Change is coming, exact loose change
GOT no coins? Candies won’t do. But you have to give the exact change, otherwise you have to pay a hefty fine.
A bill approved by Congress penalizing business establishments for failing to give exact change to customers is now awaiting President Aquino’s signature.
The proposed “Exact Change Act” prohibits any business establishment from giving insufficient change or no change at all to customers, even if the change is just small.
The fine is quite hefty: from P500 to P25,000.
If before store owners got away with giving candies, this time they can’t. Under the bill, the change should be in monetary form. Neither can they give the excuse that they lack coins or bills.
If the bill is signed into law, establishments will be required to display on their counter signs that read: “Demand your exact change.”
They also need to put tags showing the exact retail price as well as signs indicating the taxes incorporated in the retail price.
Under the bill, a consolidation of House Bill No. 4730 and Senate Bill No. 1618, a consumer can file a complaint against erring establishments with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) within 10 working days after the violation was committed.
The DTI is mandated to investigate the complaint and notify the establishment within 10 working days. It has to decide on the complaint not more than 30 days after receiving it.
First-time violators face a fine of P500 or 3 percent of their gross sales, whichever is higher. Second offense is penalized with a fine of P5,000 or 5 percent of the gross sales.
Third-time violators face a fine of P15,000 or 7 percent of their gross sales, and a three-month suspension of their license to operate. A fourth offense merits a P25,000 fine or 10 percent of the gross sales, and a revocation of the license to operate.
The DTI is tasked to mount a campaign to inform consumers of their right to be given exact change and regularly publish a list of the violators.
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