THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said the Internet Transactions Act (ITA) will allow it to effectively protect consumers against unfair online business practices.
“The ITA is a landmark measure as it comes at a time when online selling and online buying are now part of our way of life,” Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual said in a statement on Thursday.
The measure, signed this week, provides for more extensive monitoring of electronic commerce (e-commerce) companies with the creation of an online business registry and an e-commerce bureau.
“We are particularly looking forward to the creation of an e-commerce bureau that will also provide the DTI much needed resources, both human, and financial, in implementing our mandate to develop and promote e-commerce in the country,” Mr. Pascual said.
The e-commerce bureau will be an arm of the DTI, and will implement the law, as well as the Electronic Commerce Act of 2000 and the Philippine E-Commerce Roadmap.
“The e-commerce bureau shall also encourage the establishment of an e-commerce trust mark in close collaboration with the private sector and maintain a government-wide online consumer complaint tracking system that will be actively monitored by the DTI,” it said.
In a separate statement, the DTI said business groups and private companies have expressed their support on the signing of the ITA.
Philippine Retailers Association President Roberto S. Claudio said the law “will ensure a level playing field between traditional and online retailing to benefit Filipino consumers and merchants in the changing omnichannel environment.”
Fintech Alliance Philippines Founding Chairman Lito Villanueva said that the law will also set standards and institutionalize a code of conduct within the eCommerce ecosystem.
“This is a critical component toward a sustainable and inclusive digital economy. We look forward to working with the DTI and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas particularly on incentivizing digital payments to increase adoption by businesses and consumers,” he said.
PLDT Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer Alfredo S. Panlilio said that the legislation will further strengthen the digital economy by enhancing relationships between online merchants and online consumers.
“This will help ensure the safety and security of internet transactions, which are the building blocks of a dynamic e-commerce ecosystem,” Mr. Panlilio said. — Justine Irish D. Tabile