Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Misamis Oriental led the conduct of consumer information education campaign (IEC) on 28 July 2016 in Cagayan de Oro City together with front line national government agencies as well as its local counterparts in the city to encourage consumers to assert their right and also tap government agencies in case of complaints so that businesses can comply with requirements of the law.
DTI MisOr chief of consumer welfare division Almer Masillones shares that part of the function of the department is regulation that is why they conduct regular monitoring of products to check whether these are complying with standards set by the law. They look into violations of Consumer Act and Trade and Industry Laws such as in business name, gift checks/certificates, chain distribution/pyramid, mandatory product certification and credit/debit/ATM surcharge. DTI also looks into violation of price act which involves mandatory price tag in goods, among others.
In terms of online shopping, Masillones said that they are the silent competitors of retail shops. However, she warns consumers to be extra cautious of these online stores since buyers cannot touch, feel and try these products personally before purchase. In some cases, buyers are not satisfied after purchase. She said they have received complaints about online purchases in their office and have conducted mediation over these complaints.
Meanwhile, Department of Energy (DOE) Mindanao Field Office Edmar A. Derla warns consumers on the illegal refilling of butane canister. He says that these canisters are for one time use only and cannot be refilled. He also urges students to not use them indoors such as in their apartments or pads since they are designed for outdoor use.
He said there are already recorded fire incidents in Davao City due to use of butane canisters.
Moreover, Derla shared that together with the police they have recently busted and confiscated an illegal refilling station in Bukidnon recently. Derla said only certified companies can refill even Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG). He says consumers must be cautious in buying these products and inspect if they are safe to use.
In terms of “bote-bote” or liquefied petroleum product sold in soda liter bottles along the road, Derla said these are illegal and risky to fire. He said that this is one of the proliferating problems they have right now and are crafting strategies to address it. In fact, he said they are scheduled with a meeting in the coming week with the local government of Cagayan de Oro to craft an ordinance on “bote-bote” which will then be the basis of all other ordinances in the country.
Meantime, he said that residents can report to the local government unit (LGU), local police and even the Bureau of Fire Protection since these are fire hazards along the street and could cause damage if neglected.
In response, Rodulfo Yana of Cagayan de Oro City Economic Enterprise Development says he is open and willing to accompany DOE to personally inspect the markets in the city to put a stop in these illegal trade such as refilled butane canisters, among others. (JMOR/PIA10)