DTI launches enforcement and monitoring vs uncertified products in Region 12

GENERAL SANTOS CITY – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has launched another round of enforcement and monitoring activities against possible uncertified and nonconforming products sold by business establishments in parts of Region 12 (Soccsksargen).

A team from the DTI central office’s Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau and Bureau of Philippine Standards (BPS) arrived here on Monday for the week-long campaign, which will cover three provinces and three cities in the region.

Ronnel Abrenica, DTI Assistant Secretary for the Consumer Protection Group, said it is part of a simultaneous activity launched on Monday in various regions, including those in Mindanao.

Region 12. Map courtesy of Google

He said the enforcement and monitoring activity, which will cover all products covered by the BPS mandatory certification, will run until Friday, Nov. 12.

“We will not be focusing on a particular product. We will look into all possible violations,” Abrenica said in a press conference in Koronadal City.

He said the move is in line with their continuing efforts to ensure that products sold in the markets or business establishments have conformed with or passed the government’s quality standards.

It is also aimed to raise the level of awareness regarding products as well as consumer protection in the area, he said.

In Region 12, the team has set random inspections on establishments in the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, and Sarangani, and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, and Tacurong.

Mary Ann Morales, head of DTI-12’s consumer protection division, said they will specifically monitor the compliance of business establishments with various technical regulations, especially the Philippine Standard (PS) and Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) requirements.

The products that are covered by mandatory certification and should have the required PS markings or ICC stickers include electrical and home appliances.

The enforcement teams will issue notices of violation and seize the uncertified products that would be found inside the business establishments.

“This is intended to protect our consumers. If there are violations, we will ensure that they will be corrected and will not happen again,” Morales said.

Abrenica said the erring business establishments could face administrative and criminal charges, which will include possible imprisonment.

Under the administrative sanctions, he said the violators could face hefty fines, depending on the quantity of the seized uncertified products.

“The fine will cover per item and model so it could reach up to PHP100,000,” he said.

Last June, DTI-12 destroyed around PHP2.3 million worth of uncertified products that were seized in a series of product surveillance and enforcement operations in the region.

The confiscated products, which were found in seven out of 19 establishments inspected by DTI-12 teams, included assorted light-emitting diode or LED bulbs, assorted electrical products, household appliances, and equal leg angle bars. (MindaNews)