The Internet Transactions Act (ITA) will provide security for online transactions both from consumers and merchants that is why the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is pushing for its urgent passing.
Under the ITA, transactions will take place through Online Business Registry and eCommerce Philippine Trustmark in order to practice "responsible business" for merchants and promote the upholding rights of the consumers.
The act is in time to the ballooning online complaints like, fake identities, unregistered sales promotion, malicious online shopping sites and pyramiding.
DTI's Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB) received a total of 27,947 complaints in 2022 where 12, 170 of them are complaints on online transactions.
Having that in mind, the trade department has an ongoing consumer education campaign against the proliferation of scams and other fraudulent activities while having coordination with Philippine National Police (PNP), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and other related agencies.
Atty. Ruth Castelo, DTI Consumer Protection Group undersecretary, calls to fast track the ITA passed into law.
"Before making a purchase, you should select merchants carefully and confirm the online seller's physical address and phone number. This will help DTI in clamping down on scammers in the online platform. Consumers must also review the return policy of the store," said Castelo.
Upon passing into law, DTI will expand their power to turn down "website, webpage, online application, social media account, and/ or similar platforms" for a maximum of 30 days when violation is proven.