The new Senate Bill No. 1846, or the proposed Internet Transactions Act, will give the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) the power to shutdown erring e-commerce websites.

The bill is authored by Sen. Mark Villar, which is also the chairperson of the Committee on Trade, Commerce, and Entrepreneurship. The proposed law wants to protect both the merchants and consumers engaged in online transactions by creating a new Electronic Commerce (eCommerce) Bureau.

According to Villar, one of the key provisions of the bill is the requirement for foreign companies and entities to register in the Philippines, especially with the DTI. This means that their information will be available in case their users need to go after them.

In addition, the proposed law will give the DTI the power to takedown entities if need be.

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“Should the site or should the seller not be able to accommodate (consumers’ concerns), there’s a power now that with DTI, under the new eCommerce Bureau, that will allow it (DTI) to either shut down the site or give penalties,” the author said.

During the deliberations on the Senate plenary last March 15, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian asked about the remedies and redress mechanisms for the consumer under the proposed law. Villar responded by saying that an online platform can be held subsidiarily liable if the seller cannot address the concerns of the consumers and if the platform fails to exercise ordinary diligence which resulted in a loss or damage to consumers.

Source: Senate of the Philippines



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