The Consumernet team checked compliance to price tag law, weighing scales, permits and licenses and other documentary requirements as needed in 182 stores which include 18 groceries; four hardware and electrical supplies; 21 fish, meat and frozen products stores plus 139 assorted stalls from the rice, fruits and vegetables section.
Basic necessities and prime commodities include rice, meat products, fish, vegetables and fruits.
In general, majority of the stores monitored were compliant to price tag law except for one that was issued Notice of Violation (NOV). Two stores were also issued NOVs due to selling of products which were lacking in weight.
There were 24 weighing scales pulled out by market enforcers due to violations such as lack in measurements when tested with test weights, defective, no seal/sticker, dilapidated and un-calibrated.
Several weighing scales were also found to have no stickers but were inspected to be not defective so the store owners were asked to visit the City Treasury office immediately for compliance on putting of sticker.
Another observation noted is the violation of Consumer Act or RA 4109 which prohibits claiming a consumer product of a particular standard, quality or, grade, style or model when in fact it is not. There are several fish vendors with misleading label of fish product. An example is sliced Pangasius fish labeled as pink salmon/salmon.
One improvement noted was the increased compliance to the weighing scale calibration by the fruits and vegetables stall owners as compared to previous monitoring activities.
The team recommended continuous monitoring and enforcement by concerned agencies, distribution of printed IEC materials containing city ordinances and important fair trade laws to vendors.
The inter-agency monitoring team is composed of Consumernet member agencies led by DTI, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Dept. of Agriculture , Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources , Dept. of Science and Technology, Police Regional Office Cordillera, National Food Authority, Dept. of the Interior and Local Government, and the Philippine Information Agency.
It also includes personnel from Public Order and Safety Division, Market Enforcer Alex Cubarrubias, Market Superintendent Jun Ragma and personnel from the office of Councilor Phillian Weygan.
The monitoring is in line with this year’s celebration of Consumer Welfare Month spearheaded by DTI. (JDP/MAWC – PIA CAR)
By Maria Aprila W. Cruz