Franchise group seeks industry regulatory body
The Association of Filipino Franchisers Inc. (Affi) is seeking the establishment of a body that will regulate the industry, to prevent franchising-related scams from taking place.
In a briefing Thursday, Affi chair Ricardo Cuna said that since most of the group’s members started franchising some 15 years ago, the landscape has changed drastically. Fly-by-night franchisers have also started to proliferate.
Cuna added that while the Department of Trade and Industry had initiated efforts to formulate rules to regulate the industry, these were not enough to shield the sector from scam artists.
“We need heavier ordinances to protect the industry,’’ he said.
The DTI, through its Bureau of Trade Regulation and Consumer Protection, drafted rules to govern the franchising industry. These guidelines, however, had yet to be finalized.
Unlike Affi, the Philippine Franchise Association, a group composed of larger companies, including license holders of international brands, was not keen on having the government regulate the industry.
The group was more inclined toward self-regulation and policing its own ranks.
But Cuna said self-regulation was not enough, particularly for Affi members, which were smaller, homegrown brands.
“Because we’re smaller, we’re more susceptible. We’ve been effective in trying to cleanse our own ranks, but we have to have stiffer laws to protect the industry,’’ he said.