Electronic Commerce in Carriage of Goods
SECTION 25. Actions Related to Contracts of Carriage of Goods. – Without derogating from the provisions of Part Two of this Act, this Chapter applies to any action in connection with, or in pursuance of, a contract of carriage of goods, including but not limited to:
(a) (i) furnishing the marks, number, quantity or weight of goods;
(ii) stating or declaring the nature or value of goods;
(iii) issuing a receipt for goods;
(iv) confirming that goods have been loaded;
(b) (i) notifying a person of terms and conditions of the contract;
(ii) giving instructions to a carrier;
(c) (i) claiming delivery of goods;
(ii) authorizing release of goods;
(iii) giving notice of loss of, or damage to goods;
(d) giving any other notice or statement in connection with the performance of the contract;
(e) undertaking to deliver goods to a named person or a person authorized to claim delivery;
(f) granting, acquiring, renouncing, surrendering, transferring or negotiating rights in goods;
(g) acquiring or transferring rights and obligations under the contract.
SECTION 26. Transport Documents. – (1) Subject to paragraph (3), where the law requires that any action referred to in Section 25 be carried out in writing or by using a paper document, that requirement is met if the action is carried out by using one or more electronic data messages or electronic documents.
(2) Paragraph (1) applies whether the requirement therein is in the form of an obligation or whether the law simply provides consequences for failing either to carry out the action in writing or to use a paper document.
(3) If a right is to be granted to, or an obligation is to be acquired by, one person and no other person, and if the law requires that, in order to effect this, the right or obligation must be conveyed to that person by the transfer, or use of, a paper document, that requirement is met if the right or obligation is conveyed by using one or more electronic data messages or electronic documents: Provided, That a reliable method is used to render such electronic data messages or electronic documents unique.
(4) For the purposes of paragraph (3), the standard of reliability required shall be assessed in the light of the purpose for which the right or obligation was conveyed and in the light of all the circumstances, including any relevant agreement.
(5) Where one or more electronic data messages or electronic documents are used to effect any action in subparagraphs (f) and (g) of Section 25, no paper document used to effect any such action is valid unless the use of electronic data message or electronic document has been terminated and replaced by the use of paper documents. A paper document issued in these circumstances shall contain a statement of such termination. The replacement of electronic data messages or electronic documents by paper documents shall not affect the rights or obligations of the parties involved.
(6) If a rule of law is compulsorily applicable to a contract of carriage of goods which is in, or is evidenced by, a paper document, that rule shall not be inapplicable to such a contract of carriage of goods which is evidenced by one or more electronic data messages or electronic documents by reason of the fact that the contract is evidenced by such electronic data message or electronic documents instead of by a paper document.
Electronic Transactions in Government
SECTION 27. Government Use of Electronic Data Messages, Electronic Documents and Electronic Signatures. – Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, within two (2) years from the date of the effectivity of this Act, all departments, bureaus, offices and agencies of the government, as well as all government-owned and -controlled corporations, that pursuant to law require or accept the filing of documents, require that documents be created, or retained and/or submitted, issue permits, licenses or certificates of registration or approval, or provide for the method and manner of payment or settlement of fees and other obligations to the government, shall –
(a) accept the creation, filing or retention of such documents in the form or electronic data messages or electronic documents;
(b) issue permits, licenses, or approval in the form of electronic data messages or electronic documents;
(c) require and/or accept payments, and issue receipts acknowledging such payments, through systems using electronic data messages or electronic documents; or
(d) transact the government business and/or perform governmental functions using electronic data messages or electronic documents, and for the purpose, are authorized to adopt and promulgate, after appropriate public hearing and with due publication in newspapers of general circulation, the appropriate rules, regulations, or guidelines, to among others, specify –
1) the manner and format in which such electronic data messages or electronic documents shall be filed, created, retained or issued;
2) where and when such electronic data messages or electronic documents have to be signed, the use of an electronic signature, the type of electronic signature required;
3) the format of an electronic data message or electronic document and the manner the electronic signature shall be affixed to the electronic data message or electronic document;
4) the control processes and procedures as appropriate to ensure adequate integrity, security and confidentiality of electronic data messages or electronic documents or records or payments;
5) other attributes required of electronic data messages or electronic documents or payments; and
6) the full or limited use of the documents and papers for compliance with the government requirements: Provided, That this Act shall by itself mandate any department of the government, organ of state or statutory corporation to accept or issue any document in form of electronic data messages or electronic documents upon the adoption, promulgation and publication of the appropriate rules, regulations, or guidelines.
SECTION 28. RPWEB to Promote the Use of Electronic Documents or Electronic Data Messages in Government and to the General Public. – Within two (2) years from the effectivity of this Act, there shall be installed an electronic online network in accordance with Administrative Order 332 and House of Representatives Resolution 890, otherwise known as RPWEB, to implement Part IV of this Act to facilitate the open, speedy and efficient electronic online transmission, conveyance and use of electronic data messages or electronic documents amongst all government departments, agencies, bureaus, offices down to the division level and to the regional and provincial offices as practicable as possible, government-owned and controlled corporations, local government units, other public instrumentalities, universities, colleges and other schools, and universal access to the general public.
The RPWEB network shall serve as initial platform of the government information infrastructure (GII) to facilitate the electronic online transmission and conveyance of government services to evolve and improve by better technologies or kinds of electronic online wide area networks utilizing, but not limited to, fiber optic, satellite, wireless and other broadband telecommunication mediums or modes.
To facilitate the rapid development of the GII, the Department of Transportation and Communications, National Telecommunications Commission and the National Computer Center are hereby directed to aggressively promote and implement a policy environment and regulatory or non-regulatory framework that shall lead to the substantial reduction of costs of including, but not limited to, lease lines, land, satellite and dial-up telephone access, cheap broadband and wireless accessibility by government departments, agencies, bureaus, offices, government owned and controlled corporations, local government units, other public instrumentalities and the general public, to include the establishment of a government website portal and a domestic internet exchange system to facilitate strategic access to government and amongst agencies thereof and the general public and for the speedier flow of locally generated internet traffic within the Philippines.
The physical infrastructure of cable and wireless system for cable TV and broadcast excluding programming and content and the management thereof shall be considered as within the activity of telecommunications for the purpose of electronic commerce and to maximize the convergence of ICT in the installation of the GII.
SECTION 29. Authority of the Department of Trade and Industry and Participating Entities. – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) shall direct and supervise the promotion and development of electronic commerce in the country with relevant government agencies, without prejudice to the provisions of Republic Act 7653 (Charter of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) and Republic Act No. 337, (General Banking Act) as amended.
Among others, the DTI is empowered to promulgate rules and regulations, as well as provide quality standards or issue certifications, as the case may be, and perform such other functions as may be necessary for the implementation of this Act in the area of electronic commerce to include, but not limited to, the installation of an online public information and quality and price monitoring system for goods and services aimed in protecting the interests of the consuming public availing of the advantages of this Act.
SECTION 30. Extent of Liability of a Service Provider. – Except as otherwise provided in this Section, no person or party shall be subject to any civil or criminal liability in respect of the electronic data message or electronic document for which the person or party acting as a service provider as defined in Section 5, merely provides access if such liability is founded on –
a.) The obligations and liabilities of the parties under the electronic data message or electronic document;
b.) The making, publication, dissemination or distribution of such material or any statement made in such material, including possible infringement of any right subsisting in or in relation to such material: Provided, That
i. The service provider does not have actual knowledge, or is not aware of the facts or circumstances from which it is apparent, that the making, publication, dissemination or distribution of such material is unlawful or infringes any rights subsisting in or in relation to such material;
ii. The service provider does not knowingly receive a financial benefit directly attributable to the unlawful or infringing activity; and
iii. The service provider does not directly commit any infringement or other unlawful act and does not induce or cause another person or party to commit any infringement or other unlawful act and/or does not benefit financially from the infringing activity or unlawful act of another person or party: Provided, further, That nothing in this Section shall affect –
a) Any obligation founded on contract;
b) The obligation of a service provider as such under a licensing or other regulatory regime established under written law; or
c) Any obligation imposed under any written law;
d) The civil liability of any party to the extent that such liability forms the basis for injunctive relief issued by a court under any law requiring that the service provider take or refrain from actions necessary to remove, block or deny access to any material, or to preserve evidence of a violation of law.
SECTION 31. Lawful Access. – Access to an electronic file, or an electronic signature of an electronic data message or electronic document shall only be authorized and enforced in favor of the individual or entity having a legal right to the possession or the use of the plaintext, electronic signature or file and solely for the authorized purposes. The electronic key for identity or integrity shall not be made available to any person or party without the consent of the individual or entity in lawful possession of that electronic key.
SECTION 32. Obligation of Confidentiality. – Except for the purposes authorized under this Act, any person who obtained access to any electronic key, electronic data message or electronic document, book, register, correspondence, information, or other material pursuant to any powers conferred under this Act, shall not convey to or share the same with any other person.
SECTION 33. Penalties. – The following Acts shall be penalized by fine and/or imprisonment, as follows:
a) Hacking or cracking which refers to unauthorized access into or interference in a computer system/server or information and communication system; or any access in order to corrupt, alter, steal, or destroy using a computer or other similar information and communication devices, without the knowledge and consent of the owner of the computer or information and communication system, including the introduction of computer viruses and the like, resulting in the corruption, destruction, alteration, theft or loss of electronic data messages or electronic documents shall be punished by a minimum fine of One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00) and a maximum commensurate to the damage incurred and a mandatory imprisonment of six (6) months to three (3) years;
b) Piracy or the unauthorized copying, reproduction, dissemination, distribution, importation, use, removal, alteration, substitution, modification, storage, uploading, downloading, communication, making available to the public, or broadcasting of protected material, electronic signatures or copyrighted works including legally protected sound recordings or phonograms or information material on protected works, through the use of telecommunication networks, such as, but not limited to, the internet, in a manner that infringes intellectual property rights shall be punished by a minimum fine of One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00) and a maximum commensurate to the damage incurred and a mandatory imprisonment of six (6) months to three (3) years;
c) Violation of the Consumer Act or Republic Act No. 7394 and other relevant or pertinent laws through transactions covered by or using electronic data messages or electronic documents, shall be penalized with the same penalties as provided in those laws;
d) Other violations of the provisions of this Act, shall be penalized with a maximum penalty of One million pesos (P1,000,000.00) or six (6) years imprisonment.
SECTION 34. Implementing Rules and Regulations. – The DTI, Department of Budget and Management and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas are hereby empowered to enforce the provisions of this Act and issue implementing rules and regulations necessary, in coordination with the Department of Transportation and Communications, National Telecommunications Commission, National Computer Center, National Information Technology Council, Commission on Audit, other concerned agencies and the private sector, to implement this Act within sixty (60) days after its approval.
Failure to issue rules and regulations shall not in any manner affect the executory nature of the provisions of this Act.
SECTION 35. Oversight Committee. – There shall be a Congressional Oversight Committee composed of the Committees on Trade and Industry/Commerce, Science and Technology, Finance and Appropriations of both the Senate and House of Representatives, which shall meet at least every quarter of the first two years and every semester for the third year after the approval of this Act to oversee its implementation. The DTI, DBM, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, and other government agencies as may be determined by the Congressional Committee shall provide a quarterly performance report of their actions taken in the implementation of this Act for the first three (3) years.
SECTION 36. Appropriations. – The amount necessary to carry out the provisions of Sections 27 and 28 of this Act shall be charged against any available funds and/or savings under the General Appropriations Act of 2000 in the first year of effectivity of this Act. Thereafter, the funds needed for the continued implementation shall be included in the annual General Appropriations Act.
SECTION 37. Statutory Interpretation. – Unless otherwise expressly provided for, the interpretation of this Act shall give due regard to its international origin and the need to promote uniformity in its application and the observance of good faith in international trade relations. The generally accepted principles of international law and convention on electronic commerce shall likewise be considered.
SECTION 38. Variation by Agreement. – As between parties involved in generating, sending, receiving, storing or otherwise processing electronic data message or electronic document, any provision of this Act may be varied by agreement between and among them.
SECTION 39. Reciprocity. – All benefits, privileges, advantages or statutory rules established under this Act, including those involving practice of profession, shall be enjoyed only by parties whose country of origin grants the same benefits and privileges or advantages to Filipino citizens.
SECTION 40. Separability Clause. – The provisions of this Act are hereby declared separable and in the event of any such provision is declared unconstitutional, the other provisions to remain in force and effect.
SECTION 41. Repealing Clause. – All other laws, decrees, rules and regulations or parts thereof which are inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed, amended or modified accordingly.
SECTION 42. Effectivity. – This Act shall take effect immediately after its publication in the Official Gazette or in at least two (2) newspapers of general circulation.