• Monitoring of Christmas lights, ‘Noche Buena’ products

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    As the Christmas season draws near, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) geared up for its nationwide monitoring of Christmas lights and Noche Buena products, in cooperation with Sen. Benigno “Bam” Aquino, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship, and the city of Manila.

    The nationwide monitoring was conducted on Tuesday last week, which simultaneously took place in certain areas of the National Capital Region (NCR or Metro Manila) and in all regions and provinces. In Metro Manila, the lead monitoring team included the Sen. Bam Aquino, Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory Domingo, DTI-Consumer Welfare and Business Regulation Group (CWBRG) officer-in-charge Victorio Mario Dimagiba, DTI-NCR Assistant Regional Director Ferdinand Manfoste, and the city of Manila.

    The DTI conducted this activity to ensure that only certified Christmas lights are sold in the market, and that retailers sell Noche Buena products within specified suggested retail prices (SRPs).

    “This nationwide monitoring of Christmas lights and Noche Buena products is part of DTI’s efforts to ensure that consumers have access to safe and quality products sold at reasonable prices,” Dimagiba said.

    To guide both business establishments and consumers in their transactions this holiday season, the DTI monitoring team posted information materials on the list of certified brands of Christmas lights, and SRPs of Noche Buena products. Through these materials, the consumers are reminded to only buy ICC-marked Christmas lights and guided in their purchases of Noche Buena products through the SRPs set by manufacturers. Correspondingly, retailers are asked to comply.

    In significantly reducing the selling of uncertified Christmas lights and overpriced Noche Buena products, the DTI made sure to intensify this year’s market monitoring. Besides being conducted simultaneously in all regions and provinces, the activity is amplified through the collaboration of Sen. Bam Aquino who joins DTI in this endeavor.

    “The DTI is grateful for the show of support from Sen. Bam Aquino on our consumer welfare programs, especially in ensuring that the advocacies and message of the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship is aligned with that of the Department,” Dimagiba added.

    In addition to the market monitoring, the activity also highlighted the installation of consumer welfare desks (CWDs) in business establishments, which function as a one-stop information and complaints desk that systematically receive, record, answer or resolve queries and complaints, to promptly address consumer concerns and prevent giving clients the run-around.

    The lead monitoring team visited one of the CWDs in the country to remind consumers to go directly to it when they encounter problems with the product or service they purchased, to seek speedy redress.

    The CWD program of the DTI forges efforts between the government and business sectors to promote consumer welfare and protection, and establish procedures to systematically and appropriately address consumer complaints. The program’s objective is to establish a self-policing mechanism for the business sector and promote responsible entrepreneurship thus, raising the standards of engaging in business in the country.

    In 2006, the CWD program was integrated in the DTI Bagwis through the inclusion of the setting-up of CWDs in stores in the requirements for the Bagwis award. As a minor requirement, consumers are ensured that all Bagwis awardees have CWDs installed in their respective stores/branches.

    To date, there are over 2,800 CWDs nationwide. The DTI expects for this figure to increase in the coming years, as the DTI encourages business establishments to apply for the Bagwis program.

    For more information on DTI’s consumer welfare programs and activities, visit the DTI website www.dti.gov.ph or call DTI Direct 751.3330 or 0917.8343330.

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    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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