Consumer Protection

The Philippines does not have a dedicated consumer protection legislation for e-commerce, however a section in the Electronic Commerce Act 2000, provides some recognition of the need for consumer protection in the electronic environment.

Section 33(c) of the Act notes that violations of the Consumer Act 1991 and other "relevant or pertinent laws" committed using electronic data messages or electronic documents, are to be penalized according to the same penalties available under those laws.  The Consumer Act is the Philippine's main consumer law focusing on protection against deceptive, unfair and unconscionable sales practices as well as ensuring consumers have adequate access to redress.

Technically, the provision does not add tailored or further consumer protections for e-commerce, but reaffirms the applicability of consumer legislation to electronic transactions, which has already been facilitated by the functional equivalence provisions in the Act.  In 2008, the Government issued Joint Department Administrative Order 01, which prescribes the "Rules and Regulations for consumer protection in a transaction covered by the Consumer Act of the Philippines (R.A. 7394) through electronic means under the E-Commerce Act (R.A. 8792)".  The regulations aim at protecting the consumer doing online transactions, specifically on the purchase of products and services.  It covers both local and foreign-based retailers and sellers engaged in e-commerce.