DTI supports legislation to boost e-commerce law in PH

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MANILA, June 15 (Mabuhay) — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), in commemoration of the 20th year of Republic Act 8792 or the Electronic Commerce Act of 2000, has committed to implement policies to strengthen and grow e-commerce in the country while supporting current legislative measures by Congress.

“Twenty years after this pioneering legislation was passed, we need to revisit the law to make it more relevant to the times and future-proofing it. We need to take into account the substantial developments in technology, the widespread use of (the) internet, and the growing e-commerce sector,” DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said in a statement Sunday.

The eCommerce Act was signed on June 14 2000. 

Lopez said there was an accelerated adoption of e-commerce during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) amid the current coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

“To strengthen e-commerce in the country, DTI is supporting the various bills related to e-commerce, particularly House Bill 6122 or the ‘Internet Transactions Act’ authored by Trade Committee Chair Representative Wes Gatchalian,” he said.

HB 6122 seeks to establish an eCommerce Bureau that will, among others, focus on promoting the development of e-commerce in the country by building trust between sellers and consumers, stronger online consumer protection, safer e-payment gateways, easier online business registration, and formulating other policies and programs to increase the number of online merchants and consumers.

Aside from the Internet Transactions Bill, various related bills are being tackled in Congress that aim to promote the digital economy. These include HB 6927 on e-Government Act principally authored by Deputy Speaker Lray Villafuerte; HB 6926 and Senate (SB) 1469 on the national digital careers act; and SB 1470 on the National Digital Transformation policy.

Lopez said the country needs to update its 20-year-old eCommerce Act of 2000, the DTI is also bringing our eCommerce Philippines 2022 Roadmap up to date.

“With a strategy that focuses on ‘Security, Speed, and Structure’ to increase Sales, DTI is moving to further bolster e-commerce in the country. But we also need to strengthen protection of online consumers and online merchants, particularly our micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs),” he added.

The 2019 Google Temasek study indicated that e-commerce in the Philippines is expected to grow from USD2.5 billion in 2019 to USD12 billion in 2025.

Likewise, according to statistics from EuroMonitor, there is a huge potential for growth of online commerce given that it accounts for only 3.78 percent of total retail in the Philippines valued at USD63.2 billion.

“With e-commerce growing and evolving, we need to tackle structural and legal impediments to e-commerce and digital marketplace growth. The upshot is that this is expected to boost our economy in terms of opening markets to facilitate sales and consumption, upgrading traditional manufacturing and service, and developing new industries for business opportunities,” Lopez said.  (MNS)

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