Informing the consumers of their basic rights is a must, says DTI
By Rodrigo S Victoria
Naval, Biliran (9 October) -– In October where public consumers take the centerstage in all the activities undertaken by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in connection with the celebration of the Consumer Welfare Month Celebration held every year, the discussion of the different rights of a consumer in public by no less than the provincial chief of DTI-Biliran is good and appropriate move for their welfare and benefit.
In the PIA Kapihan forum over Radyo Natin-Naval yesterday, Engr. Celerina B. Barrot, Officer-In-Charge of DTI-Biliran discussed one by one the eight rights that a consumer must know and be aware of.
Barrot enumerated that the eight basic consumer rights include the right to basic needs, right to safety, right to information, right to choose, right to representation, right to redress, right to consumer education and the right to a healthy environment.
She explained that the right to basic needs guarantee the consumers the right to survival, adequate food, clothing, shelter, health care, education and sanitation
In acquiring these basic needs, a consumer must prioritize ones needs, look for quality and not quantity, be quality conscious and not brand conscious and must also look forward to the availability of basic and prime commodities at affordable prices and of good quality, Barrot empahasized.
On the second right of a consumer, Barrot said that this right entails the protection against the marketing of goods or the provision of services that are hazardous to health and life and that consumers should look forward that manufacturers of consumer products will undertake extensive safety and performance testing before selling their products in the market.
The right to information is the right to be protected against dishonest or misleading advertising or labelling and the right to be given the facts and information needed to make an informed choice and that consumer must look forward to a complete information about product to be purchased including its use, ingredients and chemical contents, precautions, if any limitation and expiry date, she added.
The DTI chief further said that the right to choose is the right to choose products at competitive prices with an assurance of satisfactory quality and that consumers must look forward to a wide array of goods and services which are offered in the market with diverse brands, sizes, shapes and colors and with differences in the price, quality and use.
She added that the right to representation is the right to express consumer interests in the making and execution of government policies where consumers should look forward to legislators would propose laws that would ensure that consumers would have the chance to live a better life by getting the best value for their hard-earned peso.
Barrot further said that the right to redress which is the sixth right of consumers is the right to be compensated for misrepresentation, shoddy goods or unsatisfactory services and where consumers must look forward that manufacturers/storeowners would replace defective goods pursuant to the provision of RA 7394 otherwise known as the Consumer Act of the Philippines which entails the provision on “No Return, No Exhange”.
The right to consumer education which is the seventh right is the right to acquire the knowledge and skils necessary to be an informed customer where consumers must look forward to business, government and consumer to embark on an information campaign through tri-media on consumer-related issues and if possible attend to seminars, conferences, fora, trainings and public hearing for the welfare of consumers, she said.
On the eight and last consumer right which is the right to a healthy environment, Barrot said that consumers have the right to live and work in an environment which is neither threatening nor dangerous and which permits a life of dignity and well-being and where consumers must look forward that government must exert iron hand in protecting the natural resources and the nvironment as a whole in order to prevent its damage and degradation.
In the end, Barrot reminded the public consumers that a well-informed and vigilant consumer is the best protected consumer. (PIA-Biliran) [top]