Congress recently passed House Bill 7805 for stronger regulation of the e-commerce industry that has blossomed amid the pandemic.
HB 7805 is a substitute bill to the Internet Transactions Act, which aims to ensure safety in the online trade industry.
House trade and industry committee chair and the bill’s principal author, Wes Gatchalian, said that there was a need to protect both consumer and merchant especially in online transactions and that the existing law, the E-Commerce Act of 2000, did not offer enough to regulate online trade.
“[W]ith a new regulation that covers transactions using the internet, online platforms must exercise due diligence in the onboarding of sellers or otherwise these platforms will be held liable with their merchants,” he said.
He added that it sought “to regulate all business-to-business and business-to-consumer commercial transactions conducted over the internet (and) ensures that competition between online and offline commercial activities is respected.”
The bill would also create an Electronic Commerce Bureau, which is intended to prevent fraudulent practices in e-commerce.
Online platforms such as Shopee and Lazada would also be held liable “should they fail to expeditiously remove or disable access to goods or services appearing on its platform that they know, or should know, to be not compliant with law” or if they allow merchants unauthorized to do business in the country.