Registered online businesses soar to 75,000 amid pandemic – DTI
MANILA, Philippines — The number of registered online businesses in the country skyrocketed to 75,000 as many citizens restrained to stay at home became online entrepreneurs amid the coronavirus pandemic.
This was revealed during Wednesday’s hybrid hearing of the House committee on appropriations on the proposed 2021 budget of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and its attached agencies amounting to P20.162 billion.
According to DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, from the 1,700 registered online businesses from January to March this year – or before the coronavirus lockdown started, the number of registered online businesses in the country has since increased to 75,000.
“It jumped several times and especially during the pandemic. We saw the emergence of many, many online businesses,” Lopez said.
Lopez, however, noted that DTI “has been relentless in accepting and processing complaints” related to online businesses.
“At the same time, however, it will require consumer protection that goes with many online transactions. This is where we have also prepared and we have been entertaining consumer complaint also as a result of online business,” Lopez said.
Currently, a proposed measure – House Bill No. 6122 – that aims to protect consumers and sellers online is pending in Congress. If approved, the bill shall be known as the Internet Transaction Act.
Under Memorandum Circular 60-2020 of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), “all persons doing business and earning income in any manner or form, specifically those who are into digital transactions through the use of any electronic platforms and media, and other digital means” are reminded “to ensure that their businesses are registered pursuant to the provisions of Section 236 of the Tax Code, as amended, and that they are tax compliant.”
Later, the BIR clarified that the said memorandum was not targeted towards small-time online sellers, noting that it was not collecting income taxes from those who earn P250,000 or less a year.
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.