Ibrahim Guiamadel, DTI Region 12 director, said the gold seals, which were given out for the first time in the region since the awards program started last year, were bestowed by the agency's Bureau of Trade Regulation and Consumer Protection (BTRCP) to Citra Mina Corporation based in General Santos City and the Marbel Universal Trading, Inc. in Koronadal City.
"The award recognizes the efforts of these establishments to uphold the rights of their consumers and their ethical business practices," he said.
Aside from the gold seals, nine establishments qualified for the silver seal and 21 bronze seals, bringing the number of DTI-certified seals given out in the Southwestern Mindanao region to 68.
The region covers the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Kidapawan, Cotabato and Tacurong.
The new silver seal awardees are Fiesta Appliance Center, Vic Imperial Appliance Corporation, Emcor Inc., Viajero Motor Sales, Solid Electronics Corporation and Marbel Universal Trading-GenSan in General Santos City; Emcor-Kidapawan and New Berco Machine Shop in Kidapawan City; Emcor-Kabacan branch in Kabacan, Cotabato; and Viajero Motor Sales- Marbel branch in Koronadal City.
Under the DTI's certified establishment program, a business establishment may get a bronze award if it continually complies with the provisions of trade and industry laws and able to maintain consumer welfare desks or DTI-recognized customer service counters.
A store may qualify for the silver award if they have taken further steps to institutionalize social responsibility in their operations aside from just complying with the provisions of consumer laws and related policies.
The gold award is given to establishments that have complied with the requirements for the silver seal and the quality standards set by International Organization for Standardization (ISO), specifically ISO 9001 or quality management system, and ISO 14001 or the environmental management system.
The program covers supermarkets, department stores, appliance centers, hardware stores and DTI-accredited service and repair shops in the region. Aside from the DTI-certified program's seals of excellence, Guiamadel said seven establishments were also awarded by various agencies with the Kaagapay and Quality Seal Drugstores awards as part of the culmination of last month's celebration of the Consumer Welfare Month.
The first establishments that were recognized as "Kaagapay establishments" are the Allah Valley Medical Specialists' Center, Ace Centerpoint and the Fit Mart Mall in Koronadal City.
The award, a project of the Department of Social Welfare and Development in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Health, Department of Agriculture, the Department of Interior and Local Government, Philippine Information Agency and the concerned local government units, is given to establishments that promote the welfare of senior citizens and persons with disabilities.
For the Quality Seal of Excellence Award, the recipients were Farmacia Live Well, Cecil Drugstore and Laforteza Pharmacy in Koronadal City; and, Dionio Pharmacy in Banga, South Cotabato. (Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews)