The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) reported a shocking increase in complaints of online transactions alongside the ballooning of online registrations after the declaration of national public health emergency due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

There was a 4,080% increase in registration of online businesses classified as ‘Retail Sale via Internet’ starting from 16 March 2020 until 31 August 2020. Meanwhile, the number of consumer complaints related to online transactions jumped to 12,630 as of 31 August of this year compared to 2,457 complaints in 2019.

“The quadruple increase of 414.12 percent is majorly attributed to the surge of online transactions due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” explained DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez.

The figures go to show the urgency in the passage of the proposed internet transactions bill authored by Senators Win Gatchalian and Nancy Binay, said Lopez. DTI also supports the bill and ensures it promotes the best interest of Filipino consumers, in which the agency was given the authority to take down websites hosting illegal or fraudulent products sales or services as a means to curb further harm to potential consumers.

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