THE DEPARTMENT of Trade and Industry (DTI) assured the public that it is fully prepared for an influx of consumer complaints during the Christmas season.
During the Habi at Kape forum last Nov. 14, Deolly Roque, chief trade and industry development specialist of the DTI XI Consumer Protection Division, said they are always ready as long as the complaint is under their jurisdiction.
“For products under the jurisdiction of DTI, we have assigned personnel and lawyer to handle those cases, and they can post their complaint through social media, through our Facebook page. They can [also] call any DTI office nearest to their area because we have provincial offices as well,” she said.
According to the Consumer Act of the Philippines, only the following consumer complaints are under DTI’s jurisdiction: (a) consumer product quality and safety; (b) deceptive, unfair, and unconscionable sales acts/practices; (c) violation of printing “no return. no exchange” in the receipts; (d) chain distribution plans or pyramid sales schemes; (e) consumer product and service warranties; (f) labeling and fair packaging; (g) liability for product and services; (h) misleading advertisement and fraudulent sales promotion practices; and (j) regulation of repair and service firms, provided that the products involved do not fall under the jurisdiction of other government agencies such as the Department of Health and Department of Agriculture.
Roque further assured they will formally endorse complaints to the proper agency if the said complaint does not fall under their jurisdiction.
The DTI official also reminded the public to secure substantial evidence such as official receipts and screenshots to validate or support their claims. Otherwise, it will be difficult for the agency to respond to their complaints.
“We’re really strong in advocating or educating the consumers to be vigilant, to be wise, to check each product before buying, check appropriate markings, [and] be aware of warranties–because that is one of the complaints we commonly receive. Some consumers’ concerns are not being entertained or addressed [by sellers] even if it was still within the warranty period,” she said.
Roque added that consumers may also check the DTI website or Facebook page for more information, “so that we won’t fall victim to merchants or establishments who do not consciously comply with our Fair Trade Laws.”
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