Press Release
August 26, 2023

Bong Go pushes for interventions to protect consumers versus fake products

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go expressed his concern over the unchecked proliferation of fake products in the market, emphasizing the grave socio-economic consequences it may bring.

Go, member of the Senate Committee on Trade, called upon the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and other agencies to ensure full implementation of the Consumer Act and protect consumer rights.

"Nasa Senate Committee on Trade na ang isyu hinggil sa proliferation ng mga fake products sa merkado. At bilang miyembro ng komiteng ito, asahan na talagang tutukan ko ang isyung ito," Go said.

This, after the reported proliferation of scammers exploiting celebrity visuals for unregistered medicine endorsements.

Go also earlier stressed the need to regulate the operations of online pharmacies in the country, as proposed under the eBotika bill, which was filed by Iloilo 4th District Representative Ferjenel Biron.

Meanwhile, the senator's commitment to consumer protection is evident in his co-sponsorship and co-authorship of Senate Bill 1846, or the Internet Transactions Bill, aimed at combating the proliferation of fake products through the protection of consumers and merchants engaged in e-commerce.

The bill reflects a timely response to the global pandemic's impact on boosting online businesses nationwide, where the risk of encountering fake products has increased.

"The pandemic required us to explore new ways and more convenient options to do business. As we enter the new normal, online transactions have become a necessity, if not the new norm for all of us. This makes the issue of fake products even more pressing," cited Go.

He further noted the vast coverage of e-commerce, including basic needs like food, drink, and clothing, where fake products can infiltrate the market. The country's internet economy is projected to grow to $26 billion in Gross Merchandise Value by 2025, according to Google and Temasek's 2021 eConomy SEA Report, highlighting the urgency to address the fake products issue.

Go emphasized the importance of protecting small businesses and online sellers from this threat, especially during these times, as it is crucial to the country's recovery.

"Protektahan po natin ang ating mga maliliit na negosyo at ating mga online sellers na ang gusto lamang ay maghanapbuhay para sa kanilang mga pamilya, lalung-lalo na po ngayong panahong ito," said Go.

"The proliferation of fake products undermines their efforts and is detrimental to the recovery of our country," he stressed.

The proposed law also seeks to mandate the creation of an e-Commerce Bureau under the DTI for better regulation of fake products and provides for the regulatory jurisdiction of the DTI over e-marketplaces, e-retailers, and other digital platforms that may be conduits for fake products.

Furthermore, Go continues to advocate for the digitalization of government transactions to reduce red tape, prevent corruption, and improve service delivery.

He filed Senate Bill 194, the proposed E-governance Act, to strengthen data sharing among government agencies and digitalize traditional workflows.

"The government must use information and communications technology to better serve its purpose and get closer to the people in an era where practically everything can be done online and through other digital channels," said Go.

"This includes taking decisive action against the proliferation of fake products that threaten our economy and the well-being of our citizens," he earlier said.

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