Two major e-commerce platforms in the Philippines are yet to pay penalties amounting to P2.733 million to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), according to a senior official of the agency.
Tade Undersecretary Ruth B. Castelo said in a television interview on Tuesday that their violations are deceptive, defective and false advertising. Castelo, however, did not identify the e-commerce platforms.
“Mas malaki ‘yung share ng isang platform dun sa isa. The highest we have imposed is about P280,000 per case. We have around eight cases.”
Castelo said the penalties of the two e-commerce platforms have accumulated since 2020.
She also said the sale of deceptive products topped the list of violations, followed by the sale of defective or fake products and false advertising.
Meanwhile, Castelo revealed that DTI has already received a response from the two major platforms, and that one of these platforms “justified its actions.”
In contrast, the other platform expressed support for the Trade department’s efforts in battling scams.
In a statement released by DTI last June 8, Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual announced that he issued a letter addressed to two big ecommerce platforms, ordering them to send an “official explanation” to the DTI concerning recent cases of deceptive, unfair, fraudulent, and unconscionable online sales practices.
“We received a report regarding scammers and sellers of defective, fake, and pirated products in e-commerce platforms. I have already issued a letter addressed to two big e-commerce platforms for them to remove unregistered and unlicensed online merchants. Following numerous notifications, they were given 72 hours to explain,” the Trade chief said.
“The DTI is currently undertaking appropriate measures to intensify our campaign against these fraudulent sales practices. I assure Filipino consumers that we are here to promote and protect their welfare and make sure that these sellers will be made accountable. As we promote the use of e-commerce platforms, we want to make sure that these spaces will be safe for consumers.”
DTI said the report it received indicated that several consumers lodged complaints against various online sellers of fake, defective, or undelivered parcels, which the DTI is currently acting upon.