Lawmakers push bill penalizing bogus food and groceries delivery orders

Published October 20, 2020, 10:18 PM

by Ben Rosario

The viral video showing at least 10 delivery service riders falling victims to a prankster in Las Pinas City prompted lawmakers on Tuesday to move for the swift passage of a bill that would penalize bogus food and grocery delivery orders.

Rep. Alfredo Garbin

Ako Bicol Partylist Rep. Alfredo Garbin batted for prioritization of House Bill 7805 or the Internet Transactions Act that consolidated his bill aimed at imposing stiff penalties against pranksters, practical jokers and other persons for victimizing food delivery service crew and riders.         

Deputy Speaker and 1Pacman Partylist Rep. Mikee Romero said there is urgency in passing the measure to protect food and grocery delivery service personnel, particulary riders, against pranksters.        

“Whoever was behind the Las Pinas prank  deserves to be hauled to jail for a long time.  What he or she did was plain and simple cruelty, the pain caused by this prankster on people who just wanted to earn an honest living during this COVID-19 crisis is unbearable,” said Romero.         

Garbin filed House Bill 6958 that was consolidated with HB 7805 which has been scheduled for plenary deliberation on the floor.         

HB 6958 prohibits any customer from cancelling confirmed orders for the delivery of food and/or grocery items once the delivery rider has already paid and is already in actual possession of the orders.          

Garbin said the bill also prohibits prank orders and penalizes a customer who “shame, demean, embarrass or humiliate the delivery riders.”        

Under the bill a violator will face maximum six years in prison and a fine of not less than P100,000.  The guilty party will also have to reimburse the cost of the service and the value of food advanced by the rider.         

However, these provisions in HB 6958 appeared to have not been included in the pending bill that consolidated a proposal filed by Valenzuela City Rep. Wesley Gatchalian.         

Garbin said he will insist on the inclusion of main provisions of his bill as soon as HB 7805 is presented for individual or committee amendments.        

“It is unfortunate to know that there are unscrupulous individuals who would cancel their orders even if the applicable service provider has already placed and paid for the food or grocery items ordered by the customer,” he said.       

“This devious machination wastes not only precious time of the riders who ply our roads but it also exposes the riders to unnecessary risks in order to deliver what has been expected from them on time and intact,” the partylist solon added