DTI in SoCot tightens monitoring of Christmas lights sale

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/2 Dec) – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has intensified its monitoring against the selling of substandard Christmas lights by various business establishments in South Cotabato following the recovery of several uncertified products from at least two retail outlets in nearby Koronadal City.

Elbert Capecio, senior trade and industry specialist of DTI-South Cotabato, said Thursday the uncertified Christmas lights were found in 2 of the 11 business establishments in Koronadal that were subjected to inspection by the agency’s monitoring and enforcement team during the last three days.

“These were mostly imported Christmas lights that did not pass through the standard government tests and were not authorized or cleared for commercial distribution,” he said.

Capecio said they confiscated the items after these were found to have no import commodity clearance (ICC) or Philippine Standard (PS) mark. Products without the Philippine Standard (PS) mark for locally manufactured or ICC mark for imported items are not allowed for distribution and use by consumers as provided for under Republic Act 4109 or the Standards Law.
Among the products covered by the mandatory certification scheme of the DTI’s Bureau of Product Standards are Christmas lights.

Capecio said the seized Christmas lights were considered dangerous and may cause fire and related accidents when used by local consumers.

A DTI advisory said the buying public should demand from owners or employees of business establishments a copy of the PS license or ICC certificates before purchasing Christmas lights.

“Christmas lights that were not inspected may not satisfy the four mandatory requirements for critical parameters, namely, ball pressure, torque, temperature rise, and wire tests, which may bring electric shock and overheating that leads to fire and loss of properties and lives,” it said.

Capecio did not name the erring establishments pending an ongoing investigation by the DTI provincial office.

“Some of the establishments we inspected were quite fast in hiding their substandard and uncertified products that’s why we failed to catch them but we’ll make sure that they will not be spared next time,” he said.

Capecio said that aside from Koronadal City, the DTI provincial office’s monitoring and enforcement will launch surprise inspections within the next few days in business establishments based in the province’s 10 municipalities. (Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews)