‘Mine’ it right: Revisiting guidelines for online businesses

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Photo from Canva

By Business World

If there are any silver linings from the COVID-19 pandemic, one would probably be the public’s increased enthusiasm for making use of technology in their daily lives. For the retail industry, we have seen the transition of consumers from shopping in physical stores to checking-out or “mine-ing” in online shops. Even now that the COVID restrictions have been relaxed, many still seek the convenience and advantages of purchasing online.

To protect the rights and interests of consumers online, several government agencies, particularly the Departments of Trade and Industry (DTI), Agriculture (DA), Health (DoH), Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), as well as the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) and the National Privacy Commission (NPC), issued Joint Administrative Order (JAO) No. 22-01. This JAO is also known as the Guidelines for Online Businesses Reiterating the Laws and Regulations Applicable to Online Businesses and Consumers.

JAO No. 22-01 reminds online businesses of their responsibilities to build trust in e-commerce and to always protect and uphold the interest of consumers by complying with all Philippine laws, rules, and regulations. It also indicates the liabilities of online businesses, e-commerce platforms and e-marketplaces, as well as responsibilities of government agencies and remedies available to consumers.

As we are nearing the holiday season, when consumers tend to do more online shopping in preparation for the festivities, let us revisit some of the key points of JAO No. 22-01, which addresses the usual concerns in online transactions:

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