Customer is always right no longer true – DTI official

Philippine Tribune
Philippine Tribune

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Aside from knowing their rights, a Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Misamis Oriental official has urged consumers to be knowledgeable about their responsibilities, saying that customer is always right mantra is no longer true.

Angelo Devero, chief of the DTI-Misamis Oriental consumer protection division, said consumers have five responsibilities – critical awareness, action, social concern, environmental awareness, and solidarity.

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DTI-Misamis Oriental Consumer Protection Division chief Angelo Devero (left) and DTI-Misamis Oriental Provincial Director Almer Masillones answer questions from the media during the Consumer Welfare Month media briefing on Monday, October 2. (Franck Dick Rosete)

Consumers, Devero said, should demonstrate critical awareness when buying, ensuring the right item’s specifications and price, and confirming if certain items are safe by looking at their Philippine Standard (PS) marks or Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) stickers.

“The best protected consumers are those who are well-educated and well-informed consumers,” he said.

Customers should also know the right actions to take when receiving defective products or unsatisfactory services by politely approaching assistance desks or the people in charge of decision-making to be able to properly resolve their concerns, Devero said.

Devero added that during calamities, consumers should have social concern by not depriving other buyers of basic needs. “They are also encouraged to give way to senior citizens, Persons with Disabilities, and pregnant women, especially during times when there’s a long queue.”

The DTI official highlighted the use of single plastics for environmental awareness. However, this city prohibits its use under Ordinance No. 13378-2018, the Integrated Ecological Solid Waste Management Ordinance of Cagayan de Oro.

Lastly, consumers are encouraged to organize groups to be able to voice their concerns, Devero said, adding that there are couple of DTI-accredited consumer organizations in this city that serve as the voice of the consuming public.

Devero reminded consumers of their eight rights –  the right to basic needs, safety, information, right to choose, representation, redress, and consumer education.

The country is celebrating Consumer Welfare Month this October, pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 1098.

The DTI, the Department of Health, and the Department of Agriculture are among the government agencies mandated to “protect the interests of consumers, promote their general welfare, and establish standards of conduct for business and industry under Republic Act No. 7394, or the Consumer Act of the Philippines.

With this year’s theme, “GenS: Generation Sustainable,” the DTI wants to promote sustainability for consumers. The theme was anchored on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals that the United Nations (UN) member states are committed to achieving by 2030, and among these goals is responsible consumption and production.

DTI-Misamis Oriental Provincial Director Almer Masillones said that achieving the goal in the country is “very challenging” as the poverty incidence is at 18.1 percent or equivalent to 19.99 million people living below the poverty line.

“Given this, we still realize that sustainable consumption needs to be widely practiced given that the Philippines is prone to natural disasters,” Masillones said.

The DTI-Misamis Oriental has prepared various activities in line with this month’s celebration, such as standard orientation, generation sustainable forum, discount caravan for rice, and contests.

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