(Photos from DTI Palawan)

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Palawan has resumed its in-person consumer welfare advocacy in academic institutions to orient students on sustainable consumerism.

DTI Palawan information officer Persival Narbonita said that the Consumers Forum at Palawan State University (PSU) aims to help students whose age brackets are more involved in digital trade.

It is also a part of the department’s Consumer Welfare Month, which is run by the Consumer Protection Division.

“Mga estudyante kasi ang future natin na medyo masigasig in terms sa right na kadalasan ay nabibiktima ngayon sa panahon ng online selling. Marami,mahilig sila sa (online buying),” he said.

In 2021, DTI Palawan received and resolved 32 consumer complaints relating to online transactions, compared to 12 in 2022. Some of the complaints were about defective products, wrong items delivered, and non-delivery of paid-ordered products.

Consumer advocacy is part of the DTI’s mandate to ensure that consumers are provided with safe and quality products under the Department Administrative Order (DAO) 2 Series of 2007. It is pursuant to Republic Act 4109, or the Standardization Law of the Philippines, and the safety provisions stated under Republic Act 7394 or the Consumer Act of the Philippines mandated under the Philippine National Standard (PNS) requirements.

Narbonita added that the government confiscated items without bearing Philippine Standard (PS) marks for locally manufactured products and Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) certification marks for imported products issued upon inspection by BPS.

The department reiterates that aside from defective items that could be reported to DTI, other agencies could respond to their complaints, like the anti-cybercrime group of the Philippine National Police. It also makes sure that the Philippine Consumer Act (Republic Act No. 7394) and Philippine National Standards (PNS) are followed when it comes to marking and labeling.

“Ipinapaabot natin na maging aware ang ating mga mamimili lalo na ang ating mga estudyante sa sustainable consumerism na ‘di yon basta bibili ka lang na hindi iniisip ang kapakanan ng iba. Halimbawa bibili lang sila ng produkto online not knowing na nakakasira sa kalikasan, iba bibili ng pampaganda pero hindi naiintindihan ang nakasulat sa label na labag sa labelling law,” he said.

Aside from conducting consumer forums in schools, DTI also conducts advocacy dissemination in establishments during its monthly visits, he added.

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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.