House approves Internet Transactions bill

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By: Manila Bulletin

The House of Representatives on Monday night approved on second reading the bill proposing to regulate commercial transactions in the internet in a bid to stamp out fraud and abuses committed not only by online businesses but also by consumers and website operators.

Authored by Valenzuela City Rep. Wesley Gatchalian, House Bill 7805 or the proposed Internet Transactions Act was approved just an hour after the bill was sponsored on the floor.

Aside from identifying unlawful acts in internet sale of services and goods, the bill also proposes the creation of the e-Commerce Bureau that will be tasked to implement the provisions of the proposed law.

Platforms with online merchants can be held liable if they fail to exercise due diligence to protect consumers; if they know that the items in their platform do not conform with law or fail to publish details of their merchants, among others.

Gatchalian said that in the “absence of law, platforms like Lazada and Shoppee” do not exercise due diligence in order to sell more goods.

The bill proposes an e-Commerce Code of conduct that includes guarantee for equal application of rights of consumers and their treatment with “honesty, integrity and fairness at all times.”

 

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