Jul 042014

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Davao Region recently launched two new projects for public markets in the region to benefit consumers.

Rachel Remitio, Consumer Welfare and Trade Regulation Division Chief for DTI-Davao, told reporters during Friday’s Kapihan sa PIA that DTI is setting up Bantay Presyo price billboards and distributing Timbangan ng Bayan scales in wet markets all over the region.

DTI is distributing price billboards in 40 public and private markets in Davao.

Eight wet markets in Davao City, Davao Oriental, Davao del Norte, and Compostela Valley will receive one billboard each.

“We started this in 2013, and we made an inventory of all the price billboards in the region, and from that inventory we prioritized 40 wet markets in the region to be set up with price billboards for 2014,” Remitio said.

For Davao City, DTI documents list public markets in Calinan, Mintal, Tibungco, Bunawan, Lasang and Toril, as well as Market Vendors Associations in Piapi and Matina.

“In Davao City, we have just distributed billboards to six public markets, while 2 others are still up for distribution in Piapi and Matina,” Remitio said.

Remitio added that with these billboards, consumers will know prices for basic commodities such as rice, sugar and evaporated milk, based on Suggested Retail Prices (SRPs) and basic market prices.

DTI is also distributing Timbangan ng Bayan weighing scales in different public markets in the region.

The weighing scales will be distributed to a total of 65 wet markets in Davao City, Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental, Compostela Valley, and Davao del Sur. Thirteen wet markets in Davao City are set to receive these scales.

Two weighing scales will be put up in each wet market.

Remitio said that these weighing scales are calibrated by the Department of Science and Technology and housed in steel cages to protect them from being tampered.

“Just in case the ordinary consumer has doubts about the weight of the products, they can check if the weight of their purchase is correct,” she said.

She added that the presence of Timbangan ng Bayan scales “will ensure that vendors and businessmen will caution from tampering with their own scales.”

While the weighing scales are yet to be distributed, Remitio said they are set to distribute them in October this year, in conjunction with the Consumer Welfare Month.

“This is all to ensure that consumers are protected and well-informed of their rights and responsibilities, as well as to ensure that businesses practice fair business activities,” Remitio said.

“The well-informed consumer is the best protected consumer,” she added. (Brent Harvey S. Jimenez-AdDU Intern)

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 05, 2014.

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