• Get that exact change


    Dear DTI Consumer Power,
    What happens to those who do not give exact change to their customers? Is it really that grave if we do not get that peso or centavo as change? I usually just ignore it since it’s a very small amount.
    Kris, Marikina

    Dear Kris,
    Shortchanging is a violation against the law, because businesses who commit this are giving consumers less of what is due to them. Needless to say, it is a form of cheating. The law that is being implemented to address this problem is called the “Exact Change Act” which seeks to “(a) prohibit the giving of insufficient change or no change at all to consumers; (b) prohibit the giving of change in any form other than money; (c) require the posting of signs reminding consumers to ask for their exact change; and (d) require the use of price tags, when appropriate, that will reflect the exact price per unit or service, already incorporating the applicable tax or taxes.”

    Any person or business that violates the Exact Change Act shall be fined P500 for the first offense; P15,000 for the second offense and suspension for three months of their license to operate; and P25,000 for the fourth offense and their license to operate revoked.

    In addition to the amount of fines mentioned, the total amount of change that the establishment failed or refused to give, as determined from the audit of the Department of Trade and Industry, shall be paid by the said establishment to the government, unless it can be determined with reasonable certainty that the change is due and payable to a particular person or persons.

    Consumers tend to ignore it when a mere 10 centavos, 25 centavos, or P1 less of their change. What they don’t realize is the gravity and implications of committing shortchanging. Imagine a restaurant serving 500 customers a day and all of them get a change short of P1. If you do the math, the restaurant gets P500 a day, P2,000 a week, P8,000 a month and P96,000 a year. This amount could have bought their customers, whom they didn’t give exact change to, extra decent meals or other valuable products/services.

    Shortchanging is a trade malpractice. When tolerated by consumers, makes it seem acceptable by the society when it should be stopped. This also defeats the purpose of putting laws and policies in place to give order to the community. Consumers must realize the importance of asserting their rights. This is one way of achieving a balance between doing business and protecting the welfare of the consuming public.


    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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    1 Comment

    1. The Gaisano malls are blatant violators of this law. Their strategy? Their cashiers don’t keep loose change in their cash registers. And those cashiers would be compelled to tell customers that they don’t have change. Most customers would just dismiss this considering it’s just a small amount. Yesterday, Sunday, I had to point out to one of their cashiers that she has to always keep loose change like 25 centavos, in her cash register. And there’s no signage that informs consumers of such right.