The Department of Trade and Industry-Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (DTI-FTEB) outlines its 2022 initiative upturns as the implementing arm mandated to regulate businesses; handle complaints and provide redress; conduct market surveillance to determine price and supply availability; and enforce trade and industry laws including compliance to standards.
Last year, the DTI-FTEB issued a total of 40,855 licenses, permits, authorities, and accreditation. This hits a 10% average increase from the processed applications and issued permits in 2021 and 2020.
The Bureau also embarked on speedy and equitable complaints handling mechanisms that have led to 27,947 complaints received in 2022. This is a 10% decrease from the complaints received in 2021, mostly COVID-19 related concerns.
Out of the complaints received, the DTI-FTEB processed 5,687 cases under its jurisdiction, of which 5,070 were resolved.
Following the DTI’s “no wrong door” policy, consumer complaints that were beyond the DTI’s jurisdiction were referred to the concerned offices or other government agencies.
On top, the DTI-FTEB also tightened market surveillance to ensure compliance with the Consumer Act of the Philippines (RA No. 7394), the Price Act (RA No. 7581 as amended by RA No. 10623), and the Law on Products Standards (RA No. 4109).
Throughout 2022, the FTEB monitoring teams inspected 750 supermarkets and groceries in the National Capital Region (NCR) to check the price and availability of supply of basic necessities and prime commodities (BNPC), as well as the firms’ compliance with the latest Suggested Retail Price (SRP) Bulletin.
Establishments that were non-compliant with the latest SRP bulletin were issued with a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) directing them to submit their explanation within 72 hours.
Meanwhile, the DTI-FTEB monitoring and enforcement teams checked 19,680 firms’ compliance with Trade and Industry Laws which resulted in the issuance of Show Cause Orders (SCOs) and Notices of Violation (NOVs) to non-compliant firms.
The ramped-up monitoring and enforcement cracked down on uncertified products worth P68,544,456.64.
The 839% leap in last year’s confiscation of uncertified products takes account of the heightened COVID-19 restrictions in 2021 which imposed limitations on both businesses and government operations.
Also, to support the national government’s resiliency and recovery efforts, the FTEB represents the Department in the Sub Task Group on Economic Intelligence (STGEI) where DTI-FTEB aids 39 witnessing and destruction activities of smuggled and illegally imported agricultural products in 2022.
Moreover, the Bureau assisted in four (4) joint operations of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and Sugar Regulatory Board (SRA) which resulted in the seizure of 526,000 sacks of allegedly hoarded sugar said to be causing an artificial shortage.
Despite the easing and lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, the DTI-FTEB received 2,213 Safety Seal applications and approved 1,938. The remaining applications were either disapproved, withdrawn, or subjected to reassessment.
Further, the Bureau monitored the compliance of 3,150 firms to Minimum Public Health Standards (MPHS). Out of the 966 non-compliant firms, 87.30%. have already complied with the request for corrective action, while the rest were already endorsed to their respective Local Government Units (LGU) for non-action.
Key to these milestones is the Bureau’s dedication to advancing its journey to go digital through the Integrated Registration and Information Systems (IRegIS) and the recently launched FTEB website.
DTI-FTEB also established an Online Monitoring Unit (OMU) tasked to intensify the monitoring and enforcement of Trade and Industry Laws even up to the digital spaces.
“The success of one bureau is the success of the whole Consumer Protection Group (CPG) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), at large. Therefore, I commend the Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau for embodying excellence and genuine service. Patuloy nating ibigay ang serbisyong higit pa sa inaasahan para maprotektahan ang interes at kaligtasan ng bawat Pilipinong mamimili,” CPG Undersecretary Atty. Ruth B. Castelo said.
FTEB OIC Director Atty. Marimel D. Porciuncula and OIC Assistant Director Atty. Joseph Manuel P. Pamittan also underscored that last year’s breakthroughs reflect the DTI-FTEB’s strong commitment to reinventing and redefining its services and processes to protect consumers and uphold consumer welfare.
The DTI-FTEB Directors also added that the last year’s accomplishment set good momentum for the Bureau’s 2023 plans and goals.
The DTI-FTEB officially started its operation by virtue of DTI Memorandum Order No. 14009, series of 2014. Thereby, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) released the Notice of Organization Staffing and Compensation Act (NOSCA) which authorized the hiring of personnel to fill plantilla positions.
To safeguard the interests of consumers through education, mobilization, and representation, Consumer Protection Group (CPG) fosters synergy and collaboration between the FTEB and two (2) other bureaus: the Bureau of Philippine Standards (BPS) and the Consumer Policy and Advocacy Bureau (CPAB).
For other consumer concerns, the DTI urges consumers to call the Consumer Care Hotline at DTI (1-384) or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. *