Photo Release

February 7, 2023

Internet Transactions Bill reaches Senate plenary: Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship chairperson Sen. Mark Villar sponsors on Tuesday, February 7, 2023 Senate Bill No. (SBN) 1846 or the proposed Internet Transactions Act. Committee Report No. 22, which consolidated the bills filed by Senate President Juan Miguel "Migz" F. Zubiri, Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda, Majority Leader Joel Villanueva, and Senators Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada, Imee Marcos, Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. and Villar, seeks to protect both merchants and consumers engaged in internet transactions. In pushing for the passage of the bill, Villar noted unresolved complaints from consumers victimized by fraudulent transactions online. He said that while consumer protection measures are currently in place, there is a lack of a law that specifically covers internet transactions. SBN 1846 calls for the establishment of the "E-Commerce Bureau" under the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) which shall have authority over activities conducted over the internet. It also imposes penalties against online merchants and retailers, as well as e-marketplaces and other digital platforms should they fail to fulfill their responsibilities and violate consumer rights. "I believe it is high time to have a law that would solve issues and problems regarding the e-commerce industry," Villar said in Filipino. "It is my hope that the Internet Transactions Act will now formalize and organize e-commerce in the Philippines," he added. (Bibo Nueva España/Senate PRIB)