As e-Commerce emerges as a vital tool in the country’s economic development, developing this sector becomes a key government priority. And to achieve this, close cooperation between all stakeholders is a must.
This is according to quick-commerce digital platform foodpanda, which joined fellow industry leaders and government partners at the country’s first-ever e-Commerce congress.
“We need a strong support and collaboration from key players like us to build an inclusive and sustainable e-Commerce ecosystem in the country,” foodpanda Philippines Managing Director Daniel Marogy said during his panelist speech.
The event, spearheaded by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in partnership with the Philippine Bar Association, aimed to pave the way for productive dialogues among stakeholders to help enable the PH e-Commerce industry to flourish.
“e-Commerce is a vast and ever-evolving industry, and we can attest to this. Our business operates as a quick commerce platform and is one of many models that evolved under e-Commerce. Beyond just food delivery, we have also ventured into grocery selections, logistics as a service, and digital payments amongst others to serve the ever-changing needs of the market,” the foodpanda PH chief explained.
Q-commerce platforms are just one of the many online retail businesses that have emerged and increased in number as the country’s internet economy grew by 93 percent – the fastest-growing in Southeast Asia. The figure was cited in a study done by Google, Temasek and Bain & Company, which also projects that the numbers will continue to increase in the coming years.
With the continuous expansion of e-Commerce’s reach in the country, DTI Secretary Alfredo Pascual emphasized that this is the right time to come up with policies and regulations related to the industry. “With the right policies, e-Commerce can be the greatest equalizer for access to economic opportunities for our people.”
Among the new laws and regulations currently being drafted to address this is the Internet Transactions Act (ITA), which Pascual mentioned is a top legislative priority of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. The ITA seeks to build trust between online merchants and consumers through secure and reliable e-Commerce platforms.
For foodpanda’s part, Marogy said that they fully support the passage of the bill, saying that it will help in the development of the industry. “Given the diversity of the business models in the market today, and the increasing reach of e-Commerce generally, we share the view of the government that appropriate policies to regulate the interaction between businesses, consumers, and other stakeholders is necessary.”
“We are very grateful to DTI for leading the way in supporting the development of the ITA. You can count on us to continue working with the government and other stakeholders for the improvement and the growth of e-Commerce in the country,” Marogy added.
In order for the ITA to truly promote the growth of the industry, he explained that there are other factors to also consider such as addressing the challenges that might hinder how players can maximize the use of e-Commerce and reducing regulatory uncertainty to nurture the businesses in the sector.
“To come up with an optimal framework for the entire industry, we also need to balance the interest of all the stakeholders – businesses and consumers alike,” Marogy added.
Marogy also mentioned the need to provide a fair playing field in the sector so that small players like micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) can have access to digital platform services. He shared that the company is committed to actively supporting MSMEs through digitalization, as they believe that it is key in the country’s post-pandemic economic recovery and growth of the digital economy.
According to him, this vision is much more feasible through collaboration among all those comprising the e-Commerce ecosystem – from digital platforms, partner merchants, delivery service providers, to consumers. “By working together with the government, we can create an enabling environment for the continued growth of the e-Commerce industry and stability of the Philippine economy,” said.