MAKATI CITY, PHILIPPINES — On 22 May 2024, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Fred Pascual led the signing ceremony for the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act No. 11967, or the Internet Transactions Act (ITA) of 2023.

The IRR establishes a clear and comprehensive framework for the implementation of the ITA. This framework is strategically designed to advance Philippine e-commerce towards significant progress and transformation.

Representatives from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the Department of Agriculture (DA), the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), the Department of Health (DOH) and the National Privacy Commission (NPC) joined the DTI in the event as co-signatories of the IRR.

“I think the role of development is in terms of ensuring that regulation does not impede the free development of e-commerce. E-commerce would still be driven by the private sector,” Secretary Pascual said as he emphasized the importance of public and private collaboration in this initiative.

From L to R: DICT Assistant Secretary Renato Paraiso, DA Undersecretary Nora Oliveros, DTI Secretary Fred Pascual, BSP Assistant Governor Mary Anne Lim, and NPC Director Aubin Arn Nieva

The ITA IRR outlines the essential procedures and guidelines for effective interagency collaboration, while also clearly defining the obligations and liabilities for digital platforms, e-marketplaces, e-retailers, online merchants, and online consumers.

As this creates a conducive e-commerce business environment, Secretary Pascual emphasized the law’s potential to create abundant opportunities for countless Filipinos who rely on the internet for their businesses and services.

“I am confident that this law and the IRR will positively revolutionize e-commerce in the Philippines. By fostering trust in online transactions, we are creating more opportunities for high-quality and better-paying jobs, aligning with President Marcos Jr.’s vision of a digital and future-ready Bagong Pilipinas,” said the trade chief.

The E-Commerce Bureau will lead interagency collaboration to address cross-cutting issues, such as digital payments, agriculture and health products, data privacy, complaints and dispute resolutions, intellectual property, and tax, among others. 

During the opening remarks, DTI Undersecretary and E-Commerce Lead Mary Jean T. Pacheco underscored the remarkable journey of the law’s passage. In the 18th Congress, the ITA went through extensive deliberations by legislators, government policymakers, and the public. Likewise, the IRR was finalized through several Technical Working Group (TWG) meetings, deep dive sessions, and public consultation.  

Secretary Pascual lauded the ITA IRR committee members. He commended their unwavering support, insightful contributions, and legal expertise—all of which were instrumental in the finalization of the rules and regulations of the law.

Likewise, the DTI chief commended the representatives from other government agencies, E-Commerce Promotion council members, development and learning partners, and other stakeholders present for their unified efforts in driving the country’s digital progress.

Senator Mark A. Villar, the principal author and sponsor of the ITA in the Senate, extended his gratitude and support to this achievement.

“Now that we have the IRR of the law, we can now expect that our e-commerce will effectively grow while offering both consumers and merchants the security that the provisions of the ITA offer,” he remarked. 

With the ITA as one of the major accomplishments of the Marcos Jr. administration, the IRR signing ceremony marks a significant step towards enhancing e-commerce in the Philippines by making it fast, easy, and secure. 

This initiative also advances the implementation of the e-Commerce Philippines 2028 Roadmap which supports the development of digital farm-to-market routes, promotes the tourism sector, and protects copyright-based industries. ♦

Date of release: 23 May 2024