In time for the celebration of Consumer Welfare Month this October, the Department of Trade and Industry releases new guidelines on its recognition of Consumer Organizations.

The Department Administrative Order (DAO) 20-07, Series of 2020 or the “Revised Guidelines on the Recognition of Consumer Organizations (COs) was signed on 09 October 2020. It can be recalled that on December 2017, the DTI issued DAO 17-07, Series of 2017 otherwise known as the “Guidelines on the Recognition of Consumer Organizations.

“The DTI recognizes the importance of the involvement and participation of consumer organization in every aspect of promoting consumer rights and responsibilities and other consumer-related programs. It enjoins all consumer organizations in the country to enlist with the DTI with a minimal fee, and we will work hand in hand to further strengthen consumer awareness,” says DTI – Consumer Policy and Advocacy Bureau Officer-in-Charge Atty. Marimel Dancel Porciuncula.

As defined in the DAO 20-07, “Consumer Organizations” refer to a group of individuals who organize themselves for a common cause of promoting the welfare and protecting the rights of consumers”. Currently, there are ten (10) locally recognized consumer organizations (COs) nationwide. All existing DTI-recognized COs will be automatically enlisted in the DTI Register of Consumer Organizations free of charge based on the revised guidelines. Meanwhile, COs may enlist with the DTI by filling out a form and paying one hundred fifty pesos (P150.00) at the DTI Cashier’s Office concerned.

The new guidelines substantially relaxed the requirements set forth in the old guidelines such that a CO can be classified as “Enlisted Consumer Organization” if the CO voluntary enlisted in the DTI Register of Consumer Organizations which, if qualified, may be recognized by DTI either as a local CO or National CO, while a currently Recognized Consumer Organization is automatically enlisted without need to pay P150.00

According to Section 1 of DAO 20-07, an enlisted CO must have at least five individual members for it to be qualified for recognition as Local CO while at least thirty members is required for an enlisted CO to be qualified as National CO. Further, the certificate of Securities and Exchange Commission or a Cooperative Development Authority is no longer required for the recognition of Local CO.

The validity of certificate of recognition (COR) is three (3) years unless cancelled of suspended and this shall be awarded every March and October of each year, during the celebration of the World Consumer Rights’ Day and Consumer Welfare Month, respectively.

DTI Consumer Protection Group Undersecretary Ruth B. Castelo underscores “We recognized the need to revisit the guidelines on COs to encourage more organizations to enlist with the DTI and revitalize their involvement in the development of policies and programs. A recognized CO will be included in the list of RCOs which will be posted on the DTI website and will be provided consumer information materials among others.”

To give the interested future applicants of recognized consumer organization the opportunity to be apprised of the new guidelines, DTI-CPAB invites the COs to join the Web Info Session on the DAO 20-07 Series of 2020 on 30 October 2020, Friday, 10:00 AM to 12:00 noon via Zoom meeting.

The public is advised to like and follow the DTI Consumer Care Facebook page to get the latest updates and schedule of the Consumer Welfare Month celebration.♦

Date of Release: 23 October 2020