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Bill creating e-commerce bureau gets House nod


A House bill proposing the creation of a bureau that will regulate e-commerce transactions has been approved on its third and final reading.
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Regulating internet transactions

According to a report by ABS-CBN News, the House of Representatives approved House Bill No. 4, or the proposed Internet Transactions Act, on Monday.

A total of 245 congressmen voted in favor of the proposed measure, which is one of the priority legislations of the Marcos administration.

This is different from House Bill 4122 which seeks to impose VAT and other duties on non-resident digital service providers like Netflix and Spotify.

This bill seeks to promote an environment founded on trust among consumers and merchants as a means to increase the number of e-commerce participants, and ultimately achieve sustainable growth, the bill's explanatory read, according to a CNN Philippines report.

It shall apply to any stage of all business-to-business and business-to-consumer e-commerce and internet transactions, including those related to internet retail, online travel services, online media providers, ride-hailing services, and digital financial services.

The bill seeks to establish an Electronic Commerce Bureau, or eCommerce Bureau, under the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). This will regulate online commercial activities and protect consumers who engage in online transactions, the Manila Bulletin said.

All individuals engaged in eCommerce shall register as a business either as a sole proprietor, one-person corporation, partnership, corporation, or cooperatives, the bill noted.

The eCommerce Bureau, in coordination with the Department of Information and Communications Technology, will be tasked to maintain a Registry of Online Business that will provide consumers data and information about registered online businesses.

The proposed measure also mandates the DTI chief to order the taking down of online sites, applications, or social media pages that are subject to complain upon due notice or hearing.

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