A pleasant day to everyone!

On behalf of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), I wish to thank the ASEAN Committee on Consumer Protection, the Peer Review Team, the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), and the regional and country experts for your work on the Peer Review and assessment of the state of Philippine consumer protection.

Being the first country in ASEAN to have volunteered to undergo this Peer Review, the Philippines and the Filipino consumer stand to benefit from the enforcement of high-level principles on consumer protection.

It is one of the missions of DTI through the Consumer Protection Group (CPG) to oversee the effective implementation and enforcement of fair-trade laws to ensure the protection of consumers. We provide the mechanism for the speedy resolution of consumer complaints as well as measures to increase consumer awareness through various education and information dissemination campaigns or programs.

We also recognize the need to adapt to the changing landscape of businesses and trade transactions aggravated by the impacts of the pandemic, as well as the advances in digital technology. Among the common problems faced today by the government in protecting consumer rights online include false or inaccurate information provided by businesses, problems with payment security, and unfair contract terms, among others.

To address these problems, DTI undertakes measures that include attending public hearings and technical working group (TWG) meetings conducted the by Congress, Senate, and other government agencies as well as Committee/Council Meetings, and initiating legislative proposals such as the Internet Transactions Act and the Revised Consumer Act, to name just a few.

We are happy to note that the External Peer Review Report bared the positive impact of DTI’s consistent and regular outreach activities for the consumer, our various consumer protection initiatives such as the Online Price Monitoring System, and our handling of consumer complaints, among many others. All these efforts redound toward consumer empowerment and an improved consumer protection system.

Let me therefore take this opportunity to congratulate DTI’s Consumer Protection Group and the Consumer Policy and Advocacy Bureau (CPAB), not only on the success of this conference, but also for ensuring a high level of consumer protection and welfare in our country.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this conference.

Maraming salamat po at mabuhay tayong lahat!

Date of Release: 18 October 2021