The drive to protect consumers and topple unscrupulous businesses continues and is now intensified.
Aiming to enforce fair trade laws not only in the National Capital Region (NCR), but also in the regions and provinces, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) launched on 01 August 2017 its flagship program, Project Execution Team (ET).
“The DTI values its commitment to act on consumer complaints and unfair trade practices throughout the country. Hence, this project is a fine-tuning or an improvement
to our services to cater to the public nationwide – the Project Execution Team (ET),” said DTI’s Consumer Protection Group (CPG) Undersecretary Atty. Teodoro C. Pascua.
The Project ET, created through the initiative of DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez and by virtue of the Department Order (DO) No. 17-93, Series of 2017, is a collaborative and
inclusive program between the DTI-CPG’s Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB) — the lead implementing office — and the Regional Operations Group (ROG) — the coimplementing office.
The project aims to enhance the competence of ROG’s Consumer Welfare Desk (CWD) personnel in conducting monitoring and enforcement activities; build a collaborative and inclusive work relationship between the CPG and ROG when undertaking consumer protection services and setting standards for the conduct of business; and intensify the implementation of fair trade laws and the Consumer Act to further safeguard the life, safety, and health of the public-consumer.
In pursuit of making the usual regular monitoring and enforcement activities more comprehensive, several initiatives have been undertaken in line with the pre-launching
of the Project ET.
Project ET campaigns #NOTODugaslord, and it has been communicated to the public through distribution of posters and flyers last 18 June 2017 at the Metro Rail Transit
(MRT) and Light Rail Transit (LRT) stations and in jeepney terminals.
The #NOTODugaslord campaign is a two-pronged approach that makes use of two (2) main hashtags such as #SaktoDapat (“Must be exact”) and #KitaKita (which translates
“I see you”).
Likewise, the said campaign illustrates piercing, sharp eyes with the DTI logo in such, which portrays the Department as the consumers’ watchdog against unscrupulous
businessmen or retailers who provide wrong PLTK — Presyo (price), Label, Timbang (weight), and Kalidad (quality).
“The DTI advocates reasonable prices, correct labels, accurate weight, and high quality of all goods and services offered to our countrymen. With the Project ET being piloted, this might be a call for abusive businesses and retailers to doublethink and stop as earlier as now because we will not let them sneak up on our laws,” CPG
Undersecretary Atty. Pascua stressed.
He also added that doing so is the Department’s way to stay abreast of and support President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s vision towards economically competitive Philippines.
Monitoring and enforcement activities
Meanwhile, the FTEB and ROG form composite teams to perform surveillance and monitoring, reporting of erring establishments for the issuance of Notice of Violation
(NOV), inventory and confiscation of violative products, endorsement of formal charges for the arbitration proceedings, and imposition of fines and other penalties.
“The same composite teams will also act as Quick Response Teams in affected areas declared under state of calamity. For such specific case, they conduct monitoring and
enforcement activities on the price freeze implementation and standards conformance of construction materials,” said FTEB Assistant Director Ferdinand L. Manfoste.
Thus far, the Project ET has driven market monitoring activities in Mindanao and special enforcement activities on fair trade laws in some business establishments in
Mandaluyong, Pasig, and Quezon Cities as well as in Regions 3 and 4A.
Based on the cumulative accomplishment report dated 28 July 2017, the project has already notched up 73.25% accomplishment rate, as 879 of the 2017 target 1,200 firms
to be monitored under Project ET were completed.
“Starting the pre-launching of Project ET, the DTI has confiscated or sealed 36,274 violative products that approximately cost P2,046,691.50,” FTEB AD Manfoste added.
“Also, 236 firms or 26.85% were issued the NOVs, while 82 of which were filed with formal charges,” he continued.
Furthermore, Project ET aims to address other issues concerning sales promotions or deals, balikbayan boxes, price monitoring of basic necessities and prime commodities,
To report business establishments selling substandard and uncertified products, visit the nearest DTI office in your area. Consumers may also call FTEB’s Mediation Division
at 824.4228 or 975.7965 to file complaints.