MAKATI CITY–In celebration of Consumer Welfare Month (CWM), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) conducted a ceremonial destruction of 1130 pieces of forfeited monobloc chairs and stools at the Fair-Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB) grounds on 24 October 2023. This destruction followed the signing of a deed of donation to the Local Government Unit (LGU) of the City of Manila, and The Plastic Flamingo which will upcycle the destroyed products to other usable items.

In his speech, Secretary Pascual underscored, “Today, we are not simply discarding over 2,500 kilograms of potential waste. With this endeavor, we are taking a stand against the ever-growing plastic waste mountains threatening our landfills and oceans. Instead of consigning these chairs and stools to oblivion, the Manila City government, through its material recovery facility (MRF) and the commendable Department of Public Services, will breathe new life into them, transforming them into practical items like trash bins, coasters, or pots.”

Organized by DTI-FTEB, this symbolic disposal event was attended by DTI Secretary Fred Pascual, representatives from the Local Government Unit (LGU) of the City of Manila, and The Plastic Flamingo. The products destroyed were forfeited for non-compliance with the required markings and standard prescribed under Republic Act No. 4109 or the Standardization Law of the Philippines, as well as Republic Act No.7394 or the Consumer Act of the Philippines.

Following the CWM’s theme, “Gen S: Generation Sustainable,” the plastic wastes were donated to the City of Manila and The Plastic Flamingo. The Manila-LGU has a material recovery facility (MRF) manned by its Department of Public Services (DPS) that can manage biodegradable, recyclable, and residual waste, which can then be repurposed into livelihood items or reused for purposes such as creating trash bins, coasters, or pots. On the other hand, the Plastic Flamingo is a social enterprise that collects and transforms plastic waste into a range of sustainable construction materials with the goal of reducing plastic pollution.

As the prime mover of consumer welfare and alongside its dedication to advancing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that will promote sustainable consumption and production patterns while addressing climate change, the DTI and Manila LGU have formalized a commitment through a Deed, signifying the former’s intent to donate and the latter’s intent to accept the plastic waste generated during the ceremonial disposal process.

“Following the 7Rs of sustainability – Rethink, Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose, and Repair – the Consumer Protection Group (CPG) dedicates its efforts to eliminating non-compliant products from the market. Guided by our mandate, we are committed to ensuring the appropriate disposal of such forfeited products, preventing their contribution to environmental pollution,” Secretary Pascual emphasized.

Assistant Secretary Mary Jean T. Pacheco, Officer-in-Charge of Consumer Protection Group also added that as an integral component of the DTI’s continued commitment to safeguarding consumer interests, the Department also recognized the significance of promoting sustainability. She stressed that this initiative should extend across all sectors and levels of government and society.

To protect consumers or potential buyers of electrical and electronic products, mechanical or building and construction materials, and chemical and other consumer products and systems, the DTI Bureau of Philippine Standards (DTI-BPS) regulates 111 products and systems through implementing Mandatory Product Certification Schemes: The Philippine Standard (PS) Quality and/or Safety Certification Mark Licensing Scheme and the Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) Certification Scheme.

The DTI enjoins consumers to report to retailers, distributors, and manufacturers that sell non-conforming products, through the Consumer Care Hotline at DTI (1-384) or ♦

Date of release: 25 October 2023