DTI issues guidelines for online purchases, other e-commerce transactions

Marje Pelayo   •   January 19, 2021   •   366

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Trade and Industry’s Bureau of Philippine National Standards (DTI-BPS) issued on Monday (January 18) a Philippine National Standard (PNS) 2155:2020: Guidelines for e-commerce transactions. 

The standard encourages organizations to create more consumer-friendly operations and customer-centric processes.

It covers the entire e-commerce transaction process such as browsing, purchasing, payment, delivery, product tracking, and returns – as well as best customer support practices.

“As more online businesses emerge amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, the demand for guidelines on online transactions also increases,” the agency said.

“The DTI takes seriously the drafting of policies to ensure that online retailers have the capabilities to facilitate online transactions and buyers or consumers to purchase in a safe and secure manner,” it added.

Under the guidelines, the following must be observed during:

Pre-purchases

  • Information on the functionality and benefits of a product/service must be correct as well as health and safety concerns and whether there are guarantees or warranties available. 
  • The product/service marketed should be presented with information and designs that are accurate and reflect the key selling points of the product/service to minimize misrepresentation.
  • Price(s) should be displayed with the applicable currency and product reviews, comparisons, and ratings that can be used to assist customers in making an informed decision.

Purchase activities

  • The online retailers/e-marketplaces must ensure that the information of the product/service being purchased is listed clearly. 
    • This includes the quantity, description, and applicable taxes where applicable. 
    • Other important information includes payment options, delivery options, refunds, and exchange policies. 
  • The online retailers/e-marketplaces should provide a variety of electronic payment options that provide convenience, security, and smooth user experience. 
    • A security strategy should ensure customer data is safe against breaches. 
  • Once the payment is complete, the customer should be notified, which should include all their billing details.

Post purchase

  • Online retailers/e-marketplaces working with third-party logistics providers need to ensure that they adhere to applicable handling protocols and that delivery times are within the estimated time promised to the customer. 
    • Customers are ought to be provided with information on the delivery status. 
  • Online retailers/e-marketplace and the logistics provider should agree on the suitable proof of the delivery method. This could come in various forms such as photo evidence to signatures.
  • Any refund policies should be clear and should include the conditions for refunds, the timeframe for reimbursements, and the method of payments. 
  • Online retailers/e-marketplaces should develop mechanisms to handle customer enquiries, complaints, and dispute resolution.

“The standard encourages greater clarity, transparency, accountability, responsiveness, and accessibility in online transactions, thereby improving consumer confidence and trust to transact online and reduce conflicts and disputes,” Consumer Protection Group Undersecretary Ruth B. Castelo underscored.

Singapore’s Technical Reference on Guidelines for electronic commerce transactions (TR 76) served as reference for PNS 2155 with permission granted by Enterprise Singapore.

The DTI-BPS is the National Standards Body of the Philippines. It is the Philippines’ member to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

Higit na 300,000 manggagawa naka-depende sa pagbubukas ng mga sinehan—DTI

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 17, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Kinakailangan nang maibalik ang operasyon ng mga sinehan dahil dito nakasalalay ang kabuhayan ng halos 300,000 mga manggagawa, ayon sa Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Ayon sa Consumer Protection Group ng DTI na si Usec.Ruth Castelo, maraming manggagawa sa sinehan ang halos isang taon nang nahinto sa pagtratrabaho kayat umaasa ang nga ito na muli na silang makababalik sa kanilang hanapbuhay.

“Recommendation ng NEDA and the DTI Secretary Lopez na i-allow na para makabalik na sa trabaho yung mga tao ng income, makagenerate sila ng income at makasuporta doon sa mga pamilya nila,” aniya.

Nag-inspeksyon din ang DTI noong Miyerkules (ika-16 ng Pebrero) sa ilang mga sinehan upang makita ang kanilang paghahanda sakaling mag-umpisa na muli ang kanilang operasyon.

Bagaman wala pang guidelines na inilalabas ang national government, ginagawan na ng paraan ng mga mall operator na magkaroon nang maayos na bentilasyon sa loob ng mga sinehan.

Paliwanag pa ng nga ito, bago pa ang pandemya ay sinisuguro na nila na malinis at tama ang sirkulasyon ng hangin dito.

“Two hours prior to the cinema opening we started operating our fresh air and exhaust system to ensure na fresh ang air natin sa loob ng cinema then while you are watching there are six air exchange happening in the cinema. So ibig sabihin kahit nakaupo ka lang nagpapalit ang hanging sa loob ng 6 na beses sa isang oras,” ayon kay Gerson Dela Cruz, Senior Engineer Facilities Management ng Ayala Malls.

Mahigpit na ring ipagbabawal ang pagkain sa loob ng mga sinehan upang maiwasan ang posibleng hawaan ng COVID-19.

“So that all facemasks must be worn all the time while inside the cinema and of course we’re waiting for the additional guidelines, safety guidelines that will come out before we open the cinemas required by the LGUs and IATF,” ayon naman kay Bomboy Lim, ang General Manager ng Robinsons Movie World.

Sa ngayon ay hinihintay pa rin ang guidelines na babalangkasin ng Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)  na dapat masunod sa mga enclosed na establisyimento gaya ng mga sinehan.

Pero nauna na ring sinabi ng IATF na bukod sa guidelines, kinakailangan din na aprubado ng mga alkalde na nakakasakop sa kanilang mga lugar ang muling pagbubukas ng mga sinehan at arcade.

Una nang sinabi ni Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso na magkakaloob sila ng libreng swab test sa mga cinema worker at hindi niya papayagan na magbukas ito hangga’t hindi sumasailalim sa pagsusuri ang mga manggagawa nito.

“Pinag-aaralan pa namin kasi while it is true that we wanted to open businesses, are they ready to come up with a plan yung katulad ng cinema o yung mga nabanggit? Hindi naman po pwede na bibiglain natin. Kailangan responsable pa rin,” aniya.

DTI, iimbestigahan ang umano’y mga nagmamanipula sa presyo ng mga bilihin

Robie de Guzman   •   January 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines Bumuo na ang Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) ng sub-task group na mag-iimbestiga sa mga trader na umano’y nagmamanipula sa presyo ng mga pangunahing bilihin sa bansa.

Ayon kay DTI Secretary Mon Lopez, layunin nitong matunton ang mga nasa likod ng pananamantala sa presyo ng mga pangunahing produkto gaya ng gulay, karne at isda.

Tutukuyin rin sa imbestigasyon kung may nangyayaring hoarding o pagtatago ng mga produkto upang magkaroon ng artificial shortage at maitaas ang halaga nito.

“Beyond what we see in the market, kailangan masilip natin mga nangyayari in between, ibig sabihin ilang pasahan yan? Sino ang mas maraming ipinatong? Saan? Baka may nagtatago ng supply para magkaroon ng artificial shortage. So yan po kailangan ng imbestigasyon ng intelligence,” pahayag ni Lopez.

Ang sub-task group ay pangungunahan ng DTI, katuwang ang Department of the Interior and Local Government, Philippine National Police, National Bureau of Investigation, at iba pang ahensiya na may intelligence fund.

Tiniyak ni Lopez na papatawan nila ng parusa ang sinomang mapapatunayang sangkot sa iligal na gawain at lumalabag sa umiiral na Price Act.

“Ang ating team po ay may mga binibisita na bodega o warehouses para tuluyang ma-push through, ma-follow through ung mga stocks that they have… Para ma-follow thorugh kung sino talaga yung may unusual build up ng inventory or kung may artificial shortage sa isang lugar, nasaan yung stocks,” wika ni Lopez.

Ayon sa DTI, mahigit 1,000 negosyante sa bansa ang pinadalhan ng letter of inquiry hinggil sa presyo at supply ng ibinibenta nilang produkto.

Nasa 31 naman ang naisyuhan ng show-cause order habang 16 ang kinasuhan dahil sa paglabag sa Price Act. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Joan Nano)

DA, DTI open digital farm-to-market system connecting farmers, consumers

Robie de Guzman   •   December 15, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA), together with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), has launched a digital marketing system that seeks to directly connect food producers to consumers sans the unnecessary trading layers.

The DA said the system called Deliver-E, which was officially launched on December 14, was conceived in collaboration with private sector partners, farmer cooperatives, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The initiative allows buyers to directly access fresh agricultural products and other basic food items at low prices, eliminating middlemen.

The department said Deliver-E operates through a blockchain technology developed by a Filipino tech startup, Insight Supply Chain Solutions (InsightSCS), that integrates related e-commerce and logistics application services from consolidation point to central warehousing facility, and then to last-mile delivery services to reach end-clients.

“With the sheer size of agricultural supply chains, only a multi-stakeholder approach to their management could free up the bottlenecks,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said in a statement.

The system’s launch was highlighted by a multi-stakeholder commitment pledge signing to upscale the agriculture value chain and improve overall food security in the country even beyond the COVID-19 crisis.

“Online is the new byword of food security. We are fully embracing the digitalization of the agriculture sector as we journey towards the 4th Industrial Revolution, or Agriculture 4.0,” Dar said.

DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, for his part, said the initiative is part of government’s strategy to enable Filipinos to adjust to the new normal.

“Let us try to create a Better Normal where all Filipinos can enjoy the fruits of our country’s inclusive growth and shared prosperity for all,” he said.

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