(File photo)

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Palawan has bared plans to step up its information dissemination aimed to minimize consumer risks on online transactions.

DTI trade specialist Welson Paz said that they would focus on helping consumers check the legitimacy of business owners engaged in selling products online.

“By next year siguro talagang magfo-focus tayo sa online. Para see to it  na legal yong kanilang ka-transact, paano ba nila malaman na legal yon? Malaman nila na hindi sila naloloko,” he said.

Based on DTI records, there were four reports of online service failures in Palawan while there were five complaints recorded in 2019.

The DTI said a common problem is the limited information consumers get about businesses they are transacting with. Paz said that most of the consumers who report to the agency have not checked the background of business owners online and did not secure contact numbers.

“Tingin namin ‘yong pagchi-check ng background nong ka-transact (ang kakulangan ni consumer), kasi diresto na sila. Sana at least meron registration sa DTI, mayor’s permit, at yong contact, kung saan place. Minsan nagpu-purchase na lang bigla,” he said.

Paz said that cash on delivery (COD) transactions also help consumers to check the quality and condition of their products before paying.

Paz admitted that transactions of local consumers with business owners outside the province is difficult to monitor but he assured that they are providing orientation with online entrepreneurs having application at their office.

“Kapag dito mismo nag-apply ng online, binibigyan agad natin ng orientation, pinapaalam natin ang fair trade law at nakapasailalim doon. May cases na nangyari pero kapag outside, beyond control na natin, ‘di na makausap ,siguro doon na lang tayo magfo-focus sa consumer. Doon ifo-focus yong consumer total kasama yon sa advocacy natin,” he said.

He said that DTI has initially reached island towns such as Balabac, Cuyo, Araceli, and Dumaran for information dissemination this year.