The monitoring and enforcement teams of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) recently conducted special monitoring and enforcement activities on price and supply of basic necessities and prime commodities (BNPC) and on mandatory labeling of construction materials and household appliances in Southern Leyte and in Antipolo, Rizal.

A total of 73 establishments selling BNPC products from Southern Leyte and Antipolo were visited by the DTI’s price monitoring teams. The DTI issued the Letter of Inquiry (LOI) to four (4) firms and issued the Show Cause Order (SCO) to two (2) firms for allegedly violating R.A. 7581 or the Price Act and the R.A. 7394 or the Consumer Act of the Philippines, respectively.

During the spot-check activities, the DTI confiscated a total of 2,504 pieces of uncertified products that do not bear the Philippine Standard (PS) mark or Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) sticker. The seized products also did not adhere to the minimum labelling requirements of the manufacturer’s name, address, and country of origin.

Sogod, Southern Leyte

Last 26-28 February 2018, the DTI price monitoring teams checked seventy (70) establishments that sell BNPC and found three (3) establishments selling higher than the SRPs. The DTI handed out the LOI to these establishments and provided them 48 hours to respond. One grocery store was issued the SCO for not having price tags on its products, which is a violation against Articles 81-83 of the Consumer Act of the Philippines.

Nevertheless, the DTI’s monitoring activities in Southern Leyte showed that the prices of BNPC prices were either within the set SRPs or even lower than the SRP.

On the other hand, the DTI issued the Notice of Violation (NOV) to 10 retailers from the 61 business establishments monitored by the enforcement teams.

The DTI confiscated a total of 1,084 pieces of uncertified construction materials and household appliances, which do not bear the required PS mark or the ICC sticker. Upon further visual check, the products also do not bear the manufacturer’s name and address, country of origin,
and manufactured date were also missing.

Antipolo, Rizal

In 21 March 2018, DTI – Consumer Protection Group (CPG) Undersecretary Atty. Ruth B. Castelo and DTI – Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB) Director Domingo R. Tolentino Jr., led the monitoring activities in Antipolo, Rizal to double check if establishments in the said area are selling the BNPC items within the SRPs.

The DTI issued the LOI to a grocery store for selling the BNPC items higher than the set SRPs. Then it issued the SCO to a supermarket for having two (2) price tags. The shelf tag showed a lower price of when compared and verified to the price from the Point of Sale (POS) or the price verification machine.

Undersecretary Castelo reminds the public to always check the prices of the BNPC items in the price verification machine to verify the indicated price on the shelf tag with the actual price. “Having two (2) prices for an item is considered as a deceptive sales act and a violation of the price tag provision of the Consumer Act of the Philippines.

The consumers are unaware that they are buying an item which is Php 0.50 to 2.00 higher than what is indicated in the shelf.”

The DTI explained that supermarkets and grocery stores are required to install at least one price verification machine per floor in their stores.

Undersecretary Castelo and Director Tolentino also led the DTI enforcement teams in confiscating 1,510 pieces of uncertified wiring devices and home appliances such as ballast, ceiling fan, compact fluorescent lamp (CFL), flat iron, receptacle, plug, circular lamp, LED television, and, monobloc chair and stool. Five establishments were issued the Notice of Violation (NOV) for selling said products without the required labels specified in the Philippine National Standard (PNS) such as the PS mark or ICC sticker, manufacturer’s name and address, country of origin, and, manufactured date.

Undersecretary Castelo underscores, “These uncertified electrical products are fire hazards that are risks to the property and life of consumers. Thus, the Department urges the public to be vigilant in their purchases and check if the required labels including the PS mark or ICC sticker and manufacturer’s or distributor’s name and address are on the product or its package”.

“It is also important for consumers to know the proper use of these products to prevent accidents”. Undersecretary Castelo adds.

The DTI also further intensified its monitoring and enforcement activities for the Lenten season through its Regional and Provincial offices.♦

Date of release: 28 March 2018