• DTI initiative boosts consumer protection

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    A consumer protection initiative focused on market monitoring, surveillance and enforcement has been launched by the Trade department.

    “These elements play a significant role in ensuring the proper functioning of fair and open competition as businesses require a level-playing field to innovate and grow,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said at the introduction of the Project Execution Team program on Tuesday.

    Project ET aims to strengthen the monitoring and enforcement of fair trade laws, as managed by department’s Consumer Protection Group (CPG) with support from Regional Operations Group (ROG), Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB) and the Bureau of Philippine Standards (BPS).

    “We envisioned Project ET to implement DTI’s enforcement, adjudication and quick response activities and programs,” Lopez said.

    He claimed that the Consumer Act of the Philippines (RA 7394), Product Standards Law (RA 4109) and other laws were aligned President Rodrigo Duterte’s marching orders to safeguard the security, public order and safety of Filipinos.

    Trade Undersecretary Ted Pascua, meanwhile, said Project ET would engage “professional organization to strengthen consumer redress mechanisms.”

    The Trade department said that prior to Project ET, it had covered 73.25 percent or 879 out of 1,200 firms targeted for monitoring. Of these, 236 were issued with notices of violation and formal charges were filed against 82.

    As of July 2017, meanwhile, a total of 36,274 items worth almost P2.1 million were seized for violating relevant standards. These mostly comprised construction materials, electrical supplies and appliances, sanitary wares and lighters.

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