DTI launches mobile app to determine product quality

Robie de Guzman   •   October 18, 2019   •   463

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has launched a mobile application that will help consumers determine product quality.

The app known as ICC Verification System is one way DTI may address the growing number of complaints regarding defective and fake products being sold in markets.

Using the app, consumers may detect if the product is registered under DTI and has passed the screening of the Bureau of Philippine Standards by simply taking a picture of the import commodity sticker attached to the product.

If the sticker is authentic, the system will scan and generate the details of the product.

If the sticker is fake, the system will not read it.

“That’s very important because if the sticker is fake, that means the product slip passed certification process. Not having pass the certification process means the importer is not doing the right thing. The primary risk there is that the product may be substandard,” said Ruth Castelo, DTI Undersecretary for Consumer Protection Group.

The app is free download on google playstore while its IOS version is still under development.

For now, the app only applies to products with attached ICC stickers because the DTI is still polishing the system on products havin the product safety or PS markings. – MNP (with details from Joan Nano)

DTI warns traders against hiking prices of face masks amid Taal ash fall

Robie de Guzman   •   January 13, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Monday threatened to slap charges against traders who are found to have unreasonably increased their prices of N95 and other face masks amid the rising demand for these items following the eruption of Taal Volcano.

Trade Undersecretary Ruth Castelo issued the warning following reports of some retailers taking advantage of the surge in demand of face masks amid the Taal ash fall that has affected many parts of Metro Manila, Central Luzon and Calabarzon.

In Bambang, Manila, a known destination for medical supplies and equipment, prices of N95 masks and other similar items have shot up amid the rising public demand.

From P25 to P40, a piece of N95 mask now reportedly costs P150 to P300.

Read: Manila LGU calls on traders not to raise face mask prices amid Taal ashfall

Castelo said they have dispatched teams to monitor and observe the movement of retail prices of face masks in the market.

“Those found to have unreasonably increased their prices for gas masks, face masks and other similar items, which act is tantamount to profiteering, shall be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law,” she said.

“DTI will not hesitate to file administrative and criminal charges against unscrupulous business entities and individuals who capitalize on the consumers’ urgent need for their own profit,” she added.

Castelo also said that prices of manufactured basic necessities and prime commodities shall remain unchanged as of the latest DTI Suggested Retail Price Bulletin published last September 31, 2019.

DTI assures no price increase on holiday goods

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 12, 2019

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) assures consumers that there will be no price increase on holiday goods until holiday season.

“We give the assurance sa consumers natin na kung ano iyong nasa suggested retail price bulletin na released on October 30, 2019 ito na iyong magiging presyo until after the holidays (We give the assurance to our customers that the prices listed in the suggested retail price bulletin, released on October 30, 2019, will remain until after the holidays),” DTI Consumer Protection Group Usec. Ruth Castelo said.

Earlier on Thursday (December 12), several officials of the DTI monitored prices in several markets in Quezon City. They monitored the prices of several holiday goods including ham, pasta, tomato sauce, fruit cocktail, and queso de bola.

According to Castelo, they monitored several supermarkets that have lower prices compared to the suggest retail price.

“Na-monitor natin na mayroong mga products that are lower by 10 pesos, mayroong four pesos, six pesos at hanggang piso. So malaking benefit para sa mga consumer (We have monitored several products that are lower by 10 pesos, four pesos, six pesos and even one peso. So it is a huge benefit for our consumers),” she said.

However, the DTI admitted that there are markets they can no longer monitor.

Castelo advises consumers to buy from supermarkets that the DTI have monitored.

“We encourage the consumers na doon sila bumili sa supermarkets na sigurado silang binabantayan ng DTI (We encourage the consumers to buy from supermarkets that have surely been monitored by the DTI), she said.—AAC

DOLE now accessible worldwide through mobile app

Marje Pelayo   •   November 27, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) now have ways to stay updated on the services and offers of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) through a mobile application.

According to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, the DOLE mobile app will provide Filipino workers across the globe with the latest news and regulations as well as keep them informed of their rights and benefits at work.

It will also provide them immediate access to the labor departments’ hotline numbers, and contact details of labor offices in their host countries especially during emergencies.

The DOLE mobile app is free to downloaded from the Google Play Store for Android devices and the App Store for Apple devices.

“This application is intended to provide a major channel for our workers and OFWs to get in touch with DOLE and the POLO ( Philippine Overseas Labor Office),” Bello said.

“Through the use of modern technology, they can relay their labor related concerns and complaints,” he concluded.

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