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PIA Press Release

DTI Davao Norte takes focus on consumer education

By Jean Duron-Abangan

TAGUM CITY (24 May) -- Along with investment promotions and job generation, the provincial office of the Department of Trade and Industry also took focus on consumer education and advocacy.

In its annual report, the Davao del Norte office of DTI embarked on various initiatives to inform consumers of their rights and keeping them abreast of existing consumer laws and policies.

Besides ensuring welfare and protecting rights of consumers, DTI Provincial Director Nenita Nazareno said these initiatives significantly help increase the buying power of consumers.

This went in line with the objective of the national government to improve the cost of living of the Filipino people which formed part of the 8 by 08 program of the Arroyo administration, designed to deliver the gains of improve economy.

DTI Davao del Norte last year launched and conducted last year the Search for the Best Palengke Bayan through which the compliance to laws and policies on price tags and labeling and on PS and ICC markings was strengthened.

The initiative earned for the province the Regional Winner for the Best Palengke ng Bayan which went to the municipality of Sto. Tomas Public Market while the second place for the same search was conferred to New Tagum City Public Market.

DTI also conceptualized last year the project EMBRACE which stood for Enriching and Mobilizing Barangays for Resources Access and Consumer Empowerment.

Jointly implemented with the Tagum City, the project equipped consumers with knowledge of their rights and responsibilities that would consequently result in increasing their buying power.

In its initial phase, the project benefited about 1,000 barangay front-liners, among whom were barangay officials, purok leaders and barangay health workers, through consumer education seminars conducted in 23 barangays in Tagum City. Similar activities were also conducted in Panabo City and in Sto Tomas.

As an offshoot to Project EMBRACE, the Tagum City Consumers Association was formally organized on October 26 last year.

DTI Consumer Welfare officers went their way last year in strengthening a total of 91 established consumer welfare desks (CWDs) by conducting capability building seminars and consumer education forum.

Nazareno said this consequently promoted a "healthy relationship between our office and business establishments resulting in greater Fair Trade Law compliance."

The effort gained for the province regional awards in the Search for the Best of the Best CWDs. NCCC Department Store Tagum was awarded as the regional winner for the department store category; NCCC Supermarket (Tagum) got the second place for the supermarket category; and G & P Home Furnishings Appliance Store , second place for appliance category.

Part of its effort to bring down consumer education, DTI conducted a capability-building seminar to members and officers of various consumer organizations in the province.

Nazareno explained that the module on values clarification "served as a springboard of the seminar which tried to examine, review, and harmonize values of consumer organization officers and members which is fundamental to their involvement in consumer groups." (PIA XI/JMDA) [top]

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