The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has issued the set of guidelines on the implementation of Republic Act No. 10909 or the No Shortchanging Act of 2016.

It can be noted that there have been instances wherein consumers do not get the exact change for the payment of their purchases. However, with the signing of the No Shortchanging Act, this scenario is already being addressed.

DTI recently issued Department Administrative Order No. 16-03, Series of 2016, the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of RA 10909.

Signed by Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez and DTI-Consumer Protection Group (CPG) Undersecretary Teodoro C. Pascua last December 21, the IRR outlines the responsibilities of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Local Government Units (LGUs), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), and other concerned agencies for the effective implementation of the At and its IRR.

Under Republic Act 10909, all business establishments, including sari-sari stores and government-owned and controlled corporations and government agencies performing proprietary functions, are mandated to give exact change to consumers and are prohibited from giving other forms of change like candy in lieu of monetary change.

The IRR also states the duties and responsibilities of both business establishments and consumers in ensuring that the provisions of the Act are adhered to.

The IRR states that it shall be the duty of the business establishments to: give exact amount of change without waiting for the consumer to ask for it; use price tags, when appropriate, in goods and services offered for sale; issue official receipts and sales invoices as maybe applicable; post notices to remind cashiers to give exact change; and provide DTI documents pertaining to the establishments’ gross sales of the day for confirmation of any alleged violation of the Act and to determine the penalty that needs to be imposed.

Moreover, consumers should ensure that exact change is received immediately after every transaction, and to report to the business establishment’s consumer welfare desk any act of shortchanging or to file a complaint with the DTI not later than 10 working days after a violation has been committed.

DTI-Davao Regional Director Maria Belenda Q. Ambi said consumers must be vigilant and ensure that violators are reported.

She added that “with the issuance of the IRR on RA 10909, we can finally institutionalized the giving of exact change to consumers of goods and services and promotes a higher standard of treating consumers in the event of lack of change and encourages retailers to shoulder instead this lacking change.”

Business establishments found to have violated the provisions of this Act may pay a penalty of P500.00 to P25,000.00 or three to 10 percent of gross sales on the day of violation, whichever is higher.

Meanwhile, a penalty for the third offense includes the suspension of license to operate for three months, and its revocation for the fourth offense.

To know more about RA 10909 and its IRR, anyone may visit DTI-Davao Regional Office at 4F Mintrade Realty Building, corner Sales and Monteverde Streets, Davao City. They may also contact them through landline number (082) 224-0511 local 417 (Consumer Protection Services Division).

DTI published DAO 16-03 in the Philippine Star and Pilipino Star Ngayon on December 29, 2016, which prompted the IRR’s validity.