In an effort to reinforce cross-border redress, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the National Consumer Affairs Center (NCAC) of Japan.

In a ceremony held last 26 July 2016 at the Board of Investments Building in Makati City, the DTI and NCAC Japan formalized its cooperation, as witnessed by DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez, in setting a framework and procedures for speedy facilitation and resolution of complaints being filed by consumers against business establishments located in the Philippines and Japan.

“With the advancements in technology and changing consumer demands and behavior, consumer protection now needs to cut across boundaries. In ASEAN, its member states already put in place a mechanism for cross-border redress. Now, the DTI is moving to new heights by establishing cooperation with those outside of ASEAN to further strengthen cross-border consumer complaints handling and resolution,” said Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez.

The agreements in the MOU state that the DTI and NCAC are to accept and handle complaints related to business-to-consumer transactions; cross-border transactions between the Philippines and Japan; and over-the-counter and online transactions.

Thereon, both parties will have to disclose and share information found to be necessary in resolving such complaints. A reporting mechanism is also put in place to keep track of the ageing of resolution of complaints, and status updates.