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Commentary: Consumers rights come with corresponding responsibilities

Tacloban City (October 29) -- Just as people must be properly informed of their rights as consumers, they must also be taught that for every right comes a corresponding responsibility. This was emphasized by Mr. Joe Molina of the Department of Trade and Industry Regional Office 8.

Mr. Molina said that in connection with the Consumers Welfare Month, the Department of Trade and Industry conducted various activities which will heighten the consumers’ awareness of their rights.

Mr. Joe Molina during the interaction with the media held recently at PIA, informed that the first right of consumers is the right to basic needs. Nobody can deny a consumer from obtaining his basic needs, Mr. Molina said. The consumers also have the right to choose and the right to refuse. Nobody can force a consumer on what to buy and no one can force him to buy what he does not want to buy, he added.

Included in the eight basic rights of the consumers are the right to information, the right to representation and the right to redress. The consumer has the right to be informed, represented and the right to complain when he feels that he has been shortchanged and has been fooled.

Completing the rights are the right to consumer education and the right to a clean environment, Mr. Molina informed.

There are five basic responsibilities of the consumers, Mr. Molina revealed. The first is critical awareness. It is the responsibility of the consumer to know what he is buying, whether the product is not damaged or the product is exactly what was advertised about it.

The consumer has the responsibility to take action when he knows that his rights are being curtailed. By doing so, he will also be helping protect the other consumers, Mr. Molina emphasized.

The third responsibility of the consumer is that of social responsibility. He should take into consideration the needs and the rights of other consumers. The fourth is that the consumer has the responsibility towards environmental concerns. He must be aware of the effects of his consumption.

The fifth is the consumers responsibility to be united. Mr. Molina said that united, the consumers will have stronger bargaining power. If the consumers know that such a business establishment is selling substandard products, then they must unite and not patronize the store, he concluded. Mr. Molina said that the media can help a lot in protecting the welfare of the consumers by informing them of their rights and the corresponding responsibilities. (PIA 8) [top]

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