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PIA Press Release

Buy only properly labeled school supplies - DTI

By Lowell Vallecer

Zamboanga City (11 June) -- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) reminds consumers to be meticulous when shopping for school supplies.

Trade Regional Director Nazrullah Manzur urged parents and students to check the labels of the school supplies before buying to be assured of their quality and safety.

Echoing the call of Trade Secretary Jesli Lapus, Manzur said consumers must check the brand or trademark, name and address of manufacturer, country of manufacture, net quantity, and toxicity warning (if applicable) of the products aside from just looking at their price.

Properly labeled school supplies are an indication of their compliance to set standards of safety. Crayons for example must bear the "Non-Toxic? mark on their label. Consumers should be wary if this mark is absent as young children often put these objects into their mouths.

"To preclude accidents involving ingestion of products containing high levels of toxic chemicals by toddlers, consumers must patronize only safe, properly labeled products even if it means shelling out a few pesos more for these products," Manzur advised.

Manzur disclosed that the DTI through its Bureau of Product Standards (BPS) has already come up with a total of 228 Philippine National Standards (PNS) for school supplies and paper products such as notebooks, pad paper, crayons, ballpoint pens, pencils, marker pens, erasers, chalk, and glue, among others.

The PNS specify the physical and chemical properties, and quality and safety performance of the product including its proper labeling.

The Consumer Act of the Philippines (RA 7394) holds manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers liable for injuries to consumers for products that are defective or unsafe as well as those products with insufficient information on their labels.

A fine of up to P300,000 per violation plus administrative charges may be slapped against individuals or business establishments found violating the PNS minimum requirements for product labeling, according to Manzur.

Consumer complaints involving school supplies and/or other violations of RA 7394 may be filed at the nearest DTI office in their area. (DTI9/PIA9-BST) [top]

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