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    Posted January 7, 2014 by
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    Phl online consumers’ protection sought

    A Philippine lawmaker on Tuesday filed a bill protecting the rights of consumers and merchants of online commerce by laying down the rules and regulations of the online industry for the sake of the future internet users.
    In House Bill 2535, Partylist Rep. Wes Gatchalian noted the need to address concerns on state regulations on the industry considering the country is still in an infant stage in the online commerce and very vulnerable to monetary scams.
    "The bill is certainly not a perfect one,” Gatchalian said, adding that other areas and concerns might not have been addressed.
    “But we cannot afford not to bring order to our lives and this bill is an effort to craft a law that will foster a smooth functioning social order on online commerce and trading," Gatchalian said.
    He also noted that the rise of digital technology saw the emergence of mobile networks and the rapid advancement in computer technologies.
    According to the lawmaker, the Internet has brought with it many forms of businesses and new forms of marketing such as the e-commerce and the online shopping.
    Gatchalian said in the Philippines, the online shopping is on its road to a big leap as the research company Nielsen estimated that as of now, the country has at least 33.6 million Internet users and is still growing.
    "Our online shopping portal is also on the rise. We have ayosdito.com, sulit.com, philshopping.com, lazada.com, pinoytiangge.com, ebay-ph.com and many others that even have outdated the classified ads and the buy and sell, and it won't take long, many will be discovering the convenience of online shopping similar to first world countries where in it is already a million dollar industry," Gatchalian said.
    The lawmaker said the measure seeks to address concerns on payment options and secrecy of data obtained from the consumers and more transparency from traders.
    “The bill also aims to eliminate hidden transaction costs, delivery problems, cancellation of orders, refunds against cancellation and payment issues,” Gatchalian concluded.
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