From L to R: TikTok representative Nerissa Tan, TikTok representative Roy Teo, DTI Undersecretary Allan Gepty, DTI Secretary Fred Pascual, TikTok Vice President of Public Policy, Helena Lersch, and PTIC-Singapore Commercial Counsellor Carla Grepo

Singapore––Building on the momentum of the Philippines’ digital transformation initiatives, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Fred Pascual led the discussion with TikTok on 05 June 2024 to strengthen existing partnerships and explore potential collaborations to support the country’s innovative economy.

“Our collaboration with TikTok represents a pivotal step in propelling e-commerce forward in the Philippines. This partnership is poised to significantly bolster the growth and development of the digital marketplace, benefiting businesses, consumers, and the overall economy.

“TikTok’s influence in empowering local micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) is undeniable, and their accelerated adoption of e-commerce is crucial for revolutionizing production sectors, generating high-quality employment opportunities, and elevating the competitiveness of Philippine products on the global stage,” Secretary Pascual emphasized.

TikTok was introduced in the Philippines last May 2017 while the TikTok Shop was launched in April 2022.

In photo: DTI Secretary Fred Pascual with the Philippine delegation during his meeting with TikTok representatives

During the meeting, the DTI recognized TikTok’s generous support as a major sponsor of the upcoming first Cashless Expo, a collaboration between the DTI, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, and the private sector. The expo will be in partnership with the Department of Agriculture, aiming to promote digital payments in the agricultural and trade sectors.

The Philippine delegation also welcomed TikTok’s Safety Enforcement Tool (TSET), a platform designed to promote consumer protection. TSET is a portal built for verified government agencies and law enforcement representatives to securely request and monitor the progress of content takedown.

While the DTI is eager to explore the implementation of TSET, it underscores the critical need for transparent information sharing regarding government reports. With the passage of the ITA, all platforms including TikTok are expected to adhere to the regulations outlined in the new law.

According to Secretary Pascual, the strong partnership between the DTI and TikTok seeks to empower MSMEs, uplift communities, and increase market access, particularly in rural areas, as outlined in the E-Commerce Philippines 2025 Roadmap.

Both parties also discussed possible collaboration in the establishment of a Content Creator Academy to foster Filipino talents and creative minds to pave the way for a deeper digital integration in the country.

Additionally, the DTI commends TikTok for its participation in the e-commerce memorandum of understanding (MOU) facilitated by the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines. This MOU aims to combat counterfeiting and piracy online, fostering a safer e-commerce environment for consumers and brand owners.

Moreover, the DTI chief expressed appreciation for TikTok’s swift action in response to show cause orders issued by the DTI-Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau concerning the sale of vape products. To date, TikTok removed 570 user-generated content and 337 associated products—demonstrating its commitment to comply with local laws and regulations.

“We encourage TikTok to continue its compliance with relevant local laws and regulations. The Philippine government’s task force investigating issues surrounding TikTok will remain impartial and provide the platform with opportunities to address and clarify concerns,” Secretary Pascual said.

TikTok has been a proactive partner of the Philippine government in shaping the future of e-commerce in the country. The company has provided valuable insights and participated in the consultations for the Internet Transactions Act (ITA) and the upcoming E-Commerce Roadmap 2025. ♦

Date of release: 06 June 2024