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Based on its cumulative accomplishment report as of mid-2017, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) achieved 99.36% resolution rate of its received consumer
complaints. Moreover, it already monitored 49.44% or 5,438 of its target 11,000 firms in the National Capital Region (NCR).

“The DTI, through its Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB), is highly committed to providing the buying public with a prompt and efficient resolution of their complaints.
Monitoring and enforcement activities are likewise heightened in various business establishments to enable a better and safe marketplace for them,” said DTI’s Consumer
Protection Group (CPG) Undersecretary Atty. Teodoro C. Pascua.

Handling consumer complaints
To date, the FTEB’s Mediation Division has already received 4,156 consumer complaints in NCR — 1,554 of which were processed through mediation, 128 were escalated to adjudication, 626 were endorsed to other government agencies, 133 were forwarded to other DTI offices, 875 were dismissed, and 840 were archived.

FTEB Assistant Director Ferdinand L. Manfoste reported that of the 1,554 complaints processed through mediation, 1,544 complaints were resolved within 10 working days,
while only 10 complaints were acted on within 11 to 15 working days.

He explained that doing so is to adhere to the Department Administrative Order (DAO) No. 13-02, Series of 2013, which specifies that resolution of complaints falling under the DTI’s jurisdiction, shall not exceed 10 working days by mediation and 20 working days by adjudication.

FTEB AD Manfoste likewise pointed out that the DTI implements ‘No Wrong Door Policy,’ which means that every complaint it receives, even if it does not fall under its
jurisdiction, is still accommodated and then forwarded to the right agency for appropriate actions.

He further confirmed that complaints are amicably settled during mediation stage, as much as possible, to save both the complainant’s and respondent’s time and expenses.
“The DTI was able to address already 4,156 complaints in just mid-2017, compared to last year’s overall total of 5,755 complaints. The consumers then can rely on our
commitment to strive more when acting on their complaints,” FTEB AD Manfoste affirmed.

Moreover, Undersecretary Atty. Pascua enjoined the consumers to exercise their right to redress.

“Our consumers have the right to be compensated for misinterpretation and shoddy goods or unsatisfactory services. They should assert or avail any of the 3Rs: Repair,
Refund, and Replace,” he enumerated.

Enforcement of fair trade laws
Meanwhile, the DTI has already monitored 5,438 firms or 49.44% of the target 11,000 firms this year in NCR. Three hundred seventeen (317) firms were issued the Notices of Violation (NOVs), and 231 of which were filed with formal charges.

Starting 2017, 4,483 violative products that approximately cost P696,947.50 have been confiscated during the rounds of DTI monitoring and enforcement teams. The Department, together with its Regional and Provincial Offices (ROs and POs), enforces fair trade laws such as Republic Act No. 7349 or the Consumer Act of the Philippines, RA 7581 or the Price Act, RA 71 or the Price Tag Law, and RA 4109 or the Product Standards Law, among others.

“It is crucial that businesses, especially retailers, offer consumer products within their suggested retail prices (SRPs). Selling basic and prime goods at undue prices is an act
of price manipulation and a burden to consumers’ hard-earned money. Similarly, uncertified and substandard critical products should be prevented in the market for these jeopardize safety,” FTEB AD Manfoste emphasized.

The Price Act states that the prices of basic necessities and prime commodities should be at reasonable levels at all times. The Price Tag Law, on the other hand, requires all
consumer products sold in retail to have an appropriate price tag, label, or marking indicating their prices. More so, Product Standards Law prohibits the distribution or sale
of any product that does not conform to the Bureau of Philippine Standards’ (BPS) Product Certification Scheme and other required, applicable Philippine National Standards (PNS) quality or safety standards and tests.

To intensify the implementation of fair trade laws and provision of consumer redress nationwide, the DTI launches its flagship program — Project Execution Team (ET). As
of 28 July 2017, the said project has already notched up 73.25% accomplishment rate, as 879 of the 2017 target 1,200 firms to be monitored under Project ET were
completed.

“With this project, the DTI expects that basic necessities and prime commodities being sold in the market are within their SRPs, while critical products bear the required
Philippine Standard (PS) and Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) marks,” said CPG Undersecretary Atty. Pascua.

To report non-compliant business establishments, visit the nearest DTI office in your area. Consumers may also call FTEB’s Mediation Division at 824.4228 or 975.7965 to file complaints.

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