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On Internet Consumer Protection Bill

P.O. Box 1161, QCCPO, NCR, Philippines 1100
Cell No.    : +63 917-812-5546
Email        :
Facebook: Laban Konsyumer Inc.
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August 26, 2020
Committee on Trade, Commerce and 
Philippine  Senate

Attn.: Ms. Jingle Concon-Allam
Committee Secretary

Re: Senate Bill 1591

Sir/Madam : 

Laban Konsyumer Inc. respectfully submits its position paper on Senate Bill 1591 as follows:

1. We propose to add a Section on Construction, which is copied from Article 3 of the Consumer Act of the Philippines or Republic Act No, 7394 . 

It shall state that “ The best interest of the consumers shall be considered in the interpretaation and implementation of the provisions of  this Act, including its implementing rules and regulations.”

2. We propose a new provision that will require Online Selling Platforms to submit to  the E Commerce Bureau  a copy of what we  call a Merchant Agreement, or a Third Party Supplier  Agreement, or  its equivalent, which shall contain , among others , the terms and conditions of the Parties  that shall govern the entry of the merchants and suppliers  to sell goods and services  in the Online Platforms,  compliance to Philippine laws and regulations such as the Consumer Act of  the Philippines , including payment of taxes , and payment options and facilities. 

3. We propose  to  add a provision that shall require all Online Platforms to submit  full disclosure to the E Commerce Bureau whether they sell their own goods and services or through their  third party suppliers , directly to the consumers .

4. We propose to add a provision that shall authorize the Philippine Competition Commission to investigate  and enforce under the Competition Act any commission of acts by  the Online Selling  Platforns, merchants and third party suppliers that may violate the Competition Law to the prejudice of the consumers. 

5. We propose that  the E Commerce Bureau be renamed E -Commerce Commission , due to  the composition , and should be a  one stop shop , stand alone government agency in the like  of the Philippine Competition Commission and dealing  arms length relationship with   the  implementing  regulatory agencies which shall continue to discharge their duties under their  own respective charters.  

 The Competition Act has a specific provision on relationship with regulators in Section 32 of  Republic Act  No. 10667.

It will be a step in  Consumer Empowerment if a consumer representation be included in the composition of the Commission, as well as in  the E -Commerce Trust Mark,  in the like of an independent director sitting on the Boards of publicly listed companies.  

The E -Commerce Commission should handle and resolve all consumer complaints. Thus , the Section 21 on the Implementing Agencies   can be mofidied along the  provision in   Section 32  the Competition Act captioned Relationsship with Sector Regulators. 

6. On the Definition of  Terms , Consumer should  retain its universal definition as referring only to natural persons. In  this Bill, the online sellers are mostly juridical entities and it will look awkward for the E – Commerce Commission to handle  consumer complaints involving juridical entities. This suggestion  is also articulated in our comment in  the proposed Sections 13 and 17 of the Bill.

7. On paragraphs L and M, the two provisions should be harmonized considering that an Online E -Platforms can also act as Online Merchants. In addition, we should have a definition for Third Party Suppliers, only, or also an online merchants. 

8. On provisions relating to qualification and registration of online merchants, the E- Commerce Commission should be authorized to act moto proprio or on its own action, to place a firewall or block all online selling  platforms, domestic or foreign, that fails to comply with the law.  Thus, they cannot do business in the country, unless they comply with the law.

9. On section 12, we propose to include specific provisions on the costs of delivery fees and charges. Likewise, establish criteria on different payment schemes like Cash on Delivery, credit card or pay providers.

10. We do not endorse section 13 consistent with our objection on the definition of a Consumer. Consumer complaint handling and resolution should be independent and separate from merchants’ disputes. We are of the opinion that Section 13 will prolong the resolution period of the complaint to the prejudice of the consumers. The merchants’ disputes should be governed by existing laws and rules on civil cases. 

11. On Section 15 re Damages, we believe a quasi-judicial body, cannot impose damages.

12. On section 17, we propose a straightforward joint and solidary liability amongst online platforms and merchants. The provision as worded is litigious and can prejudice the consumer rights for a fair and honest resolution of the complaints. 

Thank you for the opportunity to submit our position paper.

Very truly yours,


Atty. Victorio Mario A. Dimagiba, AB, LLB, LLM