House passes bill regulating e-commerce
Congressmen voted 232-6 in plenary session earlier this week to pass on third and final reading House Bill 7805, the substitute bill to the proposed Internet Transactions Act, which seeks to ensure safety in the online trade industry that has become popular during the lockdown in the past months as the nation faced the coronavirus pandemic.
The STAR/Felicer Santos

House passes bill regulating e-commerce

Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - November 28, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives has passed the bill providing stronger regulation of the P350-billion e-commerce industry in the country.

Congressmen voted 232-6 in plenary session earlier this week to pass on third and final reading House Bill 7805, the substitute bill to the proposed Internet Transactions Act, which seeks to ensure safety in the online trade industry that has become popular during the lockdown in the past months as the nation faced the coronavirus pandemic.

House trade and industry committee chairman Wes Gatchalian, principal author of the bill that he also sponsored during plenary deliberations, cited the need for the measure to protect both consumers and merchants in online transactions.

The Valenzuela congressman explained that the existing E-Commerce Act of 2000 only provided a general framework and does not suffice to regulate online trade.

“The passage of this bill is very timely as we foresee that online transactions will be the new normal even after the coronavirus pandemic. Right now, a lot of platforms accept sellers without conducting background checks. Now, with a new regulation that covers transactions using the internet, online platforms must exercise due diligence in the onboarding of sellers or otherwise these platforms will be held liable with their merchants,” Gatchalian stressed.

He pointed out that “the bill seeks to regulate all business-to-business and business-to-consumer commercial transactions conducted over the internet (and) ensures that competition between online and offline commercial activities is respected.

“Nothing in this law shall give any benefit that is more favorable nor place online activities at a disadvantage,” he added.

HB 7805 specifically seeks to create the Electronic Commerce Bureau, which proponents said would curb fraudulent and deceptive practices in the e-commerce industry.

Gatchalian said the proposed measure would hold e-commerce platforms like Lazada and Shopee liable “should they fail to expeditiously remove or disable access to goods or services appearing on its platform that they know, or should know, to be not compliant with law” or if they “permit an online merchant that is not authorized to do business in the Philippines to offer its goods and services for sale.”

HOUSE
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Recommended
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with