December 4, 2022

The Department of Trade and Industry, through its Consumer Protection Group and E-commerce Division, drafted the Joint Administrative Order on Guidelines for Online Businesses Reiterating the Laws and Regulations Applicable to Online Businesses and Consumers to protect consumers against deceptive, unfair, and unconscionable sales acts and practices as it inculcates the rights and mechanisms for redress for online consumers.  

“We want to be able to provide guidance to the e-commerce platforms, the electronic retailers, and online merchants within platforms,” Usec. Ruth B. Castelo of Consumer Protection Group said.

“This joint administrative order is merely collating all these laws to make sure that we all comply and to make sure that all these platforms observe these laws. We do not mean to over-regulate. We just need to protect the consumers.”  

A three-day public consultation on the JAO was held to encourage participation from the private sector and relevant government agencies. The first day catered to e-commerce platforms while the second day was intended for various e-tailers in the industry. The third day of public consultation was attended by online merchants and simultaneously broadcast through official Facebook pages.  

The JAO aims to reiterate to all online businesses the existing laws on the sale, distribution production, importation, distribution, marketing, and sale or transport of products and services. It defines the responsibilities of online businesses; stresses the obligations of online platforms and penalties for the violation of regulations; and establishes the joint undertaking of government agencies with online platforms.  

The drafting of the JAO sprang from consultations and discussions with different government agencies including the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines, the National Privacy Commission, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Health, and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.    – Press release