The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) finally released the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) on Republic Act (RA) 10642 or the Philippine Lemon Law.
The IRR was signed by DTI Secretary Gregory Domingo on November 17 after months of deliberation by the Technical Working Group (TWG) composed of members from the motor vehicle industry, consumer sector and government.
At a press briefing held at the Board of Investments Building in Makati City on Thursday (November 20), Secretary Domingo, together with DTI Consumer Protection Group Undersecretary Victorio Mario Dimagiba and some members of the TWG, presented the salient points of the IRR to the media.
The Lemon Law was signed by President Aquino on July 15 and took effect on August 7. Under the law, consumers who purchase a brand new car and experience defects in the course of one year or up to 20,000 kilometers of operation may demand for either a refund or replacement if, after four repair attempts and one last final attempt by the concerned manufacturer, distributor, authorized dealer or retailer, the defects remain unresolved.
The DTI ensured that consumers can immediately claim their benefits under the Lemon Law by making the IRR effective upon its publication in leading newspapers today.
“With the issuance of the lRR on Lemon Law, guidelines for action and redress are now clearly defined for both the consumers and motor vehicle industry. This will ensure the protection of consumers under the law while driving the industry to raise its standards for quality and safety.” Domingo said.
The IRR includes provisions on the procedures on availing of one’s rights under the Lemon Law— from the repair attempt process to the issuance of Notice of Availment of Lemon Law Rights, final repair attempt process, and remedies for dispute resolution when the complaint is brought before the DTI.
To ensure that hearings on consumer complaints related to the Lemon Law are free from any form of prejudice, the DTI included a section in the IRR providing for the retention of services of other government agencies or qualified independent entities to ascertain the validity of the complaint.
With this, the DTI can request for technical assistance from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) or any qualified experts coming from the industry or from service and repair shops that are accredited by the DTI.
The IRR further states the responsibility of the DTI, as the sole implementing agency of the Lemon Law, to resolve disputes related to the availment of Lemon Law rights through the use of an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).