Consumer group supports online commerce bill

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THE Laban Konsyumer Inc. (LKI) is joining consumer organizations worldwide to call for a “Digital World Consumers Can Trust” during the World Consumer Rights Day on Wednesday.

In line with this, LKI President Victorio Mario Dimagiba expressed his support for House Bill (HB) 2646 authored by Rep. Wes Gatchalian of the First District, Valenzuela City which seeks to provide protection to consumers and merchants on online commerce.

Dimagiba said that service providers and resellers located abroad must register here as prescribed in the bill, otherwise the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) shall be given the mandate to moto proprio block their website in the Philippines.

He added that service providers and resellers are both liable for consumer redress and that any quitclaim on the solidary liability is a void stipulation.

Online scam cases top the list of cybercrimes in the Philippines.

“The Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group noted that from 2016 to the present they received a total of 555 online scam complaints 44 of which were recorded since the start of the year. Most victims are doing online buying and selling,” Dimagiba said.

To protect online buyers and sellers, LKI proposed to partner with the Digital Commerce of the Philippines or DCOM, Lazada, Zalora, Air21 Global Solutions and Digital Filipina in enhancing consumer awareness on the advantages of digital commerce.

Amanda Long, director general of Consumers International (CI) said, “Half the world’s population are now online and no-one can deny that it has brought enormous benefits plus there’s so much exciting potential for more. But too many people have patchy, unaffordable or non-existent connections, still more are worried about how their data is being used and whether it is safe, or what they have signed up to are under long online contracts that may not be feasible in the long run.”

“It’s consumers who will drive the growth of the digital economy and that growth could easily stall if they don’t trust the products and services they are being offered. Both government and busines have crucial roles in making this happen. Together, during this World Consumer Rights Day, we will campaign to build a digital world consumers can trust,” Long added.

LKI submitted last December 8 an application for membership in CI. The application is tabled for consideration by the CI board of trustees on March 16 as reported by Indrani Thuraisingham, CI executive director for Asia Pacific and the Middle East.

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