Photo of Atty Arauz of Panama visiting DTI-3
Atty. Clarisa Arauz (seated center) of ACODECO expressed her great admiration to the DTI and its consumer groups in her recent visit to DTI-3 office. Assisting Arauz is Asst. Dir. Lilian G. Salonga of DTI CPAB (2nd R, center table)

An official of the Autoridad de Proteccion al Consumidor y Defensa dela Competencia (ACODECO) in Panama recently visited the Department of Trade and Industry Regional Office III in the City of San Fernando to consult with local trade officials and to benchmark with the activities of consumer groups in Region III.

Attorney Clarisa Arauz, a legal officer for ACODECO Panama expressed her admiration for the activities of the Federation of DTI Accredited Consumer Organizations – Central Luzon (FEDACOR-3), which were presented to her by Aurora Tagalag of the Nueva Ecija Consumer Affairs Council, a member group of Fedacor-3. She also noted that they can replicate the market monitoring activities of the group in her country. She stressed that her agency generally emphasizes capability building programs and agency coordination to strengthen consumer protection in Panama. Division Chief Ricardo S. Naguit Jr and Consumer Arbitration Officer Jojo F. Toledo of the DTI-3 explained to the Panamanian official the mandates of the DTI, its consumer groups and the National Price Coordinating Council. Attorney Arauz noted that she will bring her learnings to her country and try to implement their mandate together with consumer organizations.

Lilian G. Salonga, Assistant Director of the DTI Consumer Protection and Advocacy Bureau, assisted Arauz in her visit. She cited the importance of the Fedacor in ensuring that consumer vigilance is alive in Central Luzon. She said that Fedacor-3 officers are always part of the meetings of the National Price Coordinating Council, where policy matters relating to consumer rights are discussed. She also noted that Central Luzon was intentionally chosen as a benchmarking site because of the active membership of the consumer organizations in the region.