THE Department of Trade and Industry in Northern Mindanao intensifies its campaign against substandard Christmas lights to protect consumers this holiday season.
DTI-Northern Mindanao office warns to close down establishments if found to be selling substandard Christmas lights.
"Kung makita namo nga gapamaligya lang gihapon, walay mahay, i-confiscate, i-destroy, but we will give them within 48 hours to explain kay basin naa silay mapakita nga documents, pero kung wala mo-presume nami nga illegal gyud ilang gipamaligya (If we still see [substandard] Christmas lights being sold, we will confiscate and destroy them but we will give them within 48 hours to explain, maybe they can show some documents and if there's none, we will presume that what they're selling is illegal)," said lawyer Fel Lester Brillantes, DTI-Northern Mindanao chief of Consumer Welfare Division (CID).
For the first offense, any establishments found to have violated the order, will be fined P25,000, P50,000 for second offense, and P100,000 for third offense with a recommendation submitted to the local government unit to refuse issuing business permits to violators.
DTI-Northern Mindanao has started its surprise inspection to business establishments, including commercial malls in Cagayan de Oro City.
This month is considered the "peak season" for selling Christmas lights.
"Before we enforce, nag-conduct mi ug information and education campaign sa mga retailers sa mga bawal. And we hope this time, wala na untay third offense violator kay mga nanginabuhi raman pud gyud ni sila, ang uban daghan pa gyud ug empleyado (Before we enforce, we conduct an information and education program to the retailers on what's not allowed. And we hope this time, there will be no third offense violator because they are only making a living and some of them are employees too)," he said.
City Councilor George Goking, chair of the committee on trade and commerce, expressed support with the DTI's campaign.
"We will terminate the business permit, recommend for closure, but of course, if the businesses find it too harsh, they can make appeal, then let the committee decide on the matter," Goking said.
Meanwhile, the DTI advises consumers to look for Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) markings to assure the light chains have gone through government inspection.
Brillantes urged the public to conduct their own inspection and to report to the nearest DTI office if there are malls or other establishment selling Christmas lights without ICCs.