DTI Seeks To Penalize Online Platforms Selling Fake Items
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is cracking down on counterfeit brands that are rampant in online shopping sites. The agency is planning to penalize these online entities who sell counterfeit items.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez disclosed that they are currently drafting a law that would impose fines on malls and online shopping portals that condones such businesses that sell brand imitations. He added that this would protect trademarks and patents, benefiting consumers and manufacturers.
During his interview on CNN’s The Source, Lopez Said:
Meron kaming ipo-propose na legislation kung saan ‘yung mismong nagbebenta will also be liable, the platform. Parang siya ‘yung store. “In the same way, online ‘yan or kahit sa brick and mortar, pati ‘yung store na let’s say ‘yung malls, later on, maging liable din sila kapag nag-allow silang magbenta ng mga counterfeit sa lugar nila.
[Translation: We will propose legislation where the selling platform will also be liable. It will be considered the store. In the same way, whether it’s online or brick and mortar, it will be liable if it allows the sale of counterfeit items in its area.]
The DTI chief also added that the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines is crafting the proposal. He also said that online shopping is covered by local consumer laws and that any complaints can be forwarded to the DTI.
Around 500 complaints on defective items purchased online were received by the DTI in the past months. Due to this, Lopez clarified that broken items should be eligible for replacement and repair if bought online, just like in physical stores. Thus, he advised online shoppers to buy from “trusted” platforms to avoid problems.
Online marketplaces Lazada and Shopee and fashion retailer Zalora are the biggest web-based stores among Filipinos, where manufacturers and even individual sellers list their available products. Lopez said he is keen on boosting e-commerce in the country, which remains below 10 percent of all transactions despite millions of active Internet users, and even fewer digital payments.