March 21, 2023

In time for the celebration of Consumer Welfare Month this October, the Department of Trade and Industry has released new guidelines on its recognition of consumer organizations (CO).  

Consumer organizations refer to a group of individuals who organize themselves to promote the welfare and protect the rights of consumers. Currently, there are 10 locally recognized COs nationwide.

All existing DTI-recognized COs will be automatically enlisted in the DTI Register of Consumer Organizations free of charge based on the revised guidelines. COs may enlist with the DTI by filling out a form and paying P150 at the DTI cashier’s office concerned.  

Department Administrative Order 20-07, s. 2020 or the Revised Guidelines on the Recognition of Consumer Organizations signed on Oct. 9 substantially relaxed the requirements set forth in DAO 17-07, s. 2017 or the Guidelines on the Recognition of Consumer Organizations,” such that a CO can be classified as “enlisted consumer organization” if it voluntary enlisted in the DTI Register of Consumer Organizations which, if qualified, may be recognized by DTI either as a local or national CO, while a currently recognized CO is automatically enlisted without need to pay P150.

Section 1 of DAO 20-07 provides that an enlisted CO must have at least five individual members for it to be qualified for recognition as local CO while at least 30 members is required for an enlisted CO to be qualified as national CO. Further, a certificate of Securities and Exchange Commission or a Cooperative Development Authority is no longer required for the recognition of local CO.  

The validity of certificate of recognition is three years unless cancelled of suspended and this shall be awarded every March and October of each year, during the celebration of the World Consumer Rights’ Day and Consumer Welfare Month, respectively.  

“We recognized the need to revisit the guidelines on COs to encourage more organizations to enlist with the DTI and revitalize their involvement in the development of policies and programs. A recognized CO will be included in the list of RCOs which will be posted on the DTI website and will be provided consumer information materials, among others,” DTI Consumer Protection Group Usec. Ruth B. Castelo said.  

To give the interested future applicants of recognized consumer organization the opportunity to be apprised of the new guidelines, DTI-CPAB invites the COs to join the web info session on the DAO 20-07, s. 2020 on Oct. 30,10 a.m. to  noon via Zoom meeting.  

The public is advised to like and follow the DTI Consumer Care Facebook page to get the latest updates and schedule of the Consumer Welfare Month celebration. 

“The DTI recognizes the importance of the involvement and participation of consumer organization in every aspect of promoting consumer rights and responsibilities and other consumer-related programs. It enjoins all consumer organizations in the country to enlist with the DTI with a minimal fee, and we will work hand in hand to further strengthen consumer awareness,” said DTI Consumer Policy and Advocacy Bureau OIC Atty. Marimel Dancel Porciuncula. – Press release