Gov’t starts monitoring quality, prices of products for Christmas holidays
MANILA, Philippines—The government on Tuesday started its “heightened” monitoring quality and prices of products for the holidays like Christmas lights and Noche Buena items beginning with populated malls and establishments in Divisoria, Manila.
And on the first day of monitoring, Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo and Senator Bam Aquino, chairman of the Senate committee on trade, reported at least one violation by a retailer who was caught selling Christmas lights with no ICC (Import Commodity Clearance) sticker.
Domingo said the retailer was given until 48 hours to explain why he was selling the product without the required ICC sticker.
Such violation, Domingo said, entails a penalty of P5,000 up to P1 million “depending on the gravity of the offense.”
“Yung tao namin sa DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) will determine the gravity of the fine,” he said.
The “special market monitoring” conducted by the DTI along with the committee on trade and the local government of Manila was being conducted to ensure that only certified Christmas lights are in the market and that establishments sell Noche Buena products within specified suggested retail prices (SRPs), Aquino said in a statement Monday.
He said the joint monitoring team will post information materials on the list of certified brands of Christmas lights and on the SRPs of Noche Buena products “to guide the establishments on their sale and distribution, and also to assist the consumers in their purchases.”
“The DTI also aims to lessen the sale of uncertified brands of Christmas lights and to prevent unwarranted price increases for Noche Buena products,” said the senator.
While the government is doing its job to monitor the products being sold in the market, Aquino urged business owners as well as consumers to do their parts.
He said business owners should be responsible while the consumers should know how to spend their money wisely.
“Huwag masisilaw sa mura, kailangan tingnan talaga, kilatisin ang presyo, kalidad, tamang stickers o mga product standards para hindi masayang ang pera na pinaghirapan natin (Let us not be lured by cheap products. We should really look at the prices, quality, proper stickers and product standards so our hard-earned money will not be wasted), he said.
Aquino then saw the need for an intensified information campaign on consumers’ rights, and the need for the establishments of more consumer desks at least in major malls in the country.
“Our effort is to really bring out more information regarding consumer rights, being responsible business owners. Hopefully, hindi lang ito tungkol sa (this is not all about) enforcement,” he said.
The senator said the laws were sufficient to protect consumers’ welfare but “implementation is really the key.”
“Kailangan talaga malaman ng tao kung ano ang karapatan nila. For example, kahit wala kang warrant basta may resibo, meron kang implied na warranty na 60 days. Kung merong tindahan na sabi sa iyo na wala kang warranty, basta naipakita mo ang resibo mo, may implied warranty.
(The consumers should really know their rights. For example, even if you have no warranty but if you have a receipt, then you have an implied warranty of 60 days. If there are stores that would tell you that you don’ have a warranty, just show your receipt and you have an implied warranty),” he pointed out.
“’Yan ang hindi alam ng mga namimili sa ating bayan. So kailangan may (information campaign) tayo na alam ng mga consumers ang mga karapatan nila at kung sino ang puwede nilang takbuhan (The consumers in our country don’t know that. We should have information campaign so that the consumers will know their rights and where they can go),” Aquino added.