DTI seeks speedy passage of Internet Transactions Act | Inquirer Business

DTI seeks speedy passage of Internet Transactions Act

MANILA  -The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is pushing for the quick passage of the proposed Internet Transactions Act (ITA), amid the continued prevalence of complaints from consumers related to transactions made over the internet.

The DTI on Wednesday said such a law would put in place the mechanisms that would safeguard merchants and consumers as they transact online, including the planned online business registry and  the implementation of an eCommerce Philippine Trustmark.

The trustmark will be given to merchants that uphold the rights of consumers and practice responsible business, it added.


The proposed legislation also authorizes the trade secretary to make issuances directing the takedown of a website, webpage, online application, social media account, or other similar platforms found in violation of the law for a maximum of 30 days.


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“We need the ITA law passed. We hope its enactment can be fast tracked,” said Trade Undersecretary Ruth Castelo, who heads the government agency’s consumer protection group.

The DTI recorded 5,701 complaints related to online transactions during the first five months of the year, almost half of the 12,170 that it recorded for the whole of 2022.

In the two years prior to that, the government agency received 12,152 and 15,967 of these types of complaints, respectively.

Castelo had told the Inquirer earlier that the substantial decrease in the number of these complaints comparing 2022 and 2020 figures could be attributed to the measures put in place by e-commerce platforms, as well as the return on in-person purchases.

Online transaction complaints up slightly last year

Earlier this month, Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual sent letters to two big e-commerce firms—which are supposedly Shopee and Lazada—asking them to explain consumer reports of scammers and sellers of defective, fake and pirated products on their platforms.


In the meantime, the DTI has called on the public to be cautious, especially when engaging in transactions online.

“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,” Castelo said.

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“We should also check the reviews posted by other buyers and keep a record of our transactions,” she added.

TAGS: Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), legislation, online transaction

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