Negros Occidental firms told: Uphold consumer rights

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) urged anew establishments in Negros Occidental to comply with the guidelines and standards set to protect consumers' rights and welfare.

DTI-Negros Occidental Director Lea Gonzales, who spoke at the Consumer Fun Run 2017 at the New Government Center in Bacolod City, said Sunday, October 1, that establishments are mandated to strictly follow suggested retail prices (SRPs) especially for basic and prime commodities.

Aside from following the correct pricing, businesses should not also deceive consumers by selling defective and substandard products, Gonzales said.

Electrical products, for instance, like Christmas lights, appliances, and even construction materials must have Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) markings certified by the Bureau of Product Standards.

Republic Act 7394, or the Consumer Act of the Philippines, provides that it is the policy of the state to protect the interest of the consumer, provide his general welfare, and establish standards of conduct for business and industry.

Under which, establishments selling products without markings and certification will be subjected to penalties ranging from P25,000 to P300,000 per kind plus confiscation of all products within its vicinity, including the stockroom.

"As we celebrate Consumer Welfare Month this October, the agency will intensify its monitoring measures to ensure that establishments adhere to the welfare of consumers," Gonzales said, adding that "it is their obligation to uphold consumer rights."

For consumers, the DTI urged them to be aware of their basic consumer rights.

Engiemar Tupas, senior trade and industry development specialist of DTI-Negros Occidental, said consumers should make sure that they are getting the “right” amount of products and services they purchase.

Tupas said senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs) are entitled to avail discounts especially on purchases of medicines.

"Consumers should also be knowledgeable and vigilant in protecting their rights and welfare. They are urged to report immediately to DTI and other concerned agencies erring establishments," he added.

The fun run kicked off the month-long celebration themed “Consumer Rights in the Digital Age.”

Other activities include series of seminars on consumer rights and welfare protection.
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