Even if your business is only found online or you have an online presence, there are four Philippine laws that still govern over your actions. While there is a lot of technicality with regard to online transactions, the rule of thumb is that if you are based and operating in the Philippines and your IP address is in the Philippines, then you are covered by these laws.
To avoid any inconvenience on your business transactions, these are the Philippine laws, rules, and regulations that you must follow:
1. Republic Act No. 8792 or the Electronic Commerce Act of 2000
Provides for penalties on computer hacking, introduction of viruses and piracy of copyrighted works of at least P100,000 and maximum commensurate to the damage incurred, and imprisonment of six (6) months to three (3) years, among others. Promotes e-commerce in the country, particularly in business-to-business and business-to-consumer transactions whereby business relations are enhanced and facilitated and consumers are able to find and purchase products online.
2. Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act No. 8792
The IRR spells out the rules and regulations in implementing the E-Commerce Act and provides clarifications/explanations on the law’s provisions.
3. DTI Department Administrative Order No. 8 – “Prescribing Guidelines for the Protection of Personal Data in Information and Communications System in the Private Sector”
This governs data protection certifiers and processing of all types of personal data. The intention of the guidelines is to encourage and provide support to private entities to adopt privacy policies for the protection of the personal data in an information and communications system in the private sector.
4. DTI-DOH-DA Joint Department Administrative Order (JDAO) No. 1, entitled Rules and Regulations for Consumer Protection in a Transaction Covered by the Consumer Act of the Philippines
The JDAO aims to protect consumers doing online transactions, specifically on the purchase of products and services pursuant to the Consumer Act of the Philippines. It applies to all retailers or sellers, whether located here or abroad, engaged in electronic commerce with consumers. Moreover, it adopts the provisions of the Consumer Act on fair business practices and the prohibition from engaging in false, deceptive and misleading advertisements.
To enable consumers to make an informed choice/decision, the guidelines require the online disclosure of accurate, clear and easily accessible information about the retailers or sellers, the products or services being offered, and the terms, conditions and costs of the consumer transaction. Also under the guidelines, retailers/sellers are mandated to set up and make operational internal complaint-handling mechanism for consumer complaints, without prejudice to the rights of the consumers to seek legal redress.
Aside from this, it also provides procedure or structure address/resolve a complaint filed before concerned implementing agencies (i.e., DTI, DA and DOH). As to a consumer transaction involving a Philippine resident consumer and a retailer or seller of another country, said consumer has the option to file his complaint either with the Philippine trade/consular office/embassy therein or directly with the foreign government agency or regulator where the retailer or seller is located with the assistance of the counterpart Philippine government agency concerned.