The Department of Trade and Industry Regional Office III joins the world in commemorating World Consumer Rights Day on March 15. The WCRD celebration for 2018 is themed – “making digital market places fairer.” The event also shares the Internet hashtag “#betterdigitalworld”.
The commemoration of WCRD in the country is a show of solidarity and collaboration with other nations to advocate for global consumerism in the digital world. The theme distinctly emphasizes the importance of the digital market place in the economic activities of consumers.
 The rise in internet use and advancement of communication technology for consumers in the past 15 years has put a significant impact on economies around the world, creating many new benefits including better communication, access to information and products, more choices and convenience. According to Consumer International, the percentage of the world’s population with access to the internet has grown from 1% in 1995, to almost 50% in 2017. It also said that during the same time frame, e-commerce has grown at a fast pace. In 2016, an estimated 1.61 billion people worldwide purchased goods online and e-commerce sales amounted to 1.9 trillion U.S. dollars around the world. Projections show that this will grow up to 4.06 trillion U.S. dollars by 2020.
The Department of Trade and Industry Regional Office III along with other government agencies join in the celebration of WCRD 2018 with the reminder that digital market places will be fairer and safer, if consumers are vigilant when transacting online. Consumers are asked to provide feedback of their online transactions to appropriate government agencies. The agency also reminded online businesses to register with the appropriate government entities for them to be given legal identity and protection. The DTI-3 office also reminded online sellers that Republic 8792 or the Electronic Commerce Act of 2000 provides for the recognition and use of electronic commercial and non-commercial transactions and documents, and provides penalties for unlawful use of electronic commerce for unfair trade practice.♦