Two stalls at the Baguio City market have been issued notices of violation for selling pasalubong products that have improper labels in an operation conducted jointly by the Department of Trade and Industry, Food and Drugs Administration, and the city market division of the City Treasury Office last Nov. 4.
DTI Baguio-Benguet Consumer Protection Division Officer-in-Charge Ralph Altiyen said the operation was based on a complaint received by their office on alleged deceitful trade practices relating to the sale of pasalubong products at the city market.
The complainant cited peanut brittle products being sold at five pieces for P100 or at times seven pieces at the same price depending on the size of the container.
“Kung inyo pong masusing tingnan, ang produkto ay maayos sa labas pero kapag ito ay iyong binuksan, hangin at ampaw po ang loob. Sa label din ay may nakalagay na DTI permit, kaya ang tanong po ay may pahintulot kaya (kayo) sa ganitong gawain? Madalas din po itong problema ng mga turista na pumupunta at namimili ng mga pasalubong dito sa Baguio City. Ito rin po ay nakakasira sa imahe ng ating mahal na lungsod,” the complainant wrote in a letter dated Oct. 27 to DTI Baguio-Benguet Provincial Director Samuel Gallardo.
The complainant provided samples of the products he purchased from the stalls along with a photocopy of the receipt.
Upon scrutiny, it was found the pasalubong products did not conform to the mandatory labeling requirements.
The label did not indicate the manufacturer, net weight and address, which is in violation of Republic Act 7394 or the Consumer Act of the Philippines, particularly Articles 77 to 79 on minimum labeling requirements, the Philippine product standard mark, and additional labeling and packaging requirements, respectively.
Altiyen said apart from the manufacturer or supplier, sellers are also liable based on Art. 50 of the law.
While at the market, the team also inspected other stalls and found similar products displayed for sale, prompting the team to issue warnings and directives to pull out said products.
Altiyen said in their regular monitoring, vendors were reminded of the need to comply with the trade practices which include selling of products with proper labeling. – Aileen P. Refuerzo