Friday, April 19, 2024

Proposed Internet Transactions Act gives DTI takedown powers

Senate Bill No. (SBN) 1846, or the proposed Internet Transactions Act, will give the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) the power to take down erring e-commerce or shopping sites.

Sen. Mark Villar answers questions during the plenary session
Photo from Senate

Sen. Mark Villar, chairperson of the Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship, emphasized this during the period of interpellation of the bill on the Senate plenary on Wednesday, March 15.

The proposed legislation authored by Villar seeks to protect consumers and merchants engaged in Internet transactions through the creation of the Electronic Commerce (eCommerce) Bureau.

According to Villar, one of the important provisions of the measure is the requirement for foreign entities to register locally particularly with the DTI so that their information will be readily available in case consumers need to go after them.

“What’s good about the law is that it gives the DTI the takedown power. Should the site or should the seller not be able to accommodate (consumers’ concerns), there’s a power now that with DTI, under the new eCommerce Bureau, that will allow it (DTI) to either shut down the site or give penalties,” Villar said.

During the deliberations, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, asked Villar about the remedies or redress mechanisms for the consumer under the proposed measure.

“We need to address issues on protecting our consumers, protecting online retailers, and people who participate in online transactions,” Gatchalian stressed.

In response, Villar explained that an online platform may be considered subsidiarily liable if the seller can no longer address the concerns of the consumers and if the digital platform fails to exercise ordinary diligence resulting in the loss or damages to consumers.

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