North Cotabato, Philippines—The Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) Task Force Kalasag netted a significant haul of uncertified lead-acid storage batteries and motor vehicle brake fluid, with a total value exceeding PHP 3.1 million.

In a heightened enforcement operation conducted from June 17 to 20, 2024, the task force seized 992 units of uncertified products across the region. The largest crackdown involved 754 uncertified units amounting to PHP 2.8 million, discovered in an automotive shop located in Poblacion, Kidapawan City.

The seized products lacked the Philippine Standard (PS) markings and Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) stickers, violating Republic Act No. 4109 or the Products Standards Law.

“Task Force Kalasag’s recent seizure of uncertified lead-acid batteries and brake fluids is a critical step towards protecting consumers from potential safety hazards. These uncertified automotive products risk fires, explosions, and road accidents,” said DTI Secretary Fred Pascual.

“By removing these unsafe products from the market, we ensure a safer environment for Filipino consumers and promote fair competition among responsible businesses that prioritize consumer safety. We encourage the consuming public to be vigilant and choose certified automotive products from reputable sources,” he added.

The establishment involved in the sale of uncertified products was issued a Preliminary Preventive Order. This restricts the unauthorized removal, tampering, and transfer of the seized products without a written order from a duly authorized officer from the DTI’s Fair Trade Group-Fair Trade and Enforcement Bureau (FTG-FTEB). Additionally, the shop faces a Notice of Violation requiring a written explanation within 48 hours. Failure to comply will result in the filing of a formal charge with a corresponding penalty.

The DTI established Task Force Kalasag in April 2024 to strengthen consumer welfare and ensure a fair trade environment. This reflects the Department’s goal to empower and care for consumers through firm monitoring and enforcement of product quality standards across all businesses.

With action teams manned by the FTG-FTEB enforcement unit, the task force conducts nationwide monitoring, surveillance, enforcement, prosecution, and adjudication. Furthermore, it provides quick response actions during periods of calamities, disasters, and public emergencies.

Since its launch, Task Force Kalasag has already confiscated 1,282 units of uncertified lead-acid batteries and 226 motor vehicle brake fluids with a total value of almost PHP 4 million. These enforcement efforts have spanned across Region 4A (Laguna, Cavite, Batangas, Rizal), Metro Manila (Parañaque City), Region 3 (Pampanga), Region 8 (Tacloban and Eastern Samar), and Region 9 (General Santos, Koronadal, Kidapawan and Tacurong City).

“Expanding our operations sends, a clear message: The DTI is taking a strong stance against unscrupulous business owners and will not hesitate to take action against those who put Filipino consumers at risk. Every Filipino consumer deserves access to a marketplace filled with only high-quality and safe products,” said FTG Supervising Head and Assistant Secretary Agaton Teodoro Uvero.

The DTI urges consumers to report violators particularly retailers, distributors, and manufacturers that sell uncertified and illegal items through the Consumer Care Hotline at DTI (1-384) or ♦