MANILA, Philippines – As online delivery becomes in demand under the new normal due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, a number of food delivery riders have been encountering pranks or mischievous tricks.
Just like the experiences of John Padua and Mico Miranda who are both Grab food riders.
“Noong una, sumasagot siya. Nakikipag-usap pa sa amin. Pagdating ko doon sa location na, na bahay o iyong mismong address, noong kinakatok ko na iyong bahay, wala daw ganoong tao doon [Initially, (the prankster) was replying. When I reached the house address, I asked for the person but the owner of the house said there was no such person there],” recounted John Padua/
“Noong tinatawagan ko na iyong number ulit, hindi na siya lumabas [When I dialed the number again, the prankster could no longer be reached],” he said.
Mico Miranda said they are left without any choice but to bring the food items home and accept the fact that their limited capital went down the drain.
“Kadalasan kapag na-fake booking kami, mga P300 o P400 worth, inuuwi na lang namin [Most of the time when we encounter fake bookings of about P300 or P400-worth, we have no choice but to bring the items home],” he said.
“Kapag mga P500 pataas na, mabigat na kasi iyan. Puhunan lang namin P2,000 o P1,500 tapos mapi-fake booking ka pa ng P500. Ang laking kabawasan na at saka masakit sa dibdib [If it’s above P500, that’s too much. We only have a capital of P2,000 or P1,500. A fake booking of P500 or higher, that’s too much to bear],” he added.
In a bid to address this problem, AKO Bicol Party-list Representative Alfredo Garbin Jr, filed in Congress the proposed Food and Grocery Delivery Services Protection Act.
House Bill Number 6958 seeks to protect delivery riders and their corresponding service providers from invalid order cancellations and from people who have no intention of paying up.
Under the bill, orders that are already paid for, in the possession of the delivery rider or already in transit can no longer be canceled.
Pranksters who have no intention of paying the products and services as well as those who will humiliate the riders will be penalized.
Customers that will not pay, might be imprisoned for 6 to 12 years or face a fine of P100,000 pesos.
While those who will demean delivery riders may be jailed for 6 months to 6 years, if the proposed legislation becomes a law.
During Wednesday’s (June 10) episode of Get It Straight with Daniel Razon, Rep. Garbin also added that they have placed some safeguards in the bill such as video call and proof of billing address in order for the riders to confirm the customers’ identity.
“Gustong ilagay na safeguard, bago mag-accept ng orders may authentication ng identity [As for safeguards, there should be an authentication of identity before the rider accepts the order],” he said.
“As much as possible may proof of billing na nakuha yung service provider so that talagang genuine o totoo legitimate yung mga orders..at least have a video call [As much as possible, the service provider get a proof of billing to make sure that the orders are genuine or legitimate…at least have a video call],” he added.
The lawmaker is also considering including a provision of requiring service providers to set a cash scheme in place to prevent riders from suffering the burden of prank transactions. —MNP (with reports from Joan Nano)