Senate panel seeks penalties vs 'hoax ordering', cancellations

The Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship has approved a bill that would protect delivery riders against hoax orders and cancellations.


Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, committee chairman, disclosed Tuesday, July 13, that he already filed Committee Report No. 273 which contains the bill seeking to criminalize placing of hoax orders, cancellation of confirmed orders, as well as the refusal to receive unpaid orders.

“The recent incidents of fake booking and hoax orders are quite alarming. Those acts must be criminalized. Nagtatrabaho ang ating mga riders nang maayos. 'Yong iba ay inaabot pa ng madaling araw sa kalye para kumita ng pera. Hindi sila dapat niloloko (Riders are doing their jobs, others are even forced to work until the wee hours or morning just to earn enough. They should not be fooled)” Pimentel said in a statement.

Under the committee-approved bill, food, grocery, and pharmacy delivery service app providers shall be prohibited from requiring their delivery riders and drivers to advance the payment of orders.

It also requires these delivery service app providers to establish a mandatory reimbursement scheme in favor of delivery riders and drivers in case of cancellation of confirmed orders.

Aside from placing bogus orders and unjust cancellations, the measure also proposes to penalize the act of using another person’s personal information when registering for any food, grocery, and pharmacy delivery service.

The bill likewise mandates the implementation of Know-Your-Customer (KYC) policy, which will entail the submission and verification of proof of identity and residential address of customers, subject to compliance with the Data Privacy Act of 2012.

“We need a law protecting our delivery riders and drivers. It is very timely and relevant. Even after the pandemic, this measure will be relevant because we have now grown accustomed to online services,” Pimentel said.