deliver riders/drivers which will cover the entire amount of money advances to purchase the items, in case of cancelation of confirmed orders. Reimbursements to the riders must be made within one day from cancellation.

To facilitate collection against cancelling customers, this bill also requires the implementation of Know-Your-Customer (KYC) rules which will entail the submission and verification of proof of identity and residential address, subject to compliance with the Data Privacy Act of 2012.

“Sa hirap ng buhay ngayon lalo’t nasa gitna tayo ng pandemya, lahat naman tayo ay gustong kumita… para masiguro na hindi na sila maloloko pa ng mga biglaang pagkansela ng order, dapat masiguro na ang mga umoorder ay magbibigay ng totoong pangalan at address,” Lapid added.

Meanwhile, failure of the food and grocery delivery service providers to set up the reimbursement scheme is likewise penalized under SB 1677 with a fine not exceeding P500,000 and double the amount of money not reimbursed to their delivery riders/drivers.

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