The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has been coordinating with various government agencies when handling consumer policy inquiries. Under its ‘no wrong door policy”, the Consumer Protection Group (CPG) handles all inquiries referred to it, including those beyond its jurisdiction, by forwarding the same to the appropriate government agency for action. Under this policy, the DTI may extend its assistance to the consumer in following up on the status of the policy inquiry.

Relative to this, the ConsumerNet is a networking and coordinating body which facilitates the flow of correct and accurate consumer protection information, provide speedy resolution of consumer complaints, and institutionalize networking and coordination among government agencies with consumer protection mandate.

In furtherance to the goals of the ConsumerNet, the DTI initiated meetings with the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC), the Department of Agriculture (DA), the Department of Health (DOH), and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) earlier this year. On reaching out to these agencies, DTI Secretary Alfredo Pascual emphasized that the DTI’s mandate emanates from the Consumer Act of the Philippines.

“These meetings are in line with DTI’s role in protecting the interests and welfare of our Filipino consumers, and the shared interest of ConsumerNet agencies for more responsive services, especially in the areas of online complaints handling and enforcement,” Secretary Pascual said.

Since the start of the year, the DTI has presented two Memorandum of Agreements (MOA), one with the PCC for amendments, and another one for drafting with the BSP.

Last January 15, DTI-CPG Assistant Secretary Amanda Nograles and CPG-Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB) Director Fhillip Sawali met with PCC Enforcement Director Christian delos Santos and presented the proposed amendments to the MOA of the DTI and PCC on data and information sharing. The proposed amendments include expounding on the referral of cases between DTI and PCC and activating the Deputation Clause provided in the Philippine Competition Act (PCA).

Meanwhile, for cross-cutting issues on the implementation of the Financial Products and Services Consumer Protection Act (FCPA) in relation to the Consumer Act, discussions between the DTI and the Consumer Protection and Market Conduct Office (CPCMO) of the BSP from last year resumed on January 24 which underscored the need for a MOA that would delineate overlapping concerns, such as in digital payment services, for an improved consumer assistance mechanism.

The DTI also sought to further strengthen collaborations with the DA and the DOH for possible joint consumer protection efforts.

A follow-through meeting on March 18, 2024, with DOH Health Promotion Bureau Director Lorra Sayson resulted in the referral to DTI of vape-related complaints received by DOH, and further discussions on the Vape Law—on enhancing consumer information advocacy and increasing penalties for violations, specifically on the illegal marketing and selling to minors.

Secretary Pascual highlighted, “Fostering synergistic linkages within the governance network is necessary given the dynamic nature of both the marketplace and regulatory landscape”

Concerned not only with those under its jurisdiction but also with related products and services with other government institutions, DTI similarly underscored the importance of regularly engaging with ConsumerNet. The DTI urges its consumers to call the Consumer Care Hotline at DTI (1-384) or send an email to for more information and other consumer concerns. ♦

Date of release: 15 January 2024