House bill seeks establishment of ?Bureau of E-Commerce? in PH

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A bill seeking to establish a ?Bureau of E-Commerce? attached to the Department of Trade and Industry is under consideration by the House Committee on Government Reorganization.

Photo credit: zdnet.com
Photo credit: zdnet.com

“The proposed Bureau is necessary to address the burgeoning multifarious activities of the e-commerce industry and position our country as an attractive and safe destination for e-commerce,” said Valenzuela representative Wes Gatchalian stressed.

Gatchalian is author of HB 3878 creating the said bureau.

A related bill, HB 80, is also pending with the said House committee and filed earlier by Davao Del Norte reprentative Anthony Del Rosario. It seeks the full implementation of the electronic transactions in all offices of the national and local governments to simplify and promote efficiency in all public transactions with government.

Gatchalian recalled that to facilitate domestic and international dealings, transactions through the use of electronic, optical and other similar mediums, Congress enacted into law R.A. 8792 or the “Electronic Commerce Act of 2000.”

Subsequently, he noted that the E-Commerce Office of the DTI was created with the aim of directly supervising the promotion and development of electronic commerce in the country.

“The e-commerce and Internet sector has therefore evolved rapidly since its early development and the government should take active interest and harness the opportunities offered by this emerging technologies,” Gatchalian pointed out.

The proposed E-Commerce Bureau shall perform the following functions:

a) formulate and/or coordinate the formulation of policies and guidelines in support of e-commerce;

b) formulate and implement plans and programs for further development, implementation and international competitiveness of e-commerce;

c) promote and maintain fair and efficient market conduct and effective competition between persons engaged in commercial activities connected with e-commerce;

d) promote the universal use of electronic transaction in the government and general public;

e) conduct continuing research and development in partnership with the academe towards improving the quality of e-commerce;

f) compile and maintain statistical data and information on e-commerce industry;

g) conduct administrative investigation upon complaint from any consumer for violation of commercial transaction involving electronic commerce;

h) fostering the development and expansion of information and communications services in the world in collaboration with other countries and international organizations;

i) give technical aid to all prosecuting and law-enforcement officers and entities of the Government as well as the courts that may request its services;

j) extend its services, whenever properly requested in the investigation of cases of administrative or civil in nature which the government is interested;

k) conduct technical audit and establish a strong and effective regulatory system on online transaction and e-commerce;

l) monitor and evaluate the implementation of e-commerce policies, plans and programs; and

m) perform such other related functions as the Secretary of Trade and Industry may assign from time to time.

The amount necessary for the initial implementation of the proposed law wil be charged against the fiscal year’s DTI budget and thereafter such sums shall be included in the annual national budget.

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