THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has issued Department Administrative Order (AO) 16-03 Series of 2016 on the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act (RA) 10909 or the “No Shortchanging Act of 2016.”
The IRR was signed by Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez and DTI-Consumer Protection Group (CPG) Undersecretary Teodoro Pascua on December 21, 2016.
Under RA 10909, all business establishments, including sari-sari stores, and government-owned and -controlled corporations and government agencies performing proprietary functions, are mandated to give exact change to consumers and are prohibited from giving other forms of change like candy in lieu of monetary change.
“With the issuance of the IRR on RA 10909, we hope that the giving of exact change to consumers of goods and services will finally be institutionalized and become everybody’s responsibility,” Pascua said in a statement on Tuesday.
The IRR outlines the responsibilities of the DTI, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Bureau of Internal Revenue, Local Government Units, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, and other concerned government agencies for the effective implementation of the new law and its IRR.
Also, the IRR states the duties of both business establishments and consumers in ensuring that the provisions of the Act are adhered to.
The IRR specifies that it shall be the duty of business establishments to: give the exact amount of change without waiting for the consumer to ask for it; use price tags, when appropriate, in goods and services being offered for sale; issue Official Receipts and Sales Invoices, as may be applicable; post notices to remind cashiers to give exact change; and, provide DTI documents pertaining to the establishments’ gross sales of the day for confirmation of any alleged violation of the Act and to determine the penalty that should be imposed.
On the other hand, consumers should ensure that exact change is received immediately after every transaction, and to report to the business establishment’s consumer welfare desk any act of shortchanging or to file a complaint with the DTI no later than 10 working days after a violation has been committed.
Pascua explains that, “Through this Act and its IRR, the Department promotes a higher standard on treating consumers on the event of lack of change and encourages retailers to shoulder instead this lacking change.”
Business establishments found to have violated the provisions of the Act face the penalty ranging from P500 to P25,000 or 3 percent to 10 percent of gross sales on the day of violation, whichever is higher.
Furthermore, a penalty for the third offense includes the suspension of license to operate for three months, and its revocation for the fourth offense.
The DTI is committed to continuously protect the consumers against deceptive, unfair and unconscionable sales acts and practices.
A business establishment is any person, natural or juridical, whether single proprietorship, partnership or corporation, including a government-owned and -controlled corporation or a government entity exercising its proprietary functions, engaged in, or doing business in the Philippines, either in selling goods or providing services.