DTI aiming to complete e-commerce roadmap this year

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is aiming to complete the country’s e-commerce roadmap within the year.

“We are working on an e-commerce roadmap. Hopefully it can be completed by end of the year,” Trade Assistant secretary Jean Pacheco said during the online dialogue of the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines with the DTI.

Through the e-commerce roadmap 2022, the government aims to improve market access of enterprises through digitalization and logistics integration.

Pacheco said Philippine e-commerce has accelerated   due to the pandemic as more people shift to online purchases to avoid getting exposed to  the virus.

From January to March 15, Pacheco said business names for retail sale via the internet registered with the DTI reached only 1,753. By Oct.8, the number has risen to 82,100.

Of the total online businesses registered with the DTI, Pacheco said 22 percent came from the National Capital Region, followed by Calabarzon with 18 percent.

As online business names registered with the DTI increase, so does the number of consumer complaints received by the agency.

Trade Undersecretary Ruth Castelo said the agency   received a total of 13,981 consumer complaints over internet transactions as of Oct.2, a dramatic surge from only 2,457   last year.

She said the top three complaints received were related to the Price Act, defective products, and deceptive or unfair sales acts or practices.

Of the total complaints over online transactions received by the agency, Castelo said 1,351 have been resolved, while 8,000 were endorsed to concerned government agencies and 1,110 were dismissed due to lack of data, or the complainant’s decision to withdraw.

Other complaints have either been elevated, archived or  are being processed.

Meanwhile, the total number of complaints received for offline transactions reached 31,561 as of Oct.2, exceeding the previous year’s 8,461.

“We assure you all complaints to the DTI are acted upon or endorsed,” Castelo said.

Castelo said e-commerce is seen to continue to rise in the country and as such, the DTI would be closely monitoring the situation to protect both consumers and merchants.

“What we are doing now is to build trust on e-commerce. We want more merchants selling online and consumers online,” she said.

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