Senate resolution filed calling for review of e-commerce roadmap

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Sen. Paolo Benigno ?Bam? Aquino, who is slowly emerging as an ICT advocate in the Senate, has filed a resolution seeking to conduct an inquiry on the progress made by the national roadmap for e-commerce since the passage of the E-Commerce Law 14 years ago.

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“We want to know where we are in terms of ICT and if the law has been effective in carrying out plans, program and reforms to boost E-Commerce in the country,” said Aquino.

In the latest World Economic Forum Global Information and Technology report, the Philippines showed a marked improvement with a rank of 78 out of 148 countries from its previous ranking of 86.

“In order to sustain this development, there is a need to assess the roadmap for the e-commerce sector through the aid of appropriate government agencies to promote innovation and further improve the industry’s growth,” Aquino added.

If properly developed, Aquino said Republic Act 8792, better known as the E-Commerce Law, would improve ease of doing business and provide cheaper and faster Internet connection.

Passed in 2000, the senator said the law mandates several government agencies, led by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), to promote and implement a framework that will result to cheap and fast broadband and wireless accessibility, which will allow trade online.

“If implemented to the letter, the E-Commerce Law will be a big help in our mission to give the public cheaper and faster Internet connection to allow them to explore livelihood online,” explained Aquino, chairman of the Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship.

Aquino recently spearheaded the inquiry into the slow and expensive Internet connection in the country.

The lawmaker stressed that the law will help address the country’s problem in terms of ease of doing business as it mandates the establishment of an electronic online network that connects all government agencies down to the regional level.

“With all government agencies connected by a single network, processing of documents will be easier, faster and cheaper because you don’t have to jump from one office to another,” Aquino explained.

E-commerce could also boost job generation with the high demand in online-related jobs such as business process outsourcing (BPO), gaming and animation, and online marketing.

“Also, we are now starting to see the arrival of jobs that can be done without leaving home, such as online writing, design and document analysis,” Aquino explained.

Aside from this, e-commerce will also empower online entrepreneurs who promote and sell their products on the Internet.

“E-commerce could provide more opportunities for livelihood and earning, locally and globally. With Filipinos being online savvy, the world is our market and our opportunities are limitless,” he added.

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