President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has signed a new legislative act into law that will significantly enhance e-commerce in the Philippines and create more high-quality jobs, according to Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual.
The new law, called the Internet Transactions Act (ITA), aims to boost and safeguard e-commerce transactions in the country and is part of the administration’s legislative agenda aimed at building trust in e-commerce and ensuring the development and promotion of e-commerce in the country.
Pascual expressed his department’s gratitude for President Marcos in promoting the ITA as one of his administration’s 20 priority bills and for Congress’s support in passing the law. The ITA, also known as R.A 11967, was signed into law last Tuesday and aims to protect consumers and merchants engaged in internet transactions.
Under the new law, the DTI will have the regulatory framework and necessary powers to protect consumers against unfair trade practices done online. The establishment of an e-commerce bureau is anticipated, providing the DTI with the resources needed for promoting and developing e-commerce in the country.
The ITA mandates the DTI, through the e-commerce bureau, to create an online business database, encourage the establishment of an e-commerce trust mark, and maintain a government-wide online consumer complaint tracking system.
The new law also sets regulatory jurisdiction for the DTI over internet transactions and provides it with powers and authority to issue compliance orders against violators. Liabilities of online merchants, penalties for violators, and the active participation of the private sector in ensuring a safe cyberspace for Filipinos were also emphasized by Pascual.
Numerous stakeholders from the private sector, including digital platforms, social media platforms, banks, and retailers, have voiced their support for the new law, emphasizing its significant role in setting standards and institutionalizing a code of conduct within the e-commerce ecosystem.
Research institutions and donor agencies have also expressed their support for safeguarding the rights of consumers and merchants in the e-commerce landscape through the passage of the ITA.