DAVAO CITY – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 11 has continued to intensify the implementation of the Consumer Act of the Philippines, while warning business establishments and online sellers to strictly observe the price tag provisions. 

The Republic Act 7394, or the Consumer Act of the Philippines, is aimed at protecting consumers against unscrupulous practices. Further, it is designed to promote their welfare and to continuously empower them. 

The law requires all consumer products to have an appropriate price tag, label, or marking that is prominently displayed. Sellers have to ensure that the price of each item can be determined easily. However, the agency explained that for products that are too small or whose nature makes it impractical to place a price tag on them individually, a price list should be placed at the closest location where the products are displayed. The price list must state the retail price of the same may suffice. 

DTI 11 Regional Director Maria Belenda Q. Ambi shared that the agency, under the Department Administrative Order No. 09 Series of 2002, allows the use of shelf pricing in combination with modern technology for automatic product identification.  Nonetheless, these must be under the conditions that the establishment uses itemized receipts or cash register tapes that reflect the description, size, quantity, and individual prices of the consumer products. Another option is the installation of at least one price verification counter or comparable system.  

“The rules on individual tagging or the requirements on pricing list or poster, as applicable, will apply to establishments that cannot comply with the aforementioned requirement,” the local trade chief said. 

The DTI also advises consumers to pay attention to product prices when purchasing. In cases where there are price discrepancies between the tags and registered prices, the buyer must pay whichever is lower. 

“For instance, the price of the item indicated on the shelf is P100.00, but, when you reach the cashier, the registered amount is already P120.00. In this case, you pay P100.00 because it’s the lower one. To avoid this kind of case, it is, therefore, the responsibility of the seller to ensure that the posted prices are correct,” she said. 

In the meantime, the regional head of DTI here reminded the public, especially the business owners, that the price tag provisions of the Consumer Act of the Philippines apply to online stores as well. 

For concerns about this advisory, consumers and sellers alike can reach out to DTI 11 by sending a message to its official Facebook page DTI Region 11. ♦

Date of release: 23 January 2023