THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is leading the celebration of Consumer Welfare Month (CWM), highlighting the rights and responsibilities of consumers even as more and more are opting to pay for goods and services through digital transactions.
Lawyer Fel Lester Brillantes, chief of the Consumer Welfare Protection Division of DTI-Northern Mindanao, said this year's theme, "Consumer Rights in the Digital Age," was adapted from Consumers International, a nonprofit organization in London that empowers and champions the rights of consumers worldwide.
Brillantes said the theme is geared toward informing consumers of their rights, especially in online purchasing.
"Considering that ang consumer transaction karon (nowadays) is no longer physical but more and more going online," Brillantes added.
Brillantes also reminded consumers to take extra care when purchasing online, considering that there are sites used by scammers.
He advised the consumers to do background checks before placing credit card numbers or leaving money and to counter check the reliability of websites or sellers.
"As consumers, dapat gyud exercise diligence," Brillantes said.
The Consumers Welfare Month celebration began on October 1 with a Fun Run in Camigiun, Bukidnon and Misamis Occidental, followed by a motorcade in Iligan City the next day and a media TV guesting on October 3.
On October 5, a Consumer Advocacy Fair Trade Law briefing, which will be held in Iligan City, will be participated by retailers, students, people in the academe and consumer organizations.
Brillantes said they will be briefed about the fair trade laws, rules and regulations.
"Relacade," a motorcade of motorelas (motorized tricycle), will also run on the same day in Iligan City.
The Regional Evaluation for Bagwis Awardees will be on October 6 while the Bagwis Awarding will be on October 27.
The Bagwis Program is about giving due recognition to establishments that uphold rights of consumers while practicing responsible business where consumers get the best value for money.
Dulaang Pangmamimili, a new activity added to this year’s CWM, is a play about consumer rights participated by high school students in each province in Northern Mindanao. It will be conducted in Lanao del Norte on October 17, Misamis Oriental on October 18, Misamis Occidental on October 19, and Bukidnon on October 20.
Other activities within the month are: Diskwento Caravan in Oroquieta on October 7; Provincial Quiz Bowl in Bukidnon, Camiguin, Lanao del Norte and Misamis Oriental on October 10 and 11; Cyber Security Briefing in Iligan City on October 12; Barangay Awareness Raising Campaigns for Consumer Empowerment on October 21; Regional Quiz Bowl on October 24; Consumer Quiz for Market Vendors on October 26; Bagwis Awarding on October 27; Standardization and Conformity Assessment Briefing on October 30; and Fair Trade Law Monitoring and Enforcement on October 31.
The month of October was declared as Consumer Welfare Month under the Proclamation No. 1098, which was signed on September 26, 1997 by former President Fidel Ramos.
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas hosted last year’s the Consumer Welfare Month celebration.