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DTI MisOr reminds public of their rights, responsibilities as consumers

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA)--The Department of Trade and Industry Misamis Oriental (MisOr) Provincial Office reminded the public anew of their rights as consumers.

DTI MisOr Consumer Protection Division Chief Angelo Devero said consumers, to be protected, should know and assert their basic rights. These include the right to basic needs, safety, information, choice, representation, redress, consumer education, and a healthy environment.

"The best-protected consumers are those educated and well-informed," he said in a media briefing, October 2, in line with the Consumer Welfare Month celebration. 

He said this is why they always encourage consumers to attend orientation on consumer rights and responsibilities.

On the part of the government, Devero emphasized that it is continuously taking steps to address these consumer rights.

One example he cited was the enactment of the Price Act or Republic Act (RA) 7581, amended by RA 10623 to protect the rights of consumers to basic needs. He said this law ensures that basic necessities are available and prices are stable and justifiable. 

"The government through the Local Price Coordinating Councils has to make sure, especially during calamities, that these necessities can be accessed and provided to the consuming public," he said.

Devero also stated that Executive Order No. 39, which imposes a mandated price ceiling on regular milled rice and well-milled rice at P41 and P45, respectively, would help lower rice prices and ensure its market availability.

On the right to safety, Devero said the government enacted RA 4109, which created the Bureau of Product Standards to protect consumers against hazards to health and safety and assure the public of the consistency of standardized products in the market.

The Consumer Protection Division Chief also stated that DTI encourages competition in the market to address the consumer's right to choose. "We do not limit players in the market to encourage more businesses for the consuming public to have greater access and choice or options," said Devero, noting that the public can access better services and products when there are more players in the market.

On the right to redress, Devero elaborated that RA 7394 of the Consumer Act of the Philippines provides that consumers are allowed to return or exchange the goods or avail themselves of other remedies in case of hidden faults or defects which the buyer was not aware at the time of purchase. He, however, reminded that to enforce these remedies, the buyer should at least prove the sale transaction and show evidence such as the official receipt. In cases where the official receipt is unavailable, the buyer may resort to any other alternative proof.

While DTI MisOr encourages consumers to assert their rights, it also advises them to practice their responsibilities at all times.

Devero stressed that there are responsibilities associated with their rights as consumers, adding it is no longer true that 'the customer is always right.'

These responsibilities, he said, are critical awareness, action, social concern, environmental awareness, and solidarity. (APB/PIA-10)

DTI Misamis Oriental Consumer Protection Division Chief Angelo Devero explains in a media briefing the eight rights of consumers and the actions taken by the government to protect the said rights. The media briefing held at DTI MisOr Training Room on October 2 kicked off the Consumer Welfare Month celebration in Misamis Oriental. (JAKA/PIA-10)

About the Author

Apipa Bagumbaran

Assistant Regional Head

Region 10

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