January 31, 2023 @ 2:30 AM 2 months ago

MALABON City Rep. Jaye Lacson-Noel assured that both consumers and online merchants along with ride-hailing providers will now be fully protected with the passage of House Bill 00004 or the Internet Transactions Act.

Her bill will also pave the way for the establishment of the e-Commerce Bureau that’ll be under the Department of Trade and Industry.

This will be headed by a director who’ll be appointed by the President, said Rep. Lacson-Noel who expressed gratitude to her colleagues led by House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez and Senior Deputy Majority Leader Sandro Marcos, the son of President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr.

“This bill, which was already transmitted to the Senate, once it becomes a law will surely guarantee the protection for both consumers and merchants in online transactions which have become a trend when we’re struck by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Her bill adhered to the policy of the State to promote and maintain a robust electronic commerce environment in the country by building trust between online merchants and consumers.

On the functions of the e-Commerce Bureau, Rep. Lacson-Noel said it’s primarily tasked to implement, monitor and ensure strict compliance by e-commerce stakeholders of the provisions of the law.

While the interest of the consumers, online merchants or e-commerce platform operators as well as the ride-hailing providers are fully protected under the bill, they have mutual obligations that they must observe and follow.

For online merchants, they must ensure that any commercial communication should be clearly identifiable as a commercial communication and so the person on whose behalf the commercial communication is made, among others.

While the online merchant could be liable to the consumer because of a lack of conformity with the contract resulting from an act or omission by a person in earlier links of the chain of transactions, “the online merchant is entitled to pursue remedies against the person or persons liable in the chain of transactions,” she said.

“Also, the consumer is not entitled to a remedy to the extent that the consumer has contributed to the lack of conformity with the contract or its effects,” she stressed.