With 762 recognized consumer-friendly biz, DTI Region 1 ranked 1st in terms of having the most number of DTI Certified-Establishments (CE) nationwide. Now on its 10th year, the DTI-CE program or also known as the “Bagwis” aims to give due recognition to establishments that uphold the rights of consumers, practice responsible business and assures that consumers get best value for their money. The program also encourages the setting up of a sustainable Consumer Welfare Desk (CWD) or a DTI-recognized customer service counter that will provide information to consumers and serves as a mechanism for speedy resolution of consumer complaints.

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DTI Region 1 continue its efforts in empowering consumers and upholding the practice of good, honest and responsible business as it awarded anew 224 DTI-Certified Establishments (CE) or “Bagwis” Seal of Excellence Awards in the region for 2016: Pangasinan-129, La Union-42; Ilocos Sur-20; and Ilocos Norte-33. Awarding were done during the Consumer Welfare Month Celebration of the respective Provincial Offices.

The “Bagwis” Seal of Excellence represents the business establishments’ utmost support to empower consumers. “Bagwis” is another Filipino term for wings or feather that symbolizes the commitment to nurture, guide and protect consumers. Moreover, the readiness to fly in open and competitive market and provide higher quality service. Awards are categorized into gold, silver and bronze.

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October is the Consumer Welfare Month based on Proclamation number 1098 of 1997. Hence, DTI reiterates its commitment in reinforcing its services, programs and activities to protect the interests of the consumers. This year’s theme -“Consumer Protection: A Shared Responsibility” advocates consumer protection as a shared responsibility among other government agencies, Local Government Units, private sectors and the general public. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas is the agency chosen by the National Consumers Affairs Council (NCAC) to lead this year’s celebration.

Consumer Forums participated by consumer groups were also part of the celebration. Participants from different consumer groups came to enrich their knowledge on the 8 basic consumer rights; Right to basic needs; safety; information; choose representation; redress; consumer education; healthy environment.

“It is our mandate to empower and enhance the level of awareness of the consumers. We need to be vigilant, you (consumers) have the right to be protected but you also have the responsibility to help us, know your rights.” Director Florante O. Leal of DTI Region 1 said. ### JOYCE SEGUI, IO