US-ASEAN Business Council Organizes Deep Dive Session on Internet Transactions Act Implementing Rules

 

(Manila, Philippines) ---- On February 8, 2024, the US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC), in partnership with the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) – E-Commerce Bureau, hosted a deep dive discussion with US-ABC member companies on the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 11967, or the Internet Transactions Act (ITA) of 2023.

Undersecretary Mary Jean Pacheco, Regional Operations Group and E-Commerce Lead at the DTI, in her briefing to the participants on the ITA, emphasized the importance of consumer protection amidst the growing prominence of digital transactions within the country. The passage of the ITA last December 2023 represents a significant milestone in safeguarding the interests of consumers and promoting trust in online transactions.

The ensuing discussion, moderated by Atty. Herminio “Third” Bagro, US-ABC’s Philippines Country Representative, delved into various aspects of the ITA's IRR, with a focus on clarifying the definition of digital platforms, minimum contacts, and compliance with regulations for online transactions. Issues such as counterfeit products, consumer protection, and the role of different agencies in enforcement were surfaced by the members. All throughout the session, the DTI expressed openness to feedback and suggestions to the IRR.

In her closing message, Florina “Binggay” Vistal, US-ABC’s Philippines Chief Representative highlighted the importance of the ongoing collaboration between the US-ABC and the DTI.

Through the session, the partners demonstrated commitment to fostering an enabling environment for digital commerce while prioritizing consumer welfare and regulatory clarity. The insights raised from the dialogue will help in shaping the regulation that drive sustainable growth in the digital economy, all the while safeguarding consumer protection in digital markets.

The US-ABC member companies that attended the session represented the various sectors in the e-commerce ecosystem, as follows: Baker McKenzie (Quisumbing Torres), Bayer, Ford, Mastercard, Meta, Netflix (represented by Vriens & Partners), Philip Morris International, and Zuellig Pharma. Also present were representatives from the U.S. Embassy – Foreign Commercial Service, and USAID SPEED (Supporting the Policy Enabling Environment for Development), US-ABC’s co-member at the Philippine E-Commerce Alliance.

 

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About US-ASEAN Business Council

Since 1984, the US-ASEAN Business Council has been the premier advocacy organization for U.S. corporations operating within the dynamic Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Worldwide, the Council's membership of nearly 170 companies generates almost US$7 trillion in revenue and employs more than 14.5 million people.  Today our members include the largest U.S. companies conducting business in ASEAN and range from newcomers to the region to companies that have been working in Southeast Asia for more than 100 years. The Council has nine offices around the globe, in Washington, DC; New York, NY; Bangkok, Thailand; Hanoi, Vietnam; Jakarta, Indonesia; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Manila, Philippines; Singapore; and Yangon, Myanmar.

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