The DTI - Cordillera led other Consumer Protection Group member- agencies in launching the October observance of Consumer Welfare Month (CWM) in a simple program and a Kapihan media forum here today.
This year’s CWM theme, “Sustainable Consumer in the New Normal” is in cognizance of the impact of individual consumption of goods and services in the environment. It also calls for a change in consumer behavior and consumption patterns that hopes to influence the production systems of multinational corporations and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in shifting towards sustainability.
DTI – CAR Regional Director Myrna Pablo, in the forum, calls for a unified effort among concerned government regulation agencies and the local government units for the registration and regulation of those involved in online selling, trading and services primarily for the protection of the consumers and to ensure fair trade in the physical and digital marketplaces.
It is high time to regulate online selling. Aside from the fact that there is violation of the Bureau of Internal Revenue Tax Code that is unfair to regular or physical stores that are paying their tax dues, the Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau has recorded 90 percent rise in complaints involving online transactions, Pablo said.
She advised the public to be more vigilant and make sure that they have the right choices in terms of the value of their money and on what they really need.
Pablo also outlined that with the Consumer Welfare Month observance, particular attention should also be given to the low – income household and vulnerable consumers where the health crisis and global recession have immense impact on their choices of consumption.
In terms of the government’s effort to ensure inclusivity, she urged all stakeholders to embrace the shift to sustainable consumption and production while upholding the rights and responsibilities of the consumers in the physical and digital markets.
Securities and Exchange Commission Regional Director Regina May Cajucom – De Guzman, in the same forum, supported DTI’s call for the regulation of online selling. Aside from taxation and fair trade, she outlined the need to support the local sellers or MSMEs by making sure that they are on equal footing in terms of business processes.
For the National Meat Inspection Services, Regional Director Lilia Juliana Fermin assured their readiness to help in the regulation of online selling and transport of meat products. There are many guidelines that online sellers need to comply before they can go into selling of meat which is a perishable product, especially regulations in proper handling, processing and transport of meat. (JDP/CCD-PIA CAR)
By Carlito C. Dar