Saturday, May 18, 2013

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Ambrosio R. Villorente

Chowking Phils. Kalibo Pays 
Actual/Moral Damages

For failure to deliver the correct products, Chowking Philippines, Kalibo paid Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente the sum of five thousand (P5,000) pesos for actual/moral damages.

On Sunday evening, January 20, 2013, I bought a “Lauriat or Set Meal” which is enough food for three people. Over the counter, I requested a Sr. Citizen discount but I was rejected. I was told company policy does not allow Chowking to grant Sr. Citizen discount for food good for three people like the Lauriat.

Nevertheless, I still bought without any discount. I bought “Set A” which consisted of rice, pancit, buchi, chicharap, chicken and soft drink. It cost me P455.

On my way home, I texted my people at home to wait for me before eating dinner for I have chicken for them I just bought from Chowking. And they waited for me. 

The table was ready for dinner when I arrived home. We unpacked the Chowking food. At first, my family was glad there were two chicharap in styrofoam. However, there was no chicken. We emptied the plastic bag container but no chicken. I was frustrated. I was embarrassed. My family members mocked me. I was humiliated. Our dinner that Sunday evening, January 20, 2013 was delayed. We ate late. We lost appetite. 

I went back to Kalibo hoping to get the correct product ordered and properly paid for my inconvenience and humiliation. It took me unusually long time to go home, back to Kalibo and back home because it was the culmination of the Kalibo Sr. Sto. Niño Ati-atihan Festival in Kalibo.

Upon arrival in Chowking Kalibo, I requested to see and talk to the manager. Mr. Jeffrey Nery, group manager talked with me. I presented to him the problem. First, Chowking refused to follow the Sr. Citizen law especially on giving discount, and second Chowking did not gave the correct product I paid for.

“Therefore, I came back to your store to inform you the kind of service your personnel provide to the customers. This feedback will help you train your personnel to improve your service,” I told Mr. Nery, “I also came back to request replacement of missing products and to pay me five thousand pesos for actual/moral dmages, no more, no less.” However, Mr. Nery can only give me replacement of missing products but not the P5,000 cash for actual/moral damages. The decision to pay is vested upon higher authorities of Chowking. He apologized though for the mistake of his personnel. 

I left his store taking back the products with me to be used as evidence if needed. I told him, I’ll bring the case to the court.

The following day, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013, I reported the incident to barangay chairman, Hon. Inocencio of Estancia, Kalibo. He immediately scheduled the case for hearing. With the assistance of a lawyer, former RTC Judge Niovady M. Marin, we prepared a letter to Chowking Phils. Kalibo demanding that we be paid the amount of eleven (P11,000) thousand pesos for actual and moral damages. A few days later, Chowking Human Resource Development Officer (HRDO) invited me for a meeting “to settle the case”. But she only came to apologize for the bad service. She refused to pay me actual/moral damages and to grant Sr. Citizen Discount to all their products sold. 

The HRDO just came to apologize for its advantage but did not mind paying the damages inflicted to their customers. I said, “I accept apology but you refused to pay actual/moral damages. This will reach the court for proper interpretation of RA 9994. Your policy is designed for Chowking’s advantage and self serving”. 

So the case continues in Barangay Estancia. There were three hearings conducted but Chowking Phils. stood its ground never to pay me actual/moral damages. 

On Feb. 16, 2013, the Office of the Lupong Tagapamayapa, Estancia, Kalibo issued “Certification to File Action” on Brgy. Case No. 014-13 signed by Ms. Rose I. Yeban – Lupon Pangkat Secretary, Mr. Neil M. Alivio – Lupon member, and Atty. Higino C. Macabales – Lupon Pangkat Chairman. 

On April 10, 2013, I filed SCC No. 242 for Actual/Moral Damages versus Chowking Phils. Kalibo, Aklan represented by Mr. Jeffrey Nery with the Municipal Trial Court, Kalibo, Aklan. In my “Statement of Claim” I demanded that Chowking Phils. pays me twenty (P20,000) actual/moral damages. 

In our first hearing in the Municipal Trial Court, Kalibo, Aklan presided by Hon. Alicia A. Cruz-Barrios, Mr. Jeffrey Nerry offered to pay me P5,000 actual/moral damages and to work for the revision of the Chowking Marketing Policy with the end in view to give Sr. Citizen discount to all products of Chowking as provided for in Sr. Citizen law, RA 9994.

After thinking deeply of the offer, I accepted it with the thought this is victory of Sr. Citizen over a giant fast food network that will benefit all Sr. Citizens in the Philippines. The P5,000 is donated to the Scholarship fund of the Rotary Club of Kalibo.

The decision signed by Hon. Alicia A. Cruz-Barrios stated: “dependant through Group Manager Jeffrey Nerry undertakes to follow up the claim of twenty percent discount of Senior Citizens covering all meals and products offered and sold by the company to all clients and shall exert all effort to revise Chowking Memorandum relating to the Claim of Senior Citizen”.

“The dependant…shall pay the plaintiff (Dr. Villorente) the amount of Five Thousand Pesos (P5,000.00) representing the damages incurred by the plaintiff (Dr. Villorente).

The sum of P5,000.00 was paid to me on May 10, 2013 in the office of Hon. Alicia A. Cruz-Barrios which I donated to the Rotary Club Scholarship Foundation. 

The decision on the Civil Case No. Sec. No. 242 for “Actual/Moral Damages” is a grand triumph over a greedy fastfood chain for inferior services and refusal to implement some provisions of RA 9994. /MP  

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