On 30 January 2020 Representative Wes Gatchalian submitted House Bill 6122 or the Internet Transactions Act.
With the rapid growth of internet transactions in the Philippines, many Filipinos are now selling their wares and services online through different internet platforms available in the country. Thus, it is important that a law be passed regulating these sales for the protection of the parties involved and the public in general.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many realized, including lawmakers, that internet sales and transactions are becoming more of a necessity due to convenience and safety. Thus, resulting in this bill given the limelight.
SALIENT PROVISIONS OF HOUSE BILL 6122
What industries do the Internet Transactions Bill Cover?
- Internet retail of consumer goods;
- Online travel services, covering the purchase of flights, hotel accommodations, and vacation rental spaces;
- Digital media providers, including advertising, gaming, music subscription, and video on demand;
- Ride hailing services for personal transport, delivery of food and merchandise; and
- Financial services offered through digital online platforms, such as online payments, remittances, online lending, online investment, and online insurance services.
What is the eCommerce Bureau under the Internet Transactions Bill?
Is the regulatory body that will be created by law to monitor these eCommerce businesses. Their specific functions are the following:
- Implement, monitor, and ensure strict compliance by eCommerce stakeholders of the provisions of this Act;
- Build trust between consumers and sellers to promote eCommerce growth; Coordinate the formulation of policies, plans and programs to increase the number of online merchants and consumers;
- Act as a virtual one stop shop for consumer complaints on internet transactions, and facilitate the speedy resolution of consumer complaints by the respective government agency which has jurisdiction over the complaint
- Compel or petition any entity, government agency or instrumentality of take action on any matter that may impeded eCommerce;
- Monitor the compliance of other government agencies or instrumentalities on their compliance to the provisions of this Act and the eCommerce roadmap;
- Represent the Philippines in international negotiations to promote cross border eCommerce transactions;
- Collect, compile, analyze, abstract, and publish eCommerce data for policy formulation and program development;
- Prepare and conduct periodic studies on eCommerce;
- Collaborate with departments of the national government including local government units and government-owned or controlled corporations in implementing programs to promote eCommerce, including information, education, and campaign, as well as in ensuring a policy regime that is pro-active; and
- Recommend executive and legislative measures to ensure a regulatory framework that encourages growth of the sector.
What are the qualifications to Engage in eCommerce?
- A Filipino individual who is duly licensed to do business as a single proprietor with the DTI;
- Filipino juridical entity that is duly registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), whether as a corporation, a one-person corporation, or as a partnership;
- A Filipino cooperative that is duly licensed by the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA); and
- A foreign corporation that is duly licensed by the SEC to transact business in the Philippines.
Is business registration required in order to transact over the internet under the Internet Transactions Bill?
Yes, registration is required in order to be allowed to engage in eCommerce. This is for the protection of the consumers, and all individuals involved. Merchants or Online Platforms shall register as a sole proprietor, one-person corporation, partnership, corporation, or cooperatives.
No one shall be allowed to engage in eCommerce, including the sale of any digital product without a license to operate.
Written by: Atty. Jon Dominic Penaranda