The Department of Trade Industry (DTI) rolled out on Friday, Jan. 29, its e-commerce roadmap, eyeing the sector to value at P1.2 trillion or sharing 5.5 percent of the economy by 2022.
From 2020’s baseline value of P599 billion, or contributing 3.4 percent to gross domestic product (GDP), DTI is targeting e-commerce to grow its GDP share to 4.3 percent or infusing P850 billion in the domestic economy.
“Further, we hope to increase the number of e-commerce enterprises from 500,000 in 2020 to 750,000 by 2021, and 1 million by 2022,” said DTI secretary Ramon Lopez in a virtual briefing.
Lopez added that the country should take advantage how the pandemic boosted the local e-commerce industry.
“As our economy recovers from the pandemic, we can harness the fast-growing e-commerce in the country to boost our economic growth. We’ve already seen how e-commerce has come to our rescue – and was ready to fill the void left by brick-and-mortar businesses unable to serve our people – because of the lockdowns,” he said.
The DTI chief said that in order to grow the e-commerce sector in the country, there should be a fast, reliable, and affordable communications network coupled with efficient financial and logistics systems and infrastructure.
The structure should also be put in place such as e-government, e-commerce institutions, skills capacity and trainings, he added.
The local e-commerce environment should also be secured by reinforcing improvements in regulations for Internet transactions, established security standards, and well-informed online sellers and buyers.
“Building trust is our challenge. Unfortunately, the uptake of e-commerce has resulted in an increase in consumer complaints,” Lopez said.
According to the DTI Consumer Protection Group, complaints related to online transactions hit 15,947 in 2020. For January 2021 alone, online complaints reached 857.
“For e-commerce to succeed, government and private sector must install redress mechanisms that are far more efficient than what we have today. But we must also instill values and ethics in our citizens — both merchants and consumers alike — to serve as the foundation of trust in our country’s e-commerce,” said Lopez. — Kris Crismundo (PNA)