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Over P54M worth of items seized for online selling violations —PNP-CIDG

Authorities have confiscated over P54 million worth of items from violations related to online selling in the past three months while most of the country is on lockdown.

The Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) made the remark on Thursday during the virtual hearing of the House Committee on Trade and Industry on House Bill 6122, or the proposed "Internet Transactions Act."

CIDG deputy director for administration Brig. Gen. Rhoderick Armamento said that from March 17 to June 4, they have conducted 332 operations for violations originating from online selling, resulting in the confiscation of P54.8 million worth of items.

These items mostly include medical supplies related to the COVID-19 crisis such as face masks, alcohol, among others, he said.

"Napakalaki nito, in less than three months alone ito ang aming na-accomplish insofar as yung mga violators sa online selling is concerned," Armamento said.

Armamento also said they have also received a number of complaints related to online selling, such as undelivered items, delivered goods that are different from the ones posted online, and overpricing of essential and in-demand items.

He stressed that since there has been an unprecedented growth of the e-commerce industry around the world, the government should ensure that rights of both merchants and customers are protected.

With this, Armamento suggested to ensure that there is proper security in the transactions between the buyers and sellers, and as much as possible, small ones should be done on a cash-on-delivery basis.

"Wrong delivery should be penalized for misrepresentation of products and services," he also proposed.

Government certificates and permits obtained by online sellers from the government should likewise be posted on their websites and accounts, he added.

The House panel has been deliberating on House Bill 6122 which aims to help regulate transactions in the e-commerce industry in the country.

Under this measure, an E-Commerce Bureau will be created to ensure and promote the protection of consumers doing online transactions, among other functions.

Towards the end of its meeting, the panel approved the creation of a technical working group to consolidate the inputs and suggestions of various stakeholders to the measure. —LDF, GMA News