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CAVEAT EMPTOR “Let the buyer beware”

THE CONSUMER ACT OF THE PHILIPPINES

What is R.A. 7394?


R.A. 7394 is the Consumer Act of the Philippines, which took effect on July 15, 1992.
The declaration of basic policy of this act states that it is the policy of the State to protect the
interest of the consumer, promote general welfare and to establish standards of conduct for
business and industry.

What are the objectives of the Consumer Act?


The objectives of the Act are:
 Protection of consumers against hazards to health and safety;
 Protection of consumers against deceptive, unfair and unconscionable sales acts and
practices;
 Provision of information and education to facilitate sound choice and the proper exercise
of rights by the consumer;
 Provision of adequate rights and means of redress;
 Involvement of consumer representative in the formulation of social and economic
policies.

What government agencies implement the Consumer Act and what are their areas of concern?
 Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)
 Consumer Product Quality and Safety
 Deceptive, unfair and unconscionable sales acts and practices
 Weights and measures (metrication)
 Consumer Products and Service Warranties
 Price Tag
 Labeling and Packaging
 Liability for Products and Services
 Service and repair shops
 Advertising and sales promotion
 Department of Agriculture (DA)
 Agricultural Products Quality and Safety
 Labeling and Packaging
 Department of Health (DOH)
 Food, Drugs, Cosmetics Quality and Safety
 Labeling and Packaging
 Advertising and Sales Promotion
 Price Tag

When is the Consumer Act applicable?


The Act is applicable if:
 The COMPLAINANT is a natural person;
 The SUBJECT of the violation is a consumer product or service; and
 The NATURE of the complaint is regarding any of the aforesaid.
What is a consumer product or service?
A consumer product or service means goods, service and credits, debts or obligations
which are primarily for personal, family, household or agricultural purpose, which shall include,
but not limited to food, drugs, cosmetics and devices.

CONSUMER COMPLAINTS

What can a consumer do if he has a complaint?


 Identify the basis of complaint and what you believe would be a fair settlement:
 REPAIR, REPLACE, or REFUND?
 Gather all evidences of purchase
 Sales receipt, repair orders, warranties, cancelled checks, or contracts that can
back up your complaint
 Go back to where you made the purchase.
 Proceed to the store's customer service unit or consumer welfare desk (CWD).
 Call the attention of the seller and explain the details of your complaint.
 Mention your preferred remedy.
 Seek also the assistance of the store supervisor or manager.
 If still dissatisfied, write a formal letter to the consumer protection agency concerned.
 Include the following:
o Date of filing of complaint
o Name of complainant
o Address of complainant
o Name of store complained of
o Address of store complained of
o Complete details of the incident
o Signature of complainant Enclose supporting documents

When to file complaint?


 Within 2 years from:
 The time the consumer transaction was consummated
 The deceptive or unfair and unconscionable act was committed, and
 In case of hidden defects, from discovery

Where to file complaint?


 For administrative proceedings, at a Provincial Office or Regional Office
 Refer to Matrix of Consumer Agencies and Areas of Concern
 For civil or criminal actions, at a Trial Court

What are the remedies available to consumers?


 For Administrative Proceedings:
 REPLACE or REPAIR
 REFUND
 RESTITUTION or RESCISSION
 REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSE
CONSUMER TIPS

Product Safety and Quality Tips


Q: Problema sa product safety and quality?
A: WALA DAPAT! May mga quality at safety standards upang masiguro ang kaligtasan at
kasiyahan ng konsyumer.

Q: Paano makasisiguro na DEKALIDAD at LIGTAS ang produkto?


A: Hanapin ang PS O ICC MARK sa produkto. Ito ay guarantee na nasuri at pumasa sa test ang
produkto na ibinibenta.

How to spot botcha or “double dead” meat


Botcha or “double dead” meat is livestock or poultry that have died due to disease,
slaughtered, and then sold as fresh meat to consumers.

Effects of Eating Botcha


 Hazardous to health
 May result in diarrhea and food poisoning

How to Avoid Buying Botcha


Look for the following signs:
 Pale in color with bluish or greenish-gray tint;
 Sticky consistency;
 Foul smell;
 Cold (meat has been frozen);
 Hair and skin not properly cleaned (botcha is often butchered in a hurry before the meat
hardens)
 Lower price compared with fresh meat.

How to tell the freshness of fish


 Buy the whole fish, when possible. This declares that the fish has not been around long
enough for them to take the time to cut it up and repackage it.
 Look at the eyes of the fish. Freshly caught fish should have clear black pupils and
nothing else. If you look into the eyes of a fish caught a week or several weeks ago,
however, the eyes will be much cloudier. The cloudier the pupils of the fish’s eyes, the
older the fish.
 Feel the texture of the skin. A freshly caught fish has a firm, tight skin that is shiny. A fish
that has been caught and put on ice for several weeks will have a much different feel.
The skin will be quite a bit duller and the feel of it will be slick and sometimes even slimy.
If slimy to the touch, avoid that fish.
 Smell the fish. “Smells like old fish.” That’s because freshly caught fish do not really
smell like much of anything. A slight, saline scent is the most you should ever smell from
a whole fish. If you start smelling something “fishy” or, even worse, ammonia-like odors,
that fish is old and might make you sick. Avoid it at all costs.
 Check the gills. Freshly caught fish have bright red gills. If the gills on your fish are
brown or grayish, do not cook this fish—it is not fresh.
 When in doubt, buy frozen. This is especially true with exotic types of fish that are
harvested from across the world.
ADULTERATED PRODUCTS

Adulterated Food
Food is adulterated if:
 It contains poisonous or deleterious substances;
o The same applies to its container.
o Pesticide chemicals, food additives, color additives are permissible if they
conform to set tolerances.
 It contains in whole or in part of any filthy, putrid or decomposed, or if it is otherwise unfit
for food;
 It has been prepared, packed or held under unsanitary conditions whereby it may have
become contaminated with filth, or whereby, it may have been rendered injurious to
health;
 It contains, in whole or part, the product of a diseased animal or of an animal which has
died other than by slaughter;
 It has passed its expiry date.

Adulterated Cosmetics
Cosmetics are adulterated if:
 They contain any poisonous or deleterious substance which may render it injurious to
users under the condition of use prescribed in the labeling, or under the condition of use
as are customary or usual;
 They contain filthy, putrid or decomposed substances (the same applies to its container);
 They are prepared, packed or held under unsanitary conditions;
 They bear a color other than a permissible one (does not cover hair dyes);
 Any of its substances have been mixed or packed so as to reduce its quality or strength.

Adulterated Drugs/Devices
Drugs and devices are adulterated if:
 They contain filthy, putrid or decomposed substances (the same applies to its container);
 They are prepared, packed, or held under unsanitary conditions;
 They bear a color other than a permissible one;
 Their strength, safety, efficacy, quality or purity falls below the standard set forth;
 Any drug/device and any substance has been mixed or packed there with that would
reduce the product’s standard quality.

No Return, No Exchange
Q: No Return, No Exchange?
A: NO WAY! Basta depektibo ang biniling produkto, pwede i-repair, i-replace o i-refund.

Q: If an item bought from Store Y turns out to be more expensive than a similar item in Store X,
can the customer return the item and ask for a refund?
A: No, while the consumers have the right to choose and make a canvass of prices, once the
sale is consummated and the product has no defect, one cannot return the goods nor ask for a
refund.

Q: If the defect is due to mishandling on the part of the buyer, can he still return the item and
demand an exchange or refund?
A: No, the prohibition covers only hidden defects, shoddy goods or imperfect service.
Q: Can a store impose the condition that merchandise can only be exchanged once?
A: No, the merchandise can be exchanged as many times as these are defective as long as the
consumer chooses the option of replacement.

Q: Can the statement "Exchange will not be accepted on item in any way used, damaged or
altered" be printed on invoices?
A: No, because there may be items that can be determined as defective only when used.
Moreover, the right to determine whether goods are damaged or altered cannot be reserved
exclusively for the company since this is a matter between the customer and the company.

The DTI reminds all retailers and storeowners with the following guidelines:
 No posting and printing of “No Return, No Exchange” in stores or sales invoice/receipts.
 Printing a seven-day return/exchange period or any equivalent tagline in the store or on
any official receipt/sales invoice is not allowed.

Price Tags
Q: TWO PRICE TAGS?
A: BAWAL! Dapat isa lang ang presyo. Cash man o credit card. Should there be more than one
price tag, consumers are to pay the lesser amount.

Q: Pwede bang MAIBA ang presyo na babayaran sa nakasulat sa PRICE TAG?


A: Dapat ang babayaran ay sang-ayon sa nakasulat sa price tag.

Q: Kasama na ba ang VAT sa price tag?


A: Dapat kasama sa price tag ang VAT.

 Price tags should be clearly printed and bear no erasures or alterations;


 They should visibly state the price of the commodity per unit (piece, package, pair,
dozen, set, kilogram, meter, liter, etc.) in peso except when a regulation allows
consumer products to be sold in foreign currency like those items sold at duty free
shops.
 Erasures or alterations on the price tag are only allowed in price reduction sales
promotion campaign. Otherwise, it is prohibited by law.

Warranty Tips
Q: No Repair, Replacement o Refund?
A: Basta may RESIBO o WARRANTY CARD, pwede na! Lahat ng produkto o serbisyo na
binibili ay may nakapaloob na warranty.

Q: Paano malalaman kung may warranty?


A: A warranty can be “EXPRESS” o “IMPLIED”. Ang EXPRESS WARRANTY ay nakasulat sa
card. Ang resibo ay isang IMPLIED WARRANTY.

Q: Gaano katagal ang effectivity ng warranty?


A: Kung IMPLIED WARRANTY, hindi bababa sa 60 DAYS. Kung EXPRESS WARRANTY, kung
ano ang nakasaad sa card.

Here are the tips to keep the warranty valid/applicable:


 Keep the warranty card together with the receipt. Make sure that the information
indicated is well understood.
 Be aware of the terms and conditions of warranty contract.
 Check whether the replacement part used is genuine and not defective.
 Use the product based on its purpose (for the intention it is made for).
 Contact the authorized dealer/service repair for any clarification.
 Ensure that you have fully identified the company’s background, image, and its credibility
before having any transaction.
 Be aware of your consumer rights and responsibilities.

Credit Card Use (refer to picture)


1. Pirmahan kaagad ang mga credit o debit cards pag natanggap.
2. Magtago ng impormasyon ng inyong credit o debit cards katulad ng account numbers,
expiration date, verification numbers at phone numbers at address ng bawat kompanya
ng credit card.
3. Bantayan ang inyong credit cards tuwing may credit card transaction at kunin ito agad
pagkatapos.
4. Huwag basta magbigay ng mga personal na impormasyon tulad ng bank account at
passwords.
5. Huwag basta magpadala sa mga credit card offers. Makipag-ugnaya sa bangko upang
masiguradong tunay ito.
6. Itago ang mga resibo ng bawat transaksyon at iba pang mga dokumentong kahalintulad
nito.
7. Ipaalam o itawag kaagad sa kompanya ng credit card kapag may nakakapagdudang
transaksyon sa billing statement.
8. Kapag nawala o nanakaw ang credit o debit card, agad itong ipaalam o itawag sa
kompya ng credit card.
9. Bawal magtakda ng kaukalang halaga (minimum amount) sa paggamit ng credit cards
ang isang establisamento.
10. Sa pagbabayad, dapat iisa lang ang presyo ng produkto (nakapromo man o hindi), cash
man o credit card ang gamit.

Scam Tips
Phishing scam e-mails
Phishing scam e-mails are urgent electronic mail requests for personal information that
appear to come from a legitimate institution or company. The e-mail links to an authentic-looking
web page that is used to trick recipients into disclosing personal information such as credit card
numbers, home addresses, and other sensitive financial information. One phishing e-mail scam
reportedly lures recipients into making donations to a fake website.

To avoid falling prey to phishing and online scams, the DTI-Bureau of Trade Regulation
and Consumer Protection (BTRCP) reminds consumers to keep in mind the following tips:
 Never directly respond to an e-mail asking for personal information.
 If you doubt a message’s authenticity, verify it by contacting the institution yourself.
 Avoid spoofed sites by entering web addresses directly into the browser yourself or by
using bookmarks you create.
 Make sure that the web page asking for your credit card information is secure. Look for
“https” at the beginning of the URL on that page, which indicates it is encrypted for
security. You can also see whether a site is secure by looking at the bottom of your
browser’s window for an icon of an unbroken key or lock that’s closed, golden, or
glowing. Double click on the lock to display the site’s certificate, and make sure it
matches the organization you think you are connected to.
 Protect your credit card from theft or loss. Call the bank immediately to block access for
lost or stolen card.
 If you think you have received a fraudulent spam email, forward it to the National
Telecommunications Commission at (+632) 926.7722 or e-mail at ospac@ntc.gov.ph.

Sales Promotion Scam


Another form of scam is through sales promotion. This happens, most of the time, inside
the shopping malls where agents offer freebies such as movie tickets, rice cooker, etc. in
exchange of buying something to get the said giveaways.
If the consumer easily falls to their traps, it is already too late before they notice that the
price of the items they bought from the assumed sales promotion is three times higher as
compared to their price levels in other stores.

With this, the BTRCP warns the public with the following tips:
 It is not a giveaway if you are required to buy something in return.
 Compare the price of similar items.
 Do not easily sign contract/s.
 Understand well the terms of the contract.

Text Scam
Another fraudulent practice is through short messaging service (SMS) or text. In most
cases, they announce thru text that you have won millions of cash prizes or a brand new car
from which you have not joined on such raffle draws or contests.

Here is how to determine if the message is a text scam:


 Check the number of the sender – legitimate promos use only three or four digits.
 Verify promo. Visit www.dtincr.ph or call DTI Direct at (+632) 751.3330.
 Report message and mobile number to the NTC at 926.7722.
 E-mail formal complaint to NTC at cwpd@ntc.gov.ph, indicate name, address and
contact number, the scam message and mobile number used in the message sent.
Attach scanned copy of 2 valid IDs.
 For more information, call NTC at 926.7722.

Tips on how to avoid being scammed online:


 Maintain multiple e-mail accounts.
Use an e-mail account for your personal and sensitive transactions and another
fake e-mail account for trivial things such as forum registrations, website sign-ups, and
interaction with individuals that you do not know personally. Make sure any information
attached to the fake e-mail account cannot be traced back to you; use fake names and
addresses liberally. This prevents scammers fishing for victims to find out any real data
that they can use against you. This also benefits your personal email account because
the restrictions in its use severely limits the amount of spam that finds its way into the
inbox. A large number of online scams get to people through spam mail.
 Do not sign up for every contest you find on the Internet, particularly contests that
require you to provide personal information.
A lot of online scam perpetrators find their victims through databases gathered
from information collecting drives masked under a contest or promo.
 Do not be lazy.
If there is a bank that is only a few minutes of walking away from your house, go
there in person for financial transactions. Don't rely too much on their online services
and be on the lookout for fake phishing websites that ask you to update your bank
account details and passwords. Keep in mind that if there is a need to update bank
account information, banks will require you to do it in person.
 If you like to join contests and promos in several places, keep track of everything you
have joined and their prizes.
Make a ledger if possible. This way, if an e-mail shows up in your inbox telling
you that you've won P2M, it will be easier for you to file it under scams.
 Lastly, but certainly not the least, do not be greedy and always remember that anything
that seems or sounds too good to be true usually is.
People do not magically become millionaires for no reason at all and they most
certainly do not win it in the same manner. Even people who become millionaires
through the lottery had to do some actual work in terms of going out and buying a lottery
ticket in person.

Pyramid Scam (refer to picture)

Gift Checks, Certificates, and Gift Cards


 Gift certificates/checks/cards that are distributed to consumers under awards, loyalty or
promotional programs are not covered.
 All gift checks/certificates/cards with no expiry dates shall be redeemable until used by
the bearer.
 Goods and services that are paid with gift certificates/check/card are qualified in
promotional sales activities, loyalty programs, warranties, return policies for cash
purchases, and discounts for senior citizens/persons with disability.
 The suppliers cannot be held liable for gift certificates/ checks/ cards under that are:
a) Lost due to no fault of the supplier; and
b) Mutilated or defaced due to no fault of the supplier and such damage prevents
the supplier from identifying the security and authenticity features thereof.

Shopping Tips
 To save time in locating products, familiarize yourself with the arrangements of stocks in
the stores where you frequently do your shopping.
 To avoid missing special, genuine sales, shop systematically up one aisle and down the
other.
 Keep a sharp eye for special price reductions of products which can be reserved for
future use.
 Be alert for low-budget, economical but nutritious recipes and other consumer product
information. Go for quality, not quantity.
 Vary your meals. Look to perk up the appetite of the family.
 Read labels carefully and take note of nutrition information such as contents, measure,
etc.
 Look for expiry dates to insure freshness.
 Do not be ashamed to ask the assistance of store supervisor for information or location
of some items.
 Compare prices per unit or serving.
 Help control. Store operating costs which will indirectly affect prices. Handle
merchandise carefully.
 Go for value, not brand.
 Time saved is time well spent. At the checkout counter, unload items with prices
showing.

Be a wise consumer! Keep these tips in mind!


Concealment, False Representation, or Fraudulent Manipulation
A deceptive sales act or practice is defined as an act on the part of the seller that
induces a consumer to enter into a sale or lease transaction of any consumer product or service
through concealment, false representation or fraudulent manipulation.

What does concealment, false representation, or fraudulent manipulation mean? The law cites
several examples such as the following:
 A consumer product or service has the sponsorship, approval, performance,
characteristics, ingredients, accessories, uses, or benefits it does not have.
 A consumer product or service is of a particular standard, quality, grade, style or model
when in fact it is not.
 A consumer product is new, original or unused, when in fact, it is in a deteriorated,
altered, reconditioned, reclaimed or second-hand state.
 A consumer product or service is available to the consumer for a reason that is different
from the fact.
 A consumer product or service has been supplied in accordance with the previous
representation when in fact it is not.
 A consumer product or service can be supplied in a quantity greater than the supplier
intends.
 A service, or repair of a consumer product is needed when in fact it is not.
 A specific price advantage of a consumer product exists when in fact it does not.
 The sales act or practice involves or does not involve a warranty, a disclaimer of
warranties, particular warranty terms or other rights, remedies or obligations if the
indication is false.
 The seller or supplier has a sponsorship, approval, or affiliation he does not have.

It is government policy to promote and encourage fair, honest, and equitable relations
among parties - the seller and the buyer - in consumer transactions. Retailers are encouraged
to promote transparency to consumers among their ranks. All information about a product or
service, especially those that concern pricing and quality, should be disclosed to the consumer.

For instance, clothing stores sometimes goes on sale for items with factory defects. If a shirt
is being sold at a discount because it has an inconspicuous hole or tear then the seller should
mark the shirt where the “imperfection” is located. In this way, the consumer is informed that
there is a reason for the markdown in prices.

By giving him that information, he is given the power to choose: to buy a perfect but more
expensive shirt, or a discounted one with the inconspicuous hole. If he does choose the shirt
with the hole, he cannot complain that the item is defective.

Online Shopping Tips


 When buying products online, practice discipline, due diligence, and control.
 Carefully read and understand the terms and conditions of the WEBSITE, particularly on
deal sites, before making a purchase. Read to be able to intelligently understand what
the bargain is all about before using your credit card.
 Ensure that the product you are getting is not counterfeit.
 Make sure the seller can be traced. Be wary of dubious sellers.
 Check with the DTI-NCR website (www.dtincr.ph) if the seller has an APPROVED
SALES PROMOTION PERMIT.
 Take care of your CREDIT CARD INFORMATION.
Sources:
DTI
As taken from an ABS-CBN News interview with the director of DTI-Bureau of Trade, Regulation
and Consumer Protection Victor Dimagiba (http://www.abs-
cbnnews.com/business/11/28/13/shopping-online-read-these-tips)

PROPER LABELING OF PRODUCTS


Labeling is a powerful marketing tool in convincing consumers to buy your product.
Therefore, making the labeling information clear and relevant to the needs of consumers can be
a vital step toward consumer patronage.

Labeling, clearly, is indispensable to consumers in the exercise of their right to


information and choice, and to businesses in enabling them to cater to their market’s needs and
to promote their products well. But, labeling has a far more important function than merely
contributing to sales; it is a double-edged sword with the equal ability to misinform as much as it
can provide the right information.

That is why businesses and government have a big responsibility in making sure that
consumers are not only given honest information about a consumer product, but that the
information does not mislead them in any way.

As a state policy, government is enforcing compulsory labeling to enable consumers to


get accurate information as to the nature, quality, and quantity of the contents of consumer
products. Minimum labeling requirements have been imposed for businesses to comply with
such as registered trade or brand name, the business name and address of the manufacturer or
importer, the general make or active ingredients, the net quantity of contents, and the country of
manufacture.

It is up to the businesses to make sure that these labeling requirements are written in a
language easily understandable to consumers but ultimately, becoming knowledgeable about
the meaning of the information in labels rests solely on the consumer. After all, information is
useless if it is not being read and applied.

The MINIMUM LABELING REQUIREMENTS for consumer products:


All consumer products domestically sold whether manufactured locally or imported shall indicate
the following in their respective labels of packaging:
 Its correct and registered trade name or brand name;
 Its duly registered trademark;
 Its duly registered business name;
 Address of the manufacturer, importer, re-packer of the consumer product in the
Philippines;
 Its general make or active ingredients;
 Net quantity of contents, in terms of weight, measure or numerical count rounded off to
at least the nearest tenths in the metric system;
 Country of manufacture, if imported;
 If a consumer product is manufactured, refilled or repacked under license from the
principal, the label shall so state the fact.
Additional labeling requirements for FOOD PRODUCTS have also been imposed to protect
consumers further:
 Food product must indicate:
 The expiry or expiration date;
 Whether the product is semi or fully processed, ready-to-cook, ready-to-eat,
prepared food or just plain mixture;
 The nutritive value, and
 Whether the ingredients used are natural or synthetic.
 The Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD) has enforced the Philippine National Standards
(PNS) requiring prepackaged meat products such as corned beef to indicate the type of
meat used, whether cattle beef or carabeef.
 The caption “No Approved Therapeutic Claim” must be printed on the primary display
panel of all labeling materials used for food supplements (i.e. immediate label of the
container, box, carton, brochures, leaflets, etc.)

Additional labeling requirements for COSMETICS:


 Expiry or expiration date
 Whether or not it may be an irritant
 Precautions or contra-indications
 Such other labeling requirements as the concerned department may deem necessary
and reasonable

Cosmetic products: How to read the label? (refer to picture)

Additional labeling requirements for certain products:


 If the product is flammable
 If the product is toxic or poisonous, the label shall contain the word: "Warning:
Poisonous" or "Warning: Toxic" or the accepted or required graphic representation of
the same.
 If the product is corrosive
 If the product is a strong sensitizer or may cause allergy
 If it has complicated mechanical, electrical, or electronic appliances, equipment or
products to be assembled and those needing further assembly shall contain the
following information
 If an electrical or electronic appliance or accessory may be used with a specific wattage,
voltage or amperes, such wattage, voltage or amperage shall be embossed, painted,
pasted or otherwise printed on the product without danger of getting easily erased or
removed by ordinary usage
 If the toy is mechanical and electrically powered, its label shall contain information as to
the age of the child for which the toy is intended
 If a product is prone to cause an accident if not handled or used in the proper way, the
label shall contain the following warning: "Caution/Warning: Dangerous if not handled
properly" or words to such effect. If damage is likely to result from non-compliance to
the limited use of a product, a statement such as "Warning: For limited use only" or
words to such effect shall appear in the label
CONSUMER RIGHTS & RESPONSIBILITIES

THE EIGHT (8) BASIC CONSUMER RIGHTS

1. THE RIGHT TO BASIC NEEDS: The right that guarantees survival, adequate food, clothing,
shelter, health care, education and sanitation.

You may look forward to:


 The availability of basic and prime commodities to consumers at affordable prices and of
good quality.

2. THE RIGHT TO SAFETY: The right to be protected against the marketing of goods or the
provision of services that are hazardous to health and life.

You may look forward to:


 Manufacturers of consumer products to undertake extensive safety and performance
testing before selling their products in the market.
 Labels that contain the proper information as regards the product, its use and how to
operate it, if the need arises, and also precautions or warning signs.

3. THE RIGHT TO INFORMATION: The right to be protected against fraudulent/dishonest or


misleading advertising/labeling/promotion and the right to be given the facts and information
needed to make an informed choice.

You may look forward to:


 Complete information about the product to be purchased, including its use,
ingredients/chemical contents, precautions, if any, limitations and expiry date.

4. THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE: The right to choose products at competitive prices with an
assurance of satisfactory quality.

You may look forward to:


 A wide array of goods and services which are offered in the market with diverse brands,
sizes, shapes and colors with differences in the price, quality and use.

5. THE RIGHT TO REPRESENTATION: The right to express consumer interests in the making
and execution of government policies.

You may look forward to:


 Legislators would propose laws that would ensure that consumers have the chance to
live a better life by getting the best value for their hard-earned peso.

6. THE RIGHT TO REDRESS: The right to be compensated for misrepresentation, shoddy


goods or unsatisfactory services.

You may look forward to:


 Manufacturers/storeowners would replace defective goods pursuant to the provision “No
Return, No Exchange” provided in the DTI’s Implementing Rules and Regulations of
Republic Act 7349, otherwise known as the Consumer Act of the Philippines.

7. THE RIGHT TO CONSUMER EDUCATION: The right to acquire the knowledge and skills
necessary to be an informed consumer.

You may look forward to:


 The three sectors of society: business, government and consumer would embark on an
information campaign through tri-media on consumer related issues.
 A series of seminars, conferences, fora, training, and public hearings for the welfare of
the consumers.
 Consumer education being integrated in the school curriculum from elementary to
secondary levels as mandated by R.A. 7394 also known as the Consumer Act of the
Philippines.
 The Consumer Empowerment Seminar organized by the NCAC

8. THE RIGHT TO A HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT


The right to live and work in an environment which is neither threatening nor dangerous, and
which permits a life of dignity and well-being.

You may look forward to:


 The government exerting an iron hand regarding the alarming increase in the
degradation of the environment, especially forests, dying wildlife, depleted land fill space
and environmental contamination to prevent further damage.
 Constant monitoring of our seas, coral reefs, forest, and waste disposal practices of
factories to check if there is a violation of the laws on environmental protection.

Source: National Consumer Affairs Council (NCAC)

THE FIVE (5) CONSUMER RESPONSIBILITIES

1. CRITICAL AWARENESS: The responsibility to be more alert and questioning about the use
and the price and quality of goods and services we use.

2. ACTION: The responsibility to assert ourselves and to act to ensure that we get a fair deal.
Remember that as long as we remain passive consumers, we will continue to be exploited.

3. SOCIAL CONCERN: The responsibility to be aware of the impact of our consumption on


other citizens, especially the poor, exploited, disadvantaged or powerless groups, whether in the
local, national or international community.

4. ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS: The responsibility to understand the environmental


consequences of our consumption. We should recognize our individual and social responsibility
to conserve natural resources and protect the earth for future generations.

5. SOLIDARITY: The responsibility to organize together as consumers to develop the strength


and influence to promote and protect our interests.

CONTACT INFORMATION
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 751.3330 o 0917.8343973
Department of Agriculture (DA) 928.8741 to 65
Department of Health (DOH) 711.6982
+ those in file

SPECIAL ADVISORIES FROM THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION

Consumer Tips on Healthy Eating


FDA Advisory 2014-001
1. Read the nutritional information on the label, such as the number of calories per serving,
the number of grams of fat, the level of sodium added, the level of cholesterol, or sugar
content.
2. Watch out for serving sizes rather than deprive themselves of their favorite food or buy
substitutes that are expensive. Limit your food intake rather than eliminate them.
3. Sugar or fat can increase weight when the caloric intake from sugar or fat is more than
what the body needs.
4. Never be influenced by advertisements or promotional gimmicks. Again, read the
product nutritional label or nutrient content on the label.
5. Diversify your diet and eat a balanced meal. Eat enough rice, bread, fruits, vegetables,
meat, fish, and poultry. Eat food in moderation.
6. Drink enough water to quench your thirst, for proper metabolism and to promote
excretion of wastes from the body.

Consumer Tips on Buying Medicines from Drug Outlets


FDA Advisory 2013-069

1. It is important to remember that fast moving or frequently bought medicines as well as


expensive drugs are the targets of counterfeiters.
2. Buy only from legitimate drug outlets. Make sure to buy only from FDA-registered drug
outlets. All FDA-registered drug outlets should have a pharmacist present to supervise
the business operation of the drug outlets. Do not buy from drug outlets without any
pharmacist.
3. Ask, If not question, the pharmacist when in doubt on the quality of the medicines being
dispensed. You may ask the pharmacist if the drug outlet buys its stocks from legitimate
distributors or suppliers/wholesalers. Ask for the FDA Certificate of Product Registration
or the official receipt issued by the FDA-licensed distributors or suppliers/wholesalers.
4. Look at the product being handed over carefully. Counterfeit medicines look similar to
the original medicines, but there are differences in the quality of the label, e.g. the quality
of the print and color, font size or the logo. If you have used the drug before and noticed
any difference in appearance of the packaging or the drug, you may report it to the FDA
via email at report@fda.gov.ph.
5. If you feel the drug you are taking is not working or there are adverse effects, call your
doctor, pharmacists and even the drug manufacturer. Inform the FDA via email
report@fda.gov.ph.
6. Always demand for the official receipts as evidence of where and when you bought the
medicines.
7. Be careful when buying medicines online. Avoid buying drugs from online pharmacies
that are not licensed. So far, the FDA has yet to issue any license to online pharmacy,
but there already one that has applied for a License to Operate.

For more information, kindly email us via inform@fda.gov.ph.