TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Aug 5, (PIA) –Candies for a change, anyone?
Coins may be admittedly getting scarcely circulated, but that is no reason for department stores to give candies instead of coins for a change, says Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) information Officer Lucille Autentico.
Consumer Act of the Philippines or Republic Act 7394 was enacted to protect the interests of the consumer, promote his general, welfare and to establish standards of conduct for business and industry. The same law protects the rights of consumers and to plugs abusive practices of business establishments in the country.
According to DTI, they have been warning department stores and other business establishments for not giving exact change, or worse, giving candies instead.
This is despite the fact that, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Central Visayas Regional Director Ma. Lux Berciles has admitted that the problem of lack of coins in circulation seems to be widespread.
“The problem of loose change getting scarce from stores and business establishments is not just a common problem in Bohol,” Berciles said.
In fact she added that the government has been campaigning to re-circulate these coins that may have been tucked somewhere in wallets, drawers or piggy banks.
One such campaign focuses on schools that could get computer units as incentive for depositing coins back to the banks, according to Berciles.
But, that does not spare the businessmen from the responsibility to give nothing else but the exact change in the same manner that consumers must demand the exact change when they buy, DTI said.
Senate Bill 1329 which seeks to put up a policy on exact change said the practice of giving insufficient change or giving no change at all to consumers by product sellers or service providers is something that is often taken for granted, author Manuel Villlar stated.
This is usually because the change involves only a matter of five, ten, fifteen or twenty centavos, or small bills, which, when added up at the end of the day, amounts to thousands of pesos.
The failure to give the change or the exact change constitutes a trade malpractice that must be stopped, Villar pressed.
In Bohol, DTI admits having warned several department stores over violations of the Consumer Act, especially on giving candies instead of coins for change.
Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Marietta Gasatan has asked the BSP to help solve the problem by elucidating on the matter in as much as businessmen and DTI have been at odd ends over this. (Rey Anthony Chiu)