DTI, nanawagan sa LGUs at mall operators na pag-aralan ang ipinaiiral na ‘no return, no exchange’ policy

Robie de Guzman   •   May 28, 2020   •   249

MANILA, Philippines – Nanawagan ang Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) sa mga lokal na pamahalaan at mall operators sa Metro Manila na muling pag-aralan ang ipinatutupad na “no return, no exchange” policy sa ibinibentang mga produkto.

Ginawa ng DTI ang pahayag ngayong Huwebes matapos matuklasan na may mga mall sa Quezon City na nagpapatupad ng ganitong polisiya lalo na sa mga ibinibentang damit at sapatos sa gitna ng novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis.

Ipinagbabawal rin sa ngayon sa ilang mall ang fitting o pagsusukat ng mga nasabing item.

“Kasi doon sa no fitting policy nila tapos no return, no exchange, it turns off the consumer. Mas lalong hindi bibili yung tao na pupunta doon dahil nga kung hindi kasya ano gagawin nila dun sa bibilhin nila,” ang sabi ni DTI Undersecretary Ruth Castelo.

Paliwanag naman ng ilang mall officials, sumusunod lamang sila sa guidelines ng lokal na pamahalaan sa gitna ng COVID-19 pandemic.

“We inform them before that no fitting is allowed and there is no return, no exchange,” ayon kay Luisito Lim, general manager ng Landmark.

“Sa ngayon kasi yun yung that was imposed to us by the Quezon City government so we are just following the guidelines,” dagdag niya.

Ngunit giit ni Castelo, maaaring magdulot ito ng kalituhan sa mga mamimili dahil ipinagbabawal sa ilalim ng Republic Act 7394 o ang Consumer Act of the Philippines ang ganitong polisiya.

Sang-ayon sa batas, may karapatan ang isang customer na isauli ang nabiling produkto lalo na kapag ito ay depektibo.

Payo ng ahensiya, magpulong ang mga lokal na pamahalaan, mall operators at ang Department of the Interior and Local Government upang ayusin ang nasabing panuntunan.

Iminungkahi rin ng DTI ang pagkakaroon ng uniformed protocols na ipatutupad sa mga mall upang maiwasan ang kalituhan sa publiko. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Dante Amento)

DTI lifts quantity restrictions on alcohol, facemasks, other essential items

Marje Pelayo   •   June 25, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has lifted the quantity restrictions on essential items such as alcohol and facemasks after months of strict community quarantine when the incidence of hoarding and profiteering was rampant.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the limits were lifted after the Department managed a healthy inventory of supplies. 

“Now we have an abundant supply of masks, and that’s the reason why just recently, about two days ago we are removing these limits in purchases,” he said. 

“We have also increased the limits, let’s say, on mask purchases to one box of 50. Dati ‘yan five pieces lang [Previously, it was limited to five pieces only],” he added.

Currently, each box of 50 pieces of surgical mask costs around P300 to P500 while N95 masks cost around P400 to P500 per 10 pieces in Bambang, Manila.

Disinfecting alcohol, meanwhile, slightly increased in prices by P10 with each bottle now ranging from P85 to P500, depending on the volume.

Aside from medical supplies, the DTI also lifted the caps imposed for the sale and purchase of other basic commodities, such as canned sardines, instant noodles, canned and powdered milk, instant coffee, bread loaf, detergent soap, toothpaste, canned pork, canned beef, cooking oil, soy sauce, vinegar, fish sauce, and dried fish. MNP (with details from Joan Nano)

DTI probes reports on alleged abuse of PWD discount cards

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 23, 2020

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will investigate the reports of alleged misuse of Persons with Disability (PWD) identification cards.

A photo circulated on social media last 20 June 2020 showing a photo of a family from Quezon City with all members supposedly visually impaired and one with psychosocial disability.

“Abuse of privilege in any law ruins the spirit behind it. Such a discount is solely meant for actual persons with disabilities. DTI, through the Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB), is currently investigating the matter,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said.

He also emphasized that such corruption is not tolerated and must immediately be reported to the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), and Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC).

The department said it is also ready to file charges against individuals proven to have fake PWD ID cards.

“Especially in this time of crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, people should not be abusing their PWD ID cards since many restaurant owners are also facing difficulty in keeping their businesses afloat,” he said. AAC

Gov’t urged to grant incentives, not taxes to online sellers

Robie de Guzman   •   June 22, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Monday called on the government to extend fresh capital and other financial assistance, instead of implementing “untimely” new taxes to online entrepreneurs amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

In a statement, Gatchalian said online sellers should be covered by the microfinancing program of the Small Business Corporation (SB Corp.) under the Department of Trade and Industry to help them grow their business and recover from the economic effects of the pandemic.

The senator noted that DTI’s SB Corp. has a P1 billion Enterprise Rehabilitation Financing facility under the Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (Covid19 P3-ERF) to support micro and small businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

The microfinancing program offers a minimal interest rate of not more than 2.5% per month with no collateral requirement.

Micro enterprises with asset size of not more than PhP3 million may borrow PhP10,000 up to PhP200,000 while small enterprises with asset size of not more than PhP10 million may borrow a higher loan amount but will not exceed PhP500,000.

“Ang DTI ay dapat magbigay pa nga ng puhunan sa mga Pilipino na nawalan ng trabaho at gustong makaahon sa kahirapan sa pamamagitan ng pagnenegosyo sa online. Sa ganitong panahon ng pandemya, mas magandang nasa tahanan lang sila at nag-nenegosyo. Nabibigyan pa nila ng trabaho ang mga delivery service riders.” Gatchalian said.

“Hindi lang basta ayuda ang hinihingi ng mga negosyanteng ito. Ang hinihingi nila ay malaya silang bigyan ng oportunidad na makapag-negosyo para may kita sila,” he added.

Gatchalian, vice chairman of the Senate committee on economic affairs, issued the statement following Bureau of Internal Revenue’s (BIR) move to require online sellers to register their business until July 31, and pay taxes if they are earning higher than P250,000 a year.

The lawmaker believes that registering businesses with the BIR is ineffective since its system requires an applicant’s physical presence at this time when people are still being restricted from leaving their homes.

“Nakita ko na hindi rin handa ang ating pamahalaan na buwisan ang ating mga maliliit na negosyante dahil yung ultimong pagre-rehistro ay hindi pa sila handa kaya huwag na nating ipilit sa ganitong panahon ng pandemya, dahil hindi lang marami ang naghihirap kundi marami rin ang natatakot na lumabas ng kanilang bahay,” he stressed.

Aside from providing capital, Gatchalian also urged the DTI to make use of the Philippine Innovation Law to enhance the competitiveness of these online sellers.

The law aims to harness innovation efforts to help the poor, the marginalized, and MSMEs to be a part of the domestic and global supply chain.

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