By Ana-Liza S. Macatangay
NAGA CITY --- As end-users of goods and services, consumers are at vulnerable state, particularly when it comes to product deception and fraud employed by some unscrupulous businessmen.
This situation prompted the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) provincial office in Camarines Sur to conduct a seminar on advocating consumerism. Dubbed “Promoting Consumer Vigilance Among Barangays In Naga City,” the event was held Tuesday, July 25, at the Avenue Plaza Convention Center here.
Attended by barangay officials and representatives, the seminar sought to help barangays increase awareness on consumer activism in the barangays and promote consumers’ welfare in this city and the adjoining nearby municipalities.
“We want to convey to our consumers, particularly in the barangay level, that the attention given by DTI to the business sector is the same as to the consumers – that of protecting their rights as consumers. We have consumerism movements mostly in schools and professionals, but now we want this movement to be strengthened by involving the barangays,” DTI Camarines Sur Provincial Head Edna Tejada said.
Participants were given lectures on their rights and responsibilities as consumers, namely; the right to basic needs, safety, information, choice, representation, redress, consumer education, and healthy environment.
Jay Percival Ablan, DTI consumer protection division chief, lectured on RA 7394 or the Consumer Act of the Philippines, emphasizing the State policy to protect the consumers, promote their general welfare and establish standards of conduct for business and industry.
Mayor John G. Bongat graced the occasion and expressed his full support to the activity. He said consumers should indeed be armed with information to avoid fraudulent dealings and safeguard their rights as end-users.
“This activity is on how residents in the barangays can help consumers and how we can protect ourselves that what we buy has the right price and right quality as it affects our health, livelihood, as well as the environment,” Bongat said.
“We promote business, we promote entrepreneurship, self-employment for everyone to have a quality way of life; however, we do not tolerate deception and fraud just to gain profit,” Bongat added.