Thursday, November 01, 2007

Philippine Consumer Rights

The mood of the Christmas season is already felt in many places especially after all saints day. These days, although Christmas is no longer celebrated as long as it’s used to due to economics reasons, the Philippines is still one of the countries that celebrates Christmas day the longest. This long anticipation gives rise to deceitful businessmen taking advantage of the shopping rush, selling inferior goods for a very low price or bogus offers to unwary consumers. These substandard products are not only cheating the consumers out of their hard earned money but will cause dangers to life and property like poor quality Christmas lights have been known cause fires and deaths. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is aware of such dishonest acts, as it has been clamping down on unscrupulous businessmen who are selling shoddy products. Consumers likewise must also be aware of their rights.

The DTI is designated to regulate business establishments to ensure that they deal with consumers fairly and reasonably. This gvernment body can impose an administrative fines ranging from 500 pesos to 300,000 pesos among other sanctions, to those who are caught and proven guilty of committing deceptive sales act. But I would like for them to impose even harsher penalties to deter these fly by night businessmen. As consumers, however, we need to be vigilant so we can protect ourselves from getting victimized by such illegal practices, and the first step to this is familiarize ourselves with the law. Be on the lookout for misleading practices such as the no return no exchange policy which is very much prohibited and always inspect the products you wish to buy to be sure you are your money's worth. More importantly, make it a habit to report to the DTI any knowledge of unfair trade practices is a great way to help the efforts of the government to prevent such and shut down these business establishments that prey on their customers.

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