DESPITE expectations of a fairly “subdued” Christmas celebration due to the pandemic, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Cebu has started inspecting the suggested retail prices (SRP) of Noche Buena and other Christmas-related items.
The Consumer Protection Division of DTI Cebu conducted an on-site inspection of Christmas lights and price monitoring of Noche Buena items in 13 establishments in the cities of Cebu and Mandaue on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020.
The DTI team noted low foot traffic inside the stores and no violations on the SRP as well as other consumer concerns so far.
The team also inspected Christmas lights being sold in the market to check whether they bear the Philippine Standard and Import Commodity Clearance marks. This is to ensure that the products available in the market are certified and safe to use, especially during this Christmas season.
As stated in Republic Act 4109 or the Standards Law, the distribution or sale of any product that does not conform to the Bureau of Product Standards Product Certification Scheme and required PNS quality or safety standards and tests is prohibited.
Under the law, sellers of substandard products can face a penalty of P25,000 to P150,000 while manufacturers can pay fines of up to P300,000 or be forced to close.
The trade agency checks on the compliance with the relevant standards of products under mandatory certification to ensure that the Products Standards (Republic Act 4109) and the Consumer Act of the Philippines are strictly enforced.
Earlier, Robert Go, spokesman of the Philippine Retailers Association in Cebu, said Christmas-related items will not sell much this year compared to in previous years.
“Christmas-related items are not expected to sell this year. Goods like clothing, furniture, general merchandise, houseware, bags, personal wear and fashion stocks are still in store since March, and these are expected to still be there by Christmas. We don’t expect to buy new Christmas-related items for selling because we don’t expect them to sell. Whatever is left over last year, that’s it. There will be no new items,” he said.