Prioritizing consumers’ safety, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) continues to crack down on business establishments selling uncertified and inferior or substandard critical products.

DTI’s Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB) last 30 June 2017 conducted special monitoring and enforcement activities in three (3) general merchandise stores (Wawawei General Merchandise, Royal Mac Store, and Jackman Emporium) in Muñoz, Quezon City.

FTEB OIC Ferdinand L. Manfoste reported that all three stores were found to be selling products under mandatory certification with no required Philippine Standard (PS) or Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) mark.

“Aside from not having the required markings, we also noticed that one of the stores used PS and ICC marks not authorized by the Bureau of Philippine Standards [BPS]. Another store was liable for selling household appliances without proper labeling as to their respective PNS [Philippine National Standard] requirements — no manufacturing date and manufacturer’s name,” FTEB OIC Manfoste continued.

The violative products then were seized afterward, and these cost roughly P411,130.00.

The general merchandise stores, on the other hand, were imposed with a minimum penalty of P17,500.00 per type of product. They were also issued the Notice of Violation (NOV) and requested to explain before the DTI office within 48 hours; otherwise, a formal charge with corresponding penalty would be filed.

According to Department Administrative Order (DAO 02:2007), the “distribution, sale, or offer for sale of any product covered by Philippine Standard Certification Mark Schemes which does not conform to the required and applicable PNS quality or safety standards” is prohibited.

Section 6, item 6.2.2, of the same DAO also disallows “importation, distribution, sale, offer for sale or manufacture of any product covered by mandatory product certification under a fake, withdrawn, suspended, or canceled BPS license or permit.”

Meanwhile, Article 77 of Republic Act No. 7349 or the Consumer Act specifies that “all consumer products domestically sold, whether manufactured locally or imported, shall indicate their respective labels of packaging.”

Hence, DTI’s Consumer Protection Group (CPG) Undersecretary Atty. Teodoro C. Pascua encourages the consumers to be wary of buying electrical and electronic products, mechanical/building and construction materials, and chemical and other consumer products.

“Our consumers should exercise their right to safety. It is important that they look for PS and ICC marks on products, most especially if these are under mandatory certification. This way, they are protected against harmful goods or services,” Undersecretary Atty. Pascua pointed out.

He likewise warns the manufacturers, importers, distributors, and retailers to sell only those critical products that bear the required markings and labeling, as well as, pass quality and safety tests.

Undersecretary Atty. Pascua further assures that the Department is keen on monitoring the compliance with the fair trade laws of business establishments not only in the National Capital Region (NCR), but also in the regions.

The recently concluded special monitoring and enforcement activities are initiatives that the DTI-FTEB has undertaken in line with the pre-launching of its Project Execution Team (ET). Project ET is a special project to intensify the implementation of fair trade laws to safeguard the life, safety, and health of the public, especially the consumers.

For more information and to report business establishments selling substandard and uncertified products, visit the nearest DTI office in your area. Consumers may also call DTI-FTEB’s Mediation Division at 824.4228 or 975.7965 for complaints. The list of products under the BPS Product Certification Scheme can be accessed through the BPS Standards and Conformance Portal.