Bill wants online shopping platforms regulated to 'protect public'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 30 2019 06:35 PM

MANILA - Online shopping sites must be regulated to protect the public, a lawmaker said on Monday, as e-commerce continues to change the way consumers shop.

Some online merchants lack "due diligence" in reviewing items being sold on their platform, PBA Party-list Rep. Jericho Nograles said in a House press conference, citing his own "research" as basis. 

"There should be regulation and the online platforms must also demonstrate extraordinary diligence to protect the public," Nograles said.

"Things have changed dramatically because of e-commerce. Even the way people shop has changed, and I myself must admit that these online shopping platforms and apps make life a lot easier for me and for a lot of people. But at what cost?" he added.

Gun replicas, pirated computer software, antibiotics, glutathione drips, fake consumer goods, drug paraphernalia, vitamins, food supplements, and other highly-regulated medicines for humans and animals are being sold online, Nograles said. 

“Even fake suka [vinegar] can be purchased by unwilling victims," he added. 

Some medical and beauty products such as injections must be administered only by licensed professionals. 

"What if you get poisoned because the drug you ingested was not FDA-approved? What if a person dies because the glutathione drip purchased online was fake or improperly administered? Who takes responsibility?" Nograles said.

An HIV rapid-test kit, which was banned by the Department of Health, is being sold online, he claimed. Testing should be done only at accredited centers, he added.

By facilitating the sale of these products, Nograles said online shops could also be liable for violating laws such as the Consumer Act of the Philippines.

-- with a report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News