The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), through its Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB), continues to be at the forefront of consumer protection with non-compliant supermarkets summoned and Php274,734.27 worth of uncertified consumer products sealed in Makati, on 21 July 2022.
After the successful monitoring and enforcement operations in Binondo, Silang, and Dasmariñas, Consumer Protection Group (CPG) Undersecretary Atty. Ruth B. Castelo and Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB) Officer-In-Charge Director Atty. Marimel D. Porciuncula led the DTI teams in monitoring the price and supply of Basic Necessities and Prime Commodities (BNPC) in two (2) supermarkets; and inspecting technically regulated products in thirteen (13) depots and automotive firms within Makati.
The recent enforcement of DTI technical regulations mandating compliance with Philippine Standard Certification Mark Schemes, particularly Department Administrative Order No. 02, Series of 2007 has led to the sealing of 407 self-ballasted LED lamps worth Php134,158.00; and 62 car tires worth Php140,666.27.
The DTI thereby issued Notices of Violation (NOV) to the non-compliant stores mandating them to explain within forty-eight (48) hours from the receipt of the notice.
“We always remind the sellers that we are not against them; we do not want to repress them but we are always after protection and safety of the consuming public,” said Usec. Castelo.
In July 2022, FTEB has already seized and sealed uncertified products worth Php353,249.00, in Cavite and Manila. This is on top of the Php21,139,676.89 worth of uncertified products already confiscated from January to June 2022.
To protect consumers or potential buyers of electrical and electronic products; mechanical or building and construction materials; and chemical and other consumer products and systems, DTI-BPS regulates eighty-seven (87) products and systems through implementing Mandatory Product Certification Schemes: the Philippine Standard (PS) Quality and/or Safety Certification Mark Licensing Scheme and the Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) Certification Scheme.
Meanwhile, Usec. Castelo and Director Porciuncula also led the DTI monitoring teams in visiting two (2) supermarkets that were pronounced compliant with the latest SRP bulletin, released last 11 May 2022.
However, after inspection, the DTI issued Show Cause Orders (SCO) to the supermarkets that were found selling BNPCs without price tags. In forty-eight (48) hours upon the receipt of the SCO, the stores have to send a written explanation of the alleged violation of Republic Act No. 7394 or the Consumer Act of the Philippines, requiring all consumer products being sold in retail to have appropriate price tags, labels, or markings indicating their prices.
“Rest assured that the department closely monitors prices and will immediately act on sudden, unusual price movements,” Usec. Castelo underscored.
The DTI-FTEB conducts weekly monitoring of the price and supply of basic necessities such as, but not limited to, canned sardines, processed milk, powdered milk, coffee, bread, instant noodles, salt, detergent soap, bottled water, and candles; and prime commodities such as, but not limited to, canned meat, vinegar, patis, soy sauce, toilet soap, batteries, flour, cement, hollow blocks, construction nails, light bulbs, electrical supplies, and steel wires.
The DTI enjoins consumers to report retailers, distributors, and manufacturers that sell uncertified items and basic necessities without price tags, through the Consumer Care Hotline at DTI (1-384) or firstname.lastname@example.org.