DTI Requests Facebook for Access to Its Database of Online Sellers

In a lookout for spurious online sellers and traders, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is asking Facebook to give its consumers’ protection group access to the social networking site’s database of online sellers and traders.

According to Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, now that the country has a growing e-commerce activity, Facebook should strengthen its consumer protection and that users are aware of such.

“Dapat lumaki ‘yung consumer awareness dito sa mga programs nila on consumer protection,” Lopez says.

At present, only enforcement authorities were allowed to access such information.

DTI to access Facebook's database of online sellers

The Trade Secretary also mentioned that the agency is coordinating with Google and e-commerce sites Shopee and Lazada. This time, the purpose is to seek the platforms’ support for the digitalization of medium, small, and micro-enterprises.

“Ang daming kausap with respect to how we can really help micro SMEs, use their platforms so that micro SMEs can really be given the right exposure, a wider exposure for their products,” Lopez shares.

He added that there are around 13,000 establishments in the country registered with Google. As such, they can access a wide range of Google business solutions and the opportunity to be listed in its widely-used apps like Google Maps.

e-Commerce Act of 2000

As of 19 October 2020, the DTI was able to register 75,029 online business from January to August of this year.

DTI to access Facebook's database of online sellers

Because of such an increase in e-commerce, DTI thinks that there is a need for stronger support to boost the sector. Secretary Lopez says that updating the e-Commerce Act of 2000 is one way of strengthening the e-commerce sector.

“Twenty years after this pioneering legislation was passed, we need to revisit the law to make it more relevant to the times and future-proofing it. We need to take into account the substantial developments in technology, the widespread use of [the] internet, and the growing e-commerce sector,” he explains.