House bill criminalizing ‘hoax ordering’, unjust order cancellations refiled 

Bagong Henerasyon Rep. Bernadette Herrera has refiled a bill that would protect delivery riders from fraudulent transactions by requiring cashless payments and imposing fees and imprisonment on customers who would cancel their orders at the last minute. 

(Janssen Romero/ File photo/ MANILA BULLETIN)

Under House Bill 1010, or the proposed “Magna Carta of E-Commerce Delivery Personnel”, violators or customers who would cancel confirmed orders upon delivery could face a jail term of one to three months and a fine ranging from P10,000 to P50,000.

The proposed measure also provides that “it shall be unlawful for any customer to cancel confirmed orders if the items have already been paid by the delivery rider, is in possession of the delivery driver, or in transit to the customer.”

Those who will be found guilty would also be required to reimburse the online seller and delivery service provider for the value of the item and delivery service fee. 

“The amount of the reimbursement will be twice the cost of confirmed order and delivery fee pertaining to the cancellation,” a statement from Herrera’s office explained. 

The bill will likewise impose harsher penalties for those who would post their cancellations on social media for purposes of pranking, gaining popularity or notoriety, vlogging, among others.

Such a violation would carry the penalty of one- to three-year imprisonment and a fine of P100,000 to P150,000, as well as payment of damages to the seller or delivery service provider. 

The fines would be determined by the court and must be accompanied by a public apology.

Herrera, who described the delivery riders from e-commerce platforms like Grab, Lazada, and Shopee as “inadvertent frontliners” in the fight against COVID-19, sought to ensure the safety and welfare of independent delivery contractors by promoting cashless payment for home deliveries and penalizing cancellation of cash on delivery or COD transactions.

“In order to increase efficiency and protect the welfare of delivery riders whose lives put at stake to keep us safe within our homes, this bill seeks to provide more secure measures to these service providers and penalize those who unreasonably and inconveniently cancel their orders upon delivery,” she said.

The partylist lawmaker argued that cashless transaction will prevent virus transmission and protect delivery workers from unscrupulous customers.

“Customers are more responsible for their purchases when they opt to pay online and in advance, while delivery rider simply transport the items to the customers’ homes without having to bear the costs,” Herrera explained.

Herrera cited a growing number of cases in which customers cancel their orders upon delivery even if the delivery rider has already paid and prepared the items in advance.

Delivery riders, who earn only P15,000 to P20,000 a month, lose “precious time and money, while they are stuck with the customer’s cancelled order.”

“Cancellations for cash deliveries create a triple burden for the delivery riders as they waste time, shoulder expenses, and expose themselves to the dangers of being infected,” she added.