Dec 232014

WHEN the e-commerce Law was first pushed in the late 1990s, the battle cry then was that e-commerce can level the playing field for small businesses.

Almost 20 years later, the bigger an organization is, the more likely it is to embrace e-commerce. However, majority in the business community still has not embrace it – from doing corporate purchases, receiving sales and making online payments to suppliers.

Some people in business do not recognize that they are doing e-commerce at all. This is especially true for those who define e-commerce in a limited manner – only when there is online payment via credit card.

The creation of a country’s e-commerce roadmap as being worked on by the Department of Trade and Industry (pursuing its mandate under the E-Commerce Law or Republic Act 8792) should look at e-commerce not only from its various functions in the business supply chain, but also in encouraging the adoption in various industries from government, manufacturing, retail, services, telecommunication, and many more.

When looked at and embraced as a whole, we can make strides in measuring its impact in our economy – in our country’s gross domestic product, among others.

Last week, I made an appeal for the creation of a national privacy commission and the release of guidelines for data privacy in government and private sector. It is also important to monitor E-Government Fund-supported projects.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue is currently in talks with three service providers that will release an electronic official receipt application that businesses can subscribe to that will automatically generate reports to help in compliance requirements.

The private sector is clamoring for clearer rules and organizational structures from government on regulating online payment systems and virtual currencies. I hope the DTI and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas will form a working group on this soon.

The consumer protection guidelines on value added services need to be reviewed by the National Telecommunication Commission and be updated to meet new technologies concerns today on Internet access subscription, mobile services and mobile applications.

The same also applies on consumer protection guidelines on e-commerce that needs to factor in mobile applications where purchasing is integrated.


Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 24, 2014.

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