Eco-group pushes for consumer protection vs unsafe goods

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 3, 2019   •   596

Eco-group EcoWaste Coalition is pushing for consumer protection against unsafe goods in preparation for the holiday ‘shopping spree’.

This is in celebration of Consumer Welfare Month (CWM) this October. According to EcoWaste, the government should have more responsibility in guaranteeing that consumers are protected against abuses and imbalances in the marketplace.

“While protecting the consumer interest is indeed a shared responsibility, we believe that the government and the industry have the greater obligation of upholding the legally guaranteed rights of the Filipino consumer considering the powers and resources these two other pillars of consumer protection have,” according to Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has announced the theme of this year’s CWM which is ‘Consumer Protection: A Shared Responsibility.’

The DTI prepared several activities throughout the month in celebration of the CWM. These include a Konsyumer Caravan in several barangays in cities of Parañaque, Navotas, Manila, and Quezon on October 4, 11, 18, and 25.

The Konsyumer Caravan aims to educate consumers against buying hazardous products as well as their rights and responsibilities under the Fair Trade Laws.—AAC

Leatherback sea turtle found dead in coastal waters of Bohol

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 13, 2020

A dead leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) was found floating in the coastal waters of Talibon, Bohol.

Leatherback sea turtles are classified as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and are considered as critically-endangered in the Pacific and Southwest Atlantic.

The Talibon Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office, and the City Environment & Natural Resources Office (CENRO) buried the leatherback sea turtle but later exhumed and turned it over to the National Museum for preservation. Samples were also taken for genetic analysis for further study.

“This is the first recorded stranding incident of leatherback in the province,” the Coastal and Marine Ecosystems Management Program (CMEMP) said in a post.

The CMEMP also said that leatherback turtles are named for their shell, which is leather-like rather than hard, like other turtles. They are the largest sea turtle species and also one of the most migratory, crossing both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. AAC

Karapatan ng consumers, mas mapapangalagaan sa pagpaparehistro ng online sellers – DTI

Robie de Guzman   •   June 15, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Malaking benepisyo sa mga consumer kung magpaparehistro sa Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) ang online sellers, ayon sa Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Sa isang panayam sa programang Get It Straight with Daniel Razon ngayong Lunes, sinabi ni DTI Undersecretary Ruth Castelo na mas mapapangalagaan ang karapatan ng mga consumer kung may datos na hawak ang pamahalaan hinggil sa operasyon ng online sellers.

Ani Castelo, noon pa man ay marami na silang natatanggap na reklamo laban sa online sellers at lumobo pa ito sa panahon ng community quarantine.

Aniya, marami ang sumabak sa pagbebenta ng produkto online matapos makansela ang pasok sa trabaho at operasyon ng pampublikong transportasyon dahil sa COVID-19 crisis.

Mula sa mahigit 900 reklamo laban sa online sellers mula Enero hanggang Marso ngayong taon ay umakyat ito sa mahigit 8,000 mula Abril hanggang Mayo.

Karamihan aniya sa mga reklamo ay tungkol sa nabiling depektibong produkto o kaya ay pagpapataw ng mas mataas na presyo ngunit hindi naman nahahabol ang mga inirereklamong online sellers dahil nagpapalit lang ang mga ito ng pangalan o kaya ay tini-take down ang kanilang page.

Ani Castelo, maaaring maiwasan ang ganitong insidente kung naka-rehistro ang  negosyo at impormasyon ng online sellers.

Sa ilalim ng kasalukuyang sistema, kailangang makipag-ugnayan ng DTI sa Cybercrime Division ng National Bureau of Investigation o ng Philippine National Police upang matunton ang IP address ng isang online seller kung may reklamo ang isang customer.

“Ang nagiging issue po for consumer protection, they are virtual, wala po silang physical address. So, web page lang or yung kanilang site sa internet hindi po natin masyadong napo-proteksyunan ang mga consumers dahil dito,” ani Castelo.

Binigyang-diin naman ni Castelo na ang panawagan ng BIR na pagpaparehistro sa online sellers ay para lamang makabuo ang pamahalaan ng database o registry ng online businesses upang matiyak na sumusunod ang mga ito sa Consumer at Price Act at mapangalagaan din ang kapakanan ng consumers.

“Ang importante po mahihiram natin sa BIR at mate-trace natin, makaka-build po tayo ng database at mabi-build natin ang ating registry ng lahat ng online sellers, mas madali na po ang consumer protection na magagawa natin,” sabi ng opisyal.

Sinabi rin ni Castelo na boluntaryo ang pagpaparehistro dahil wala pa namang batas sa bansa na mag-oobliga sa registration ng online sellers

Sa panig naman ng BIR, iginiit nitong walang dapat ipangamba ang online sellers sa pagpaparehistro ng kanilang negosyo dahil hindi naman sila bubuwisan kung maliit lang ang kanilang kinikita.

Sa ilalim ng Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law, ang mga negosyong gumagamit ng digital platform o electronic commerce at kumikita ng mas mababa sa P250,000 sa isang taon ay hindi pagbabayarin ng buwis.

Ayon kay BIR deputy commissioner Arnel Guballa, layon lamang ng inilabas nilang memorandum circular kamaikailan na malaman kung sinu-sino ang online sellers at kung magkano ang kanilang kinikita.

Iginiit rin ni Guballa na malalaking online selling platforms ang target nilang buwisan.

“Ang gusto talaga namin later on na ita-tax ng gobyerno is yung malalaki, yung Lazada, Shopee, Netflix. ‘Yung gaya ng mga kababayan natin na nandyan lang sa bahay eh hindi naman po yun yung tinatrget itax ng BIR. Sila ay parte ng sistema na gusto namin makita ang data,” ani ng opisyal.

Binigyan-diin rin ng opisyal na sa ilalim ng National Internal Revenue Code, kailangang magpa-rehistro at magdeklara ng kinikita sa BIR ang sinumang may negosyo, mapa-pisikal man ito o online. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Joan Nano)

From greeting cards to abaca face masks, local company joins COVID-19 fight

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 12, 2020

In response to the limited supply of personal protective equipment (PPEs), a local company in Misamis Oriental decided to make face masks out of abaca.

The transition has not been easy, according to Neil Rafisura, president of Salay Handmade Products Industry, Inc.

It takes numerous and tedious process in order to create a face mask out of abaca. This is a challenge for Neil especially with the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

They are used to creating greeting cards and other similar products. It never crossed their minds before that their company would make any PPEs such as face masks. However, that did not stop them from helping the country’s frontliners in their fight against the COVID-19 virus.

“At first it’s very challenging because ang skills namin ay hindi ready (our skills were not ready), it involved a lot of sewing but then there are a few workers who know how to sew, so tinawag ko sila at nag-experiment kami, (so I called them and we did an experiment),” he said.

Based on initial research abaca face masks are seven times better than cloth face masks. Even though it will not surpass surgical and N95 face masks yet, Neil is optimistic that the abaca face masks would help frontliners and even ordinary citizens against the virus.

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Region 10 said this is a great start for further research. They are also encouraging experts to look into the potential of abaca face massks.

“We are calling researchers kung gusto niyo mag-research about mask (if you want to research about mask) why not study with abaca face mask kasi mayroon na siyang initial study baka maging potential talaga at effective na face mask itong abaca, (because there is already an initial study and abaca face mask might have a potential and might be more effective)” according to DOST-10 Science Research Specialist 1 Julie Ann Baculio.

The abaca face masks is environmental-friendly, reusable and can be hand-washed. It is sold for P90 apiece. AAC (with reports from Weng Fernandez)

REACH US

The Philippine Broadcast Hub

UNTV, 915 Barangay Philam,

EDSA, Quezon City M.M. 1104

(+632) 8396-8688 (Tel)

info@untv-newsandrescue.com (General inquiries)

ABOUT UNTV

UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.