Senator Bam Aquino has called on consumers to be more vigilant on what they purchase, with the reported entry of fake rice and noodles and tainted candies in the market.
“Consumers have to be always on guard on what they buy, now that fake and tainted products have made it to the market,” said Sen. Bam, chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship.
“Mahalagang malaman at mabantayan kung ligtas ba o hindi ang ating binibiling produkto dahil buhay at kalusugan natin ang nakataya,” added Sen. Bam.
Sen. Bam made the pronouncement amid reports of fake rice and noodles reportedly being sold in Davao City. At the same time, around 2,000 people suffered food poisoning after consuming tainted durian candies in the Caraga region.
“We call on our small businesses to ensure that our products are safe and fit for consumption for the welfare of our consumers,” Sen. Bam, a staunch advocate of the growth of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the country, stressed.
Earlier, Sen. Bam has filed a measure seeking to amend the 23-year-old Consumer Act of the Philippines to give it more teeth and make it more effective in protecting the welfare of consumers.
“In order to build stronger commercial systems and maintain thriving markets, there is a need to bolster the rights of consumers and we need to do this at the soonest possible time,” Sen. Bam said in his Senate Bill No. 2699.
If enacted into law, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will be authorized to close down any establishment caught in the act of selling, distributing, manufacturing, producing, displaying or importing hazardous products.
In case of product recall, manufacturers of defective products will also be required to give notice to every person to whom such consumer product was delivered or sold to.
The measure also raises the administrative fines against erring manufacturers from P50,000 up to P10 million, depending on the discretion by the Trade Secretary. The current law imposes a fine of P500 to P300,000.