Sustaining common thrust on consumer protection, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) expressed support as the Valenzuela Local Government Unit (LGU) inaugurated nine (9) of its “Timbangan ng Bayan” and rehabilitated Polo Public Market on 27 June 2023.
DTI-Consumer Protection Group (CPG) Undersecretary Atty. Ruth B. Castelo and DTI-Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB) Director Atty. Fhillip D. Sawali, expressed their full support to Valenzuela Mayor Weslie T. Gatchalian joined by former Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez, now Vice Chair of the Valenzuela City Polytechnic College, and other key Valenzuela LGU officials during the unveiling of nine (9) calibrated weighing scales.
The Valenzuela LGU tested and confirmed the accuracy of weighing scales using the steel test weights provided by the DTI team. After passing the test weight and the required casing and hanging weighing scale specifications, the scales will be delivered to a specific barangay where each will be installed in a designated “Timbangan ng Bayan” Center. These are in addition to other Timbangan ng Bayan that have already been installed in other barangays within Valenzuela to serve both public and private markets in the city..
Marking another milestone, Undersecretary Atty. Castelo commended the consumer protection initiatives of Valenzuela City.
“Consumer protection is a give-and-take relationship, that benefits both sellers and consumers. And from what I understand, it’s very fair in Valenzuela. Nakita nyo po na ang city government pa ang naglagay ng ganitong Timbangan ng Bayan para sa ating lahat.” USec. Castelo said.
Likewise, DTI-FTEB Director Atty. Sawali reminded that consumers are not just recipients of the DTI’s enforcement efforts but the agency’s valued partners. With this, he urged everyone to protect their rights and practice their responsibilities as consumers.
With these, Mayor Gatchalian expressed Valenzuela City’s sustained commitment to consumer advocacy and education, such as the “Timbangan ng Bayan” Centers.
“Rest assured that Valenzuela City commits and complies with the DTI’s regulation and enforcement initiatives, gaya na lamang nitong Timbangan ng Bayan. Kung tutuusin hindi kamahalan itong mga timbangan. Pero ang laki ng maitutulong nito sa tao, lalo na sa mga possible o madaling naloloko ng mga mapagsamanatlang nagnenegosyo.”
Enacted last year, Republic Act (RA) 11706 or the ‘Timbangan ng Bayan’ Law amended Chapter II, Title III of the Consumer Act, orders all provincial, city, and municipal governments to establish accessible “Timbangan ng Bayan” Centers in all public and private markets, including supermarkets, and when possible, in flea markets or tiangges and grocery stores, within their respective localities.
RA 11706 is a breakthrough from the DTI’s “Timbangan ng Bayan” Project, which advocates the installation of weighing scales with corresponding cases in selected markets of key Local Government Units nationwide to protect consumers from unfair and unconscionable sales acts or practices and ensure that they get the best value for money.
Apart from launching “Timbangan ng Bayan,” Mayor Gatchalian announced the completion of Polo Public Market rehabilitation. While inspecting the upgrades, the Valenzuela and DTI officials also took the opportunity to conduct a market inspection, which affirmed that the said public market has accurate weights and measures.
The DTI, as one of the implementing agencies of the Price Act, as amended, and with the DTI Secretary as the Chairperson of the National Price Coordinating Council (NPCC), is mandated to coordinate and rationalize government programs aimed at stabilizing prices and supplies of BNPCs.
The DTI launched programs that also promote market monitoring and one of which is the “Ikot Palengke” program manned by the price monitoring task forces of FTEB and DTI Regional and Provincial Offices.
Since its launching on 23 November 2022, the DTI “Ikot Palengke” teams have made rounds to check the: (1) prices and supply of processed and agricultural basic necessities and prime commodities (BNPCs); (2) accuracy of weights and measures; and (3) appropriate price tags in several wet markets and supermarkets within the National Capital Region (NCR).
The DTI urges consumers to report violators through the Consumer Care Hotline at DTI (1-384) or email@example.com.
Date of release: 27 June 2023