DAVAO CITY – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Davao Region warned business establishments and consumers against illegal sales promotion especially during holiday seasons.
As a legal requirement under Republic Act No. 7394, also called the “Consumer Act of the Philippines”, any person who wants to conduct any form or scheme for a sales promo campaign of a consumer product, service or credit facilities shall first secure a permit from DTI, Department of Health (DOH) for food, drugs, cosmetics and hazardous substances or from National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) for meat products at least 30 days before the start of the promo period.
The DTI-Davao Regional Director Maria Belenda Q. Ambi has cautioned the public to ensure the legality of a sales promo by checking if it has a DTI Permit.
“Promo registered and approved by DTI is essential as it protects the welfare of the consumers from fraudulent promo activities and failure to register a sales promo with the Department is punishable by law as provided for in RA 7394,” Ambi said.
She said while many stores comply with the requirements of securing permits before conducting any sales promotion activities such as raffles, offering discounts, free items, contests, redemption and the like, there are also entities which do not bother to get any permit.
Ambi clarified that promos like fundraising, in-store promotion, imported products under promotion in their country of origin (not covering the Philippines) or those sponsored by government do not need to be registered with DTI.
DTI is also reminding retailers that having separate prices for cash and credit card payment is strictly prohibited. The price should remain the same whether a customer pays in cash or using a card.
Department Administrative Order (DAO) No. 10, Series of 2006 clearly states that when a consumer pays in cash or credit, automated teller machine (ATM) or debit card, they shall only pay the price indicated in the price tag.
Moreover, the same DAO also emphasized that, “All retailers who honor/accept credit/ATM/debit card for payment shall not require the cardholders to pay a surcharge, extra charge or additional charge over and above the price tag on the consumer goods and services.”
Ambi said consumers may file complaint at the nearest DTI provincial office. (davaotoday.com)