The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has urged consumers to take advantage of existing mechanisms within their department designed to protect them from being victims of defective products and services being sold to the public.
Percival Narborita of DTI-Palawan observed that many consumers are not aware of their rights and what they can do when they fall victim to fraudulent products.
Narborita pointed out that under Article 100 of the Consumer Act of the Philippines, consumers may demand that the commercial establishment repair or replace a defective item or refund the money that they paid.
In addition, he said the affected consumer could directly file a complaint with the DTI in cases where the establishment concerned fails or refuses to act on their complaint.
“We do not want our consumers to suffer from substandard products and services,” he said. “Magreklamo lang po sila, para naman agad na maaksyonan din ng DTI,” he said.
Asked if they are monitoring the practices of business establishments who register with their office, Narborita said they presume the real existence of a company once they are issued a mayor’s permit.
Narborita however clarified that they have no primary role in addressing complaints such as the anomalous financial investment scams perpetrated by several groups in Palawan recently.
“Yun naman ay hindi saklaw ng DTI, pero kung involving the products na, ay papasok na po kami at aaksyonan na po natin,” he said.
Describing the procedure they undertake to handle complaints, he said that the DTI initially seeks to mediate the parties involved. If the parties fail to resolve a dispute within a prescribed window of five days, the complaint will be subjected to arbitration.