San Fernando City, La Union- As the Holiday season approaches, the Department of Trade and Industry Region 1 (DTI R1) reminded the public to be more vigilant against buying substandard or uncertified products, especially Christmas lights. DTI is the lead agency that regulates the sale of Christmas lights to protect the buying public from the hazards of substandard or uncertified products like overheating that may lead to fire, damages to property and even loss of lives.

DTI will be conducting monitoring and inspections to business establishments including “tiangges” to ensure that only certified products will be sold to the consumers. The inspection will include the display and storage rooms of the establishments.

One easy way to determine if the product passed the quality standard is the presence of Philippine Standard (PS) mark if it is locally made, or Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) if it is imported. These stickers come with unique serial numbers and hologram prints. However, DTI reminded the public to double check the authenticity of the stickers as previous reports have shown the proliferation of fake stickers. To be sure, the public is advised to check the packaging label if it bears the name of the manufacturer, distributor and trademark. Moreover, the buyer has to verify if the product wirings and sockets is up to the standards. Warranties including return or exchange of defective products are valid for at least 60 days after purchase.

The public is encouraged to report to DTI erring or non-compliant stores. Based on the Republic Act 7394 or the Consumer Act of the Philippines, establishments are mandated to secure PS and ICC for appliances and electrical products including Christmas lights. Violators will face formal charges and penalties that ranges from P25, 000 to P300, 000 depending on the degree of offense.Regional Director Florante O. Leal urged the public not to patronize products that are cheap but of low quality and substandard as these may pose risk to their safety and welfare.

Through regular monitoring and enforcement operation, DTI Region 1 has confiscated almost a thousand of substandard products last 2016. These items were destroyed after the conducted investigation.

Meanwhile, supply and prices of Noche Buena products remain stable according to the suppliers and manufacturers. DTI is scheduled to post the updated Suggested Retail Price (SRP) of these products by November 2017.♦