Rude customers won’t stand a chance under the bill protecting delivery riders, says Gatchalian

Published January 23, 2022, 11:27 AM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Sunday assured that problems about rude customers would also be addressed under the bill that seeks to protect delivery riders.

Gatchalian is referring to Senate Bill No. 2302 or the proposed “Food, Grocery and Pharmacy Delivery Services Protection Act” which seeks to punish those who carry out deceit against delivery riders, or those who don’t treat them accordingly by placing hoax orders online or refuse to receive an unpaid confirmed order.

The Senate has already approved the measure on third and final reading last Monday, January 17. The measure seeks to prohibit acts such as placing of “hoax orders,” cancellation of confirmed orders and refusal to receive unpaid orders.

Gatchalian, co-author of the bill, said the measure also covers the actions of customers who don’t treat delivery riders properly like the one that got viral after he was assaulted by a client for having no spare change.

The senator earlier expressed concern over the video showing a customer trying to attack a food delivery rider for not having enough change for his P1,000 bill.

“Anumang klaseng pang-aabuso sa kapwa, nang dahil lang sa hindi pagkakaintindihan, ay hindi katanggap-tanggap (Whatever kind of abuses against a fellow person, just because of a misunderstanding, is unacceptable),” Gatchalian said.

“Hindi dahil customer ay palagi nang tama. Walang dahilan upang pagmalabisan ang mga delivery rider na naghahanap buhay ng marangal (Customers are not always right. There is no reason for them to abuse a delivery rider who is only working honestly),” he said.

Gatchalian said this is particularly stipulated in the committee report on the proposed Internet Transactions Act or Senate Bill No. 1591.

He said that under Section 13, it will be unlawful for consumers to unreasonably shame, demean, embarrass or humiliate online delivery partners, and any person who violates this provision shall be punished with arresto mayor or a fine exceeding P100,000 without prejudice to any other available remedies under existing laws.

“Sakaling maging ganap na batas na itong mga panukalang ito, mabibigyan na ng sapat na proteksyon ang mga delivery riders laban sa mga customer na mapang-abuso, mapanghamak, at nanghihiya ng wala sa lugar (Should this become a law, we will be able to provide sufficient protection to our delivery riders who can’t fight customers who are abusive, who demean riders),” he said.

Nevertheless, Gatchalian said the measure also offers ample protection to the rights of both the consumers as well as those engaged in online selling and delivery personnel in both bills.

Senate Bill No. 2302 also requires delivery service app providers to establish a reimbursement mechanism in favor of delivery riders and drivers in case of cancellation of confirmed orders.

The bill also requires the implementation of Know-Your-Customer (KYC) rules which entails submission and verification of proof of identity and residential address of customers, subject to compliance with the Data Privacy Act of 2012.

Under SB No. 2301, any person who shall commit any of the prohibited acts faces imprisonment and/or a fine not exceeding P100,000.

Ako Bicol Party list Rep. Alfredo Garbin, Jr. has filed the counterpart measure protecting delivery drivers as House Bill No. 6958 in June 2020. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Trade and Industry.