AN OFFICIAL of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said extensive monitoring on business establishments by the agency will continue this year to protect the interest of the consumers.

DTI Provincial Manager Rolando Acuña said they will implement all existing laws to thwart unscrupulous businessmen from engaging in malpractices in doing business.

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“We are armed with laws that safeguard the consumers,” Acuña said, citing violators would be dealt with accordingly.

These laws include: The Consumer Act of the Philippines; Price Act that prohibits business from engaging in profiteering practices; Standards Law that ensures that goods sold in the country, both local and imported, adhere to specific product standards; and, Presidential Decree 1572, which requires the accreditation of service and repair shops to safeguard the public against unfair and incompetent practices of service and repair shops.

Acuña urged consumers who became victims of malpractices by business establishments to complain report to his office so that proper action could be undertaken.

He said that they have penalized 93 establishments last year for violations of provisions of the Price Act, Consumer Act, and Standards Law.

He added that the prosecution of the violators was a result of the extensive monitoring they conducted last year in Zamboanga City.

Acuña said a total of P152,500 were collected as penalties from the erring establishments.

“We made sure the agency is visible in the market especially during times of crisis to assure consumers that the government is on the ground working to safeguard the welfare and interest of the buying public.” (Bong Garcia/Sunnex)