FOR the first time, all establishments in Cagayan de Oro which sell Christmas lights passed the agency's inspection,the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Provincial Office said.
"We are happy to announce na this time, unlike in the previous years, wala na talaga tayong nakitang may violation (we did not see any establishment with violation), not even a single store," Almer Masillones, Consumer Product Division chief, said.
Masillones said in the past years, they have to hire vehicles like dump trucks and a steamroller to destroy substandard or uncertified Christmas lights after these were withdrawn from the stores.
Uncertified Christmas lights, according to Masillones, are those without Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) stickers or Product Standard (PS) marks.
"This time, naay mga display sa (there are display in the) stores but we are happy to say that all is compliant sa ilahang baligya. So naay completo nga mga ICC stickers ug PS mark (to their merchandise. So the stores have complete ICC stickers and PS mark)," Masillones said.
The division chief added that this is the product of DTI continuously informing the establishments of the requirements for selling Christmas lights.
This is the first time DTI has recorded zero violation of establishments in the city that sell Christmas lights. According to Masillones, DTI has recorded several establishments that did not comply with the requirements in selling Christmas lights in the year 2012.
"That was the time wherein we have to get truckloads of Christmas lights," Masillones said.
However, she said two years back, the number of violation decreased.
"From the pison (steamroller) that we need to request, nag gunting na lang mi tungod kay gamay nalang (we just have to use scissors since there were only a number of Christmas lights that were confiscated)," Masillones said.
The enforcement and monitoring of Christmas lights in Cagayan de Oro started on November 8, the first monitoring, which was done around the city.
The second monitoring, on Monday, November 27, was in Cogon market and other dealers surrounding the public market which are identified as both wholesalers and retailers of Christmas lights.
The monitoring group, led by DTI enforcers, consisted of the members of Cagayan de Oro City Price Coordinating Council with City Mayor Oscar Moreno as its chairman. Also present during the inspection was City Councilor George Goking.
The enforcement and monitoring of Christmas lights started when the Chistmas lights became a mandatory product.
"Simula na na-classify sya (Ever since it was classified) as mandatory product, so that means it's a regulated product, it cannot be sold in the market without having passed the Philippine National Standard on Christmas lights. So that the manufacturer of Christmas lights has to submit their product na kung talagang makapasa sa standard (if it will pass the standard). If nakapasa, then yung mga packaging nila dapat may PS mark, Product Standard mark, meaning nakapasa sya sa standard (If it passed the standard, then their packaging should have the PS mark, Product Standard mark, which means that it passed the standard)," Masillones said.
She added that the imported Christmas lights, meanwhile, will have to be transferred from customs to the warehouse.
The importer will ask the DTI through its accredited laboratory to conduct testing of the product. If it passed the testing, Masillones said the ICC sticker will be attached to either the packaging or the product.
Masillones also encouraged the public to be more vigilant, to check for ICC stickers and PS markings on the packaging and items, and to report to the office if they encountered establishments that sell uncertified Christmas lights.
"Kung sila may mga encounters na ganyan (If they encountered those situations), report it in the office para (so) we can conduct verification sa store and take appropriate action. They can call our DTI Misamis Oriental office: 857-4034. Just tell us kung anong store para kami na ang mismo ang pumunta (what store so we can go to the place immediately)," Masillones said.
Published in the SunStar Cagayan de Oro newspaper on November 28, 2017.