Consumernet marks Consumer Welfare Month
by Mari Cruz
BAGUIO CITY (2 October) -- The CONSUMERNET Cordillera, an alliance of government agencies and non government organizations supporting consumer rights and interests, has launched this year's Consumer Welfare Month (CWM) celebration this October in a kapihan forum held last week.
With the main objective of ensuring consumer protection, CONSUMERNET member agencies headed by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Agriculture(DA), Department of Health (DOH), the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) and other government and non-government organizations are encouraging the consuming public in the region to report any complaint to the agencies concerned.
During the forum, DTI Regional Caretaker Maritess Damian stressed that every buyer or consumer has the right to report to any of the following agencies their complaint; the DOH for food, drugs, cosmetics, devices and substances, the DA for products related to agriculture, the DOTC for transport complaints and the DTI for grocery products and other consumer products not specified above.
According to Damian, a total of 60 complaints were received by the DTI-CAR from January 2006 to date. Included in the complaints are purchases of defective computer and appliances, overpricing, no price tag, and expired goods.
Damian said that all the said complaints are violations of the Consumer Act and those establishments found violating such will be charged a penalty of up to P500,000 to 1M depending on the complaint filed.
Meanwhile, Bureau of Food and Drug (BFAD) Regulations Officer Remegio Basilan urged the public to avoid buying medicines like slimming pills, whitening pills, and other medicines being sold in the market as these are not approved by BFAD and there is no guarantee they can cure. Only medicines being sold at accredited drugstores are being monitored by BFAD, Basilan said.
Likewise, Land Transportation Office (LTO) operations division chief Robert Pocais said aside from complaints on defective taxi meters, commuters can also report their complaints regarding arrogant and discourteous drivers, including dilapidated taxi units to the LTO and the Land Transportation and Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
In a related development, Damian reported that aside from the CWM, October is also Statistics Month, Productivity Month and Indigenous People's Month. Concerned agencies are joining forces to host the said celebrations and will be holding a one motorcade and an exhibit of all calendars and schedules of such celebrations. (PIA-CAR) [top]