• Consumer responsibilities


    Dear DTI Consumer Power,
    As uttered by a famous comic character in an equally famous film, “with great power comes great responsibility.” This made me think of the other side of every power given to us.

    As consumers, if our rights give us power, then what are our responsibilities?
    Jeric, Malabon

    Dear Jeric,
    As a consumer, you have your rights to protect and empower you. As you have said, it is your source of power. Your responsibilities on the other hand, serve as guidance in asserting your rights. They are also an assurance that you do not abuse the rights given to you.

    Consumers have five responsibilities: critical awareness; action; social concern; environmental awareness; and solidarity. But generally speaking, the fundamental duty of every consumer is to know their rights. The five aforementioned responsibilities were defined in order to delve deeper into the role of a consumer in society. When put into practice by the consuming public, they can greatly contribute in achieving the ideal state of consumer protection in the country.

    Critical awareness
    The consumer responsibility to be more alert and questioning about the use, price and quality of products and services. You are given the right to information therefore; you have the responsibility to ask questions. How much is this product? What can it do? Is it safe to use? What are its hazards to my health? These are very basic questions, and the answers to them are very important in guiding and assuring consumers to get the best value for their money.

    The consumer responsibility to assert yourselves and act to ensure that you get a fair deal. Remember that as long as you remain passive consumers, you will continuously be exploited. You have your rights so you can be empowered to seek for what is due to you. The government is here to support and protect your welfare and your rights, but it is up to you to make use of them responsibly.

    Social concern
    The consumer responsibility to be aware of the impact of our consumption to other citizens, especially the less fortunate, exploited, disadvantaged or groups whether in the local, national or international community. In today’s difficult times where resources are scarce, it is your responsibility as consumers to think of what will be the effect of your actions and choices to other people’s lives. Make use of our resources wisely and never be wasteful. Practice conservation and share with those who are in need.

    Environmental awareness
    The consumer responsibility to understand the environmental consequences of your consumption. You should recognize your individual and social responsibility to conserve natural resources, and protect Earth for the future generations. The planet we are living in is our only home. We should protect and preserve it, for it is our only our source of life. Practice proper waste management and follow the three R’s – reuse, reduce and recycle. Choose and make use of environment-friendly products. It can save our natural resources and refrain from causing damage to them.

    The consumer responsibility to organize together to develop the strength and influence to promote and protect the rights, welfare and interests of the consuming public. Make your voices heard as a united consumer sector. Cooperate and collaborate with the government in ensuring consumer protection in the country. Organize yourselves to come up with better legislations in safeguarding your welfare, and refining the way we engage business in our nation. It is when we are united that we can accomplish greater things.

    Imagine if every Filipino consumer asserts his or her rights and fulfills his or her responsibilities, then achieving the ultimate state of consumer protection in the country will no longer be just an idea but a possibility.

    * * *

    The Department of Trade and Industry welcomes all inquiries, complaints, comments and suggestions from consumers. Call DTI Direct at 751-3330 from Monday to Friday from 8 a. m. to 5 p.m. or visit the DTI website www.dti.gov.ph.


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