The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Region 2, through its Consumer Protection Division (CPD), attended the committee hearing on the proposed legislation entitled: “An Ordinance Providing Protection Against Online Fraud, Online Scam and Providing Penalties Thereof”, authored and sponsored by Cagayan Third District Board Member Hon. Atty. Mila Catabay-Lauigan, on 23 January 2024 at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Session Hall, Legislative Building, Capitol Hills, Tuguegarao City.

DTI R2 CPD Division Chief Atty. Cyrus I.  Restauro shared the salient points of the newly passed Internet Transactions Act of 2023 to serve as a reference for the provisions of the proposed local legislation. The Internet Transactions Act of 2023 or Republic Act no. 11967 was signed into law on 6 December 2023. The law aims to promote and maintain a robust e-commerce environment in the country by building trust between online merchants and consumers.

More so, he also discussed the key provisions which include the definition of Internet Transactions, its application to business-to-consumers transactions and even business-to-business (B2B), extra-territorial application, equal treatment to online and offline commercial activities, establishment of the E-Commerce Bureau, creation of an online business database, establishment of an E-commerce Philippines “Trustmark”, regulatory jurisdiction of the DTI, DTI Secretary’s authority to issue “Compliance” and “Takedown” orders against e-retailer or online merchant, blacklisting of Online Businesses, development of an “Online Dispute Resolution (ODR)” within six months from effectivity of the law and “Code of Conduct” for e-commerce businesses, obligations of Online Consumer, remedies of Online Consumer, obligations of e-marketplace (Section 21), obligations of other digital platforms and e-retailers/merchants, exhaustion of remedies, liabilities of parties involved, and the prescriptive period of actions.

Board Member Lauigan also emphasized that the purpose of the committee hearing is to get the stakeholders’ inputs to truly embody their voices in the proposed legislation.

Also present were DTI Cagayan Provincial Office CPD Division Chief Lourdito B. Antonio, members of the Committee on Trade, Commerce, and Industry of the Province of Cagayan, headed by Ex-Officio Board Member Hon. Maria Rosario B. Soriano, third-party service couriers, and members of the Online Sellers Association. ♦

Date of release: 29 January 2024