One of the effects of the pandemic is Filipinos shifting to online shopping instead of going to malls. While this proves to be more convenient for the majority, one of the problems of online shopping is the proliferation of fake goods. This continues to be a problem especially since online shopping does not necessarily present you with actual photos of the item.
As a response, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian thinks online shopping platforms like Lazada and Shopee should be held liable for the sale of counterfeit items. They are self-regulating themselves and it is not working because marami pa ring nakakalampas (many still get past),” Gatchalian said in an interview with ABS-CBN News.
Under his proposed bill Senate Bill 1591, which seeks to regulate eCommerce in the Philippines, online merchants and platforms caught selling fake goods will pay “a fine equivalent to 100 percent of the amount of the digital goods offered.” In addition, those who fail to submit complete details of their shops and goods may face a fine between Php 500,000 and 5 million and may risk losing their business permit.
According to the Optical Media Board (OMB), around 900,000 stores” without necessary license or permits” are still being sold on Lazada and Shopee.
While Lazada, for their part, is making efforts in curbing fake goods through LazMall, CEO Ray Alimurung explains that some sellers of illegal goods still manage to get past the system. “It is not for lack of doing things… It’s just a matter of us trying to do better mouse traps when these guys try to develop better mice,” Alimurung explains.