DTI to parents: Monitor children’s online buying activity

·2 min read

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Cebu has advised parents to watch over their children’s usage of food delivery and online marketplace apps.

The DTI’s call came after a seven-year-old girl in Barangay Mabolo, Cebu City accidentally ordered 42 boxes of two-piece chicken fillet worth P189 each from food delivery marketplace Foodpanda.

“If ever their minor children enter into internet transactions even without bad motive, by negligence or ignorance, the parents assume the civil damages and other liabilities of their minor children,” Ines Cajegas, DTI-Cebu Consumer Protection Division chief, said.

Each box of chicken fillet also contains rice and french fries, and it costs P189. If each of the riders delivered one box, the total amount that the girl’s parents would have paid was P7,938.

Neighbors of the girl took pity on her and bought some of the other orders from the Foodpanda riders. Some neighbors were able to buy, while other riders had to go back bringing the order.

“Parents are the guardians of their minor children. They should guide and supervise what they are doing all the time, including the use of gadgets such as cellphones, iPad, iPod and laptop,” Cajegas said.

One of the girl’s neighbors, Dann Suarez, who took a video of the incident, said the girl’s parents left her a smartphone so she could order food online for herself and her grandmother while they were at work.

Suarez told SunStar Cebu that the girl knew how to use the app as she had been taught by her parents and she had also made orders before. The slow internet connection caused the glitch in the online order, he said.

Cajegas said parents or guardians should always make sure that the children are using the internet safely and responsibly.

“They should educate and regulate their children in accessing or using the internet,” she said.

Around 42 Foodpanda riders brought the orders to the girl’s residence last Nov. 25, 2020.

The girl had accidentally made multiple orders after she tapped the Foodpanda app’s order menu repeatedly following a lag in the Internet connection. (JOB)