MANILA - The number of registered businesses in the Philippines grew by "over 4,000 percent" since the national government placed Luzon under lockdown in mid-March, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said Thursday.
Some 73,276 businesses registered with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) between March 16 and August 31, Lopez told the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship.
"Contactless transaction has become the new normal," he said.
"We will need a law that will maximize the benefits brought about by a digital economy," he said, noting that the number of complaints from consumers also "quadrupled.
The DTI recorded some 12,630 complaints from mid-March to August, 4 times higher than the 3,000 grievances filed before the Philippines' most populous island was placed on a lockdown due to COVID-19, he said.
"The quadruple increase is attributed to surge of online transactions," Lopez said.
The DTI will back laws that will make online transactions in the country "effective enough for our kababayans to put their trust in e-commerce," he said.