As the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), through the Consumer Policy and Advocacy Bureau (CPAB) under the Consumer Protection Group (CPG), heads the celebration of the World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) in the Philippines, the department reminds everyone to be properly informed on their rights and responsibilities as consumers.
The DTI reiterates the importance of consumers knowing their rights and responsibilities for protection against dishonest traders and defective products, and entrepreneurs.
1. The Right to Basic Needs. The right that guarantees survival, adequate food, clothing, shelter, health care, education, and sanitation. You may look forward to the availability of basic and prime commodities to consumers at affordable prices and of good quality.
2. The Right to Safety. The right to be protected against the marketing of goods or the provision of services that are hazardous to health and life. You may look forward to (1) manufacturers of consumer products to undertake extensive safety and performance testing before selling their products in the market, and (2) labels which contain the proper information as regards the product, its use and how to operate it, if the need arises, and also precautions or warning signs.
3. The Right to Information. The right to be protected against fraudulent/dishonest or misleading advertising/labeling/promotion and the right to be given the facts and information needed to make an informed choice. You may look forward to completing information about the product to be purchased, including its use, ingredients/chemical contents, precautions, if any, limitations, and expiry date.
4. The Right to Choose. The right to choose products at competitive prices with an assurance of satisfactory quality. You may look forward to a wide array of goods and services which are offered in the market with diverse brands, sizes, shapes, and colors with differences in price, quality, and use.
5. The Right to Representation. The right to express consumer interests in the making and execution of government policies. You may look forward to legislators who would propose laws that would ensure that consumers have the chance to live a better life by getting the best value for their hard-earned peso.
6. The Right to Redress. The right to be compensated for misrepresentation, shoddy goods, or unsatisfactory services. You may look forward to manufacturers/storeowners would replace defective goods pursuant to the provision “No Return, No Exchange” provided in the DTI’s Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act 7349, otherwise known as the Consumer Act of the Philippines.
7. The Right to Consumer Education. The right to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to be an informed consumer. You may look forward to:
• The three sectors of society: business, government, and consumer would embark on an information campaign through tri-media on consumer-related issues.
• A series of seminars, conferences, fora, training, and public hearings for the welfare of the consumers.
• Consumer education being integrated into the school curriculum from elementary to secondary levels as mandated by R.A. 7394 also known as the Consumer Act of the Philippines.
8. The Right to a Healthy Environment. The right to live and work in an environment that is neither threatening nor dangerous, and which permits a life of dignity and well-being. You may look forward to (1) the government exerting an iron hand regarding the alarming increase in the degradation of the environment, especially forests, dying wildlife, depleted landfill space, and environmental contamination to prevent further damage; and (2) constant monitoring of our seas, coral reefs, forest, and waste disposal practices of factories to check if there is a violation of the laws on environmental protection.
1. Critical Awareness. The responsibility to be more alert and questioning about the use and the price and quality of goods and services we use.
2. Action. The responsibility to assert ourselves and act to ensure that we get a fair deal. Remember that as long as we remain passive consumers, we will continue to be exploited.
3. Social Concern. The responsibility to be aware of the impact of our consumption on other citizens, especially the poor, exploited, disadvantaged or powerless groups, whether in the local, national, or international community.
4. Environmental Awareness. The responsibility to understand the environmental consequences of our consumption. We should recognize our individual and social responsibility to conserve natural resources and protect the earth for future generations.
5. Solidarity. The responsibility to organize together as consumers to develop the strength and influence to promote and protect our interests.
The World Consumer Rights Day is celebrated every 15th of March. This year’s theme is “Tackling Plastic Pollution” which highlights the need for collective action and the important role of consumers in curbing plastic pollution. For consumer-related concerns and queries, send an email to ConsumerCare@dti.gov.ph or CPAB@dti.gov.ph. ♦
Date of Release: 22 March 2021
Article & Image Source: DTI – https://www.dti.gov.ph/archives/consumer-rights-responsibilities/