Lawmaker files bill to give more protection for e-commerce couriers

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 6) — A member of the House of Representatives is pushing for a measure to protect independent couriers amid the COVID-19 crisis.

In a statement on Sunday, House Deputy Majority Leader and Bagong Henerasyon Rep. Bernadette Herrera said House Bill 7559 or the proposed “Magna Carta of E-Commerce Delivery Personnel, aims to provide wider protection for independent couriers for e-commerce companies like Shopee and Lazada, saying they have become "inadvertent frontliners."

The bill was filed on September 1, 2020.

“In order to increase efficiency and protect the welfare of delivery riders whose lives are 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,” Herrera said in the statement.

She cited instances where customers cancel their orders upon delivery when these have already been paid for by the courier.

The bill seeks to prohibit the cancellation by any customer of confirmed orders upon delivery, and the cancellation of 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.”

Violators could be fined up to ₱50,000, and they would be made to reimburse the 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," the statement said.

There are harsher penalties for those who post the cancellation on social media — one to three years imprisonment and a fine of up to ₱150,000.