STAKEHOLDERS including major digital platforms in the Philippines said the signing of the Internet Transactions Act (ITA) will help protect both online consumers and merchants and will propel the growth of digital economy.
On Tuesday, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. signed Republic Act No. 11967 or “An Act Protecting Consumers and Merchants Engaged in Internet Transaction, creating for this purpose the Electronic Commerce Bureau” or the Internet Transactions Act (ITA) into law.
In a statement on Thursday, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) cited the stakeholders who have rallied behind the law.
The Philippine Retailers Association (PRA) said this law will “ensure the level playing field between traditional and online retailing to benefit Filipino consumers and merchants in the changing omnichannel environment.”
Representing the Supply Chain Management Association of the Philippines, Pierre Carlo Curay, Vice President of SCMAP, called the Internet Transactions Act a “game changer,” noting that e-commerce has grown “dramatically” since the pandemic. With this, he said ITA will support that growth while securing the integrity of the ecosystem.
Major e-commerce platforms such as Zalora, Foodpanda, Pickaroo, Lazada, Shopee and Lalamove said the signing of the law will ensure protection of both online consumers and merchants.
Foodpanda, an online food and grocery delivery platform, said the ITA plays a “crucial role” in building trust in online platforms, as more Filipinos go digital.
“It helps to create a balance between business and consumer interests while ensuring a fair landscape, particularly for MSMEs. We commend the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for championing the ITA’s development, and we are committed to supporting the growth and success of the e-Commerce sector,” said Foodpanda CEO Daniel Marogy.
Pick-a-roo, a delivery app, called the law an “additional cornerstone in its mission of bridging the gap between businesses and Filipino households.”
“As we welcome the implementation of such, Pick.A.Roo reaffirms its commitment of having safety and security stand as pillars in every digital transaction moving forward,” Eric Bataga, CEO of Pick-a-roo said.
Lalamove Philippines Managing Director Djon Nacario said the same-day truck delivery firm sees the ITA law as a “major step from the government in solidifying the protection of online consumers and merchants.”
Shopee, one of the leading e-commerce platforms in Southeast Asia, said through its Philippine Head Vincent Lee the law promotes a “more trustworthy e-commerce landscape.”
Lazada, another major e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia, recognized the “pivotal role” of the law in shaping a “secure” e-commerce ecosystem in the country.
“This Act will propel our continued efforts to create a safer online experience for sellers and buyers on our platform,” Carlos Barrera, CEO of Lazada Philippines.
Online shopping platform Zalora said the ITA will “surely play a transformative role in bolstering consumer confidence, propelling the growth of the digital economy, and ultimately empowering Filipino consumers.”
Suzy Pronstroller, Regional Legal Counsel, Zalora said Zalora looks forward “to working closely with the Department of Trade and Industry to ensure compliance with the law and continuously enhance our practices to deliver an unparalleled and secure online shopping experience.”
Through the government’s lens, Trade and Industry Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual said the ITA is a “landmark” measure as it comest at a time when online selling and online buying is now a “way of life” in the country.
He underscored the role that DTI will play under the law, which mandates it to create an e-commerce bureau.
“Under the law, the regulatory framework is set, and powers are provided to DTI that will allow the Department to effectively protect consumers against unfair trade practices done online,” Pascual said in a statement on Thursday.