House panel approves bill creating e-commerce bureau

A BILL proposing to establish an e-commerce regulator was approved by the House appropriations committee on Wednesday.

The proposed Internet Transactions Act cleared the committee as a substitute bill.

As envisioned, the E-Commerce Bureau will be an arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and will be tasked with promoting the growth of the online economy.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. cited the measure as one of 19 priority bills during his first State of the Nation Address. The House committee on trade and industry unanimously approved the measure on Aug. 24. 

As passed by the appropriations panel, Section 8 was amended to give the Trade Secretary more authority to determine the bureau’s composition.

The proposed bureau will oversee the entry of e-commerce businesses onto the DTI’s Online Business Registry and support information-sharing on the industry across all levels of government.

The bill was approved on third reading by the House of Representatives in the last Congress, but stalled on second reading in the Senate. — Matthew Carl L. Montecillo