As part of a series of events for Consumer Welfare Month, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Palawan wants to teach people more about online shopping and digital transactions.

Information officer Persival Narbonita said they have scheduled visits to schools and establishments to encourage a “mindful shift in consumption,” particularly when purchasing goods and services online.

The theme of the department this year is Sustainable Consumerism in the Digital Age.

“Mag-disseminate kami and magsasalita about sa mga batas kalakal na ini-implement ng DTI. Gusto natin ito i-inform sa ating mga mamimili lalong-lalo na ngayon na online kadalasan ang transaction—including communication, digital na rin ang gamit natin,” he said.

The department has noticed an increase in online transactions since the height of the pandemic in 2020. Restrictions and health risks due to the COVID-19 pandemic are also seen as factors in the dependency of consumers on online transactions.

Consumer advocacy also covers the security of the consumer in transacting online. The DTI may intervene if the establishments or businesses are involved in the transaction. If the fraudulent acts are committed by a certain individual online, consumers may refer to the anti-cybercrime unit of the National Bureau of Investigation, he said.

DTI Palawan records show that 67 complaints were received and resolved from January 1 to September 26, wherein 13 were online sales transactions.

“Meron din kaming safe harbor provision na kung saan kapag legitimate na platform ang o-orderan ng isang mamimili, hindi pwede sabihin ng platform na ‘yon na ‘hindi namin alam kasi ginamit lang ang platform namin sa pagnenegosyo. Hangga’t maaari ay doon sila mag-transact sa mga lehitimong online platform kasi marami na naglipana ngayon,” he said.

Aside from consumer advocacy, there will also be a Diskwento Caravan, a visitation of the Provincial Enforcement and Monitoring Team to check the compliance of establishments and Consumer Congress.

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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.