DTI reminds consumers on World Consumer Rights Day

On March 15, the world will celebrate World Consumers Rights Day with the theme ”Building a digital world consumers can trust.” The Department of Trade and Industry joins the country in the celebration as it reminds businesses and consumers to practice responsibility and vigilance in doing conventional and electronic commerce.

In line with the celebration, DTI Regional Director Judith P. Angeles reminded consumers that since 2008, there is already a Joint Department Administrative Order No. 01 signed by the DTI, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health outlining the mechanisms set by each department in addressing consumer complaints regarding products under their respective mandates which were procured in the digital platform. The order also defines terms in cybersecurity, data privacy and online commerce which would be needed should a consumer complaint is lodged in each of the agencies. Under the Joint Administrative Order and the E-Commerce Act, online disclosure of information about online business is required. Under the same regulations, online businesses are still required to honor warranties, and electronic signatures are considered as valid. The data shared by the transacting consumer should also be treated with confidentiality under the said regulation. She noted that there are already avenues where consumers purchasing goods or services can direct their concerns.

Under Section 9 of the abovementioned JDAO, consumers who have concerns with online sellers that are not based in the country can file their complaints through the trade or consular office of the concerned country. She added that online businesses should still be registered with the concerned regulatory agencies of the government, and should comply with the same warranty regulations of the country, particularly those stated in the Consumer Act of the Philippines or Republic Act No. 7394.

The issue of online fraud has been a source of many complaints against fake products, lack of warranty and other consumer complaints lodged against several government agencies. The DTI has been working with the National Bureau of Investigation in monitoring online transactions that are subject to complaints by consumers who buy online.

Director Angeles also said that the best protection for consumer rights is vigilance and correct information about products and services before buying online. She also suggested to buy only from secured websites and authorized business establishments, whether they are physical or online businesses. She also encouraged the consumers to check if the online sellers have physical addresses for added security. She urged online sellers to register their businesses with the government for them to avail of its services, and to avoid unnecessary legal complaints.

Tel No. (045) 6259290
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Contact: Warren T. Serrano (09202914042)
DTI Regional Office 3, Malikhain St., cor. Maagap St.
Diosdado Macapagal Government Center, Maimpis,
City of San Fernando, Pampanga
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