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  • Writer's pictureZiggurat Realestatecorp

What is the Consumer Protection Act of the Philippines?

AT A GLANCE

  • The Consumer Act of the Philippines (Republic Act No. 7394) embodies the state policy on the protection of consumers and establishes standards of conduct for business and industry in the country.

  • The Act aims to provide protection to consumers against hazards to health and safety, and deceptive, unfair and unconscionable acts and practices in sales.

The Consumer Act of the Philippines (Republic Act No. 7394) embodies the state policy on the protection of consumers and establishes standards of conduct for business and industry in the country.


The Act aims to provide protection to consumers against hazards to health and safety, and deceptive, unfair and unconscionable acts and practices in sales.


The law says:


“It is the policy of the State to protect the interests of the consumer, promote his general welfare and to establish standards of conduct for business and industry. Towards this end, the State shall implement measures to achieve the following objectives:

  1. a) protection against hazards to health and safety;

  2. b) protection against deceptive, unfair and unconscionable sales acts and practices;

  3. c) provision of information and education to facilitate sound choice and the proper exercise of rights by the consumer;

  4. d) provision of adequate rights and means of redress; and

  5. e) involvement of consumer representatives in the formulation of social and economic policies.” (Article 2, R.A. No. 7394)

Basic Consumer Rights

Under the DTI Policy Advisory No. 22-01, Series of 2022, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) enumerated the eight basic rights of a consumer.

The Eight Basic Consumer Rights, according to the DTI are:

  1. The right to basic needs;

  2. The right to safety;

  3. The right to information;

  4. The right to choose;

  5. The right to representation;

  6. The right to redress;

  7. The right to consumer education

  8. The right to a healthy environment

These rights may, as far as practicable, be referred to or invoked in all matters related to consumer protection, including but not limited to settlements, decisions, resolutions in mediation or adjudication of consumer complaints.

Right to Basic Needs


Every person shall have access to basic, essential goods and services such as adequate food, clothing, shelter, health care, education, public utilities, water and sanitation.


The Constitution says:


“The State shall adopt an integrated and comprehensive approach to health development which shall endeavor to make essential goods, health and other social services available to all the people at affordable cost. There shall be priority for the needs of the underprivileged sick, elderly, disabled, women, and children. The State shall endeavor to provide free medical care to paupers.” (Section 11, Article XIII, 1987 Constitution)

Right to Safety


Every consumer has the right to be protected against products, production processes and services that are hazardous to health or life.


The Constitution says:


“The State shall establish and maintain an effective food and drug regulatory system and undertake appropriate health manpower development and research, responsive to the country’s health needs and problems.” (Section 12, Article XIII, 1987 Constitution)


The Constitution further says:


“The State shall protect consumers from trade malpractices and from substandard or hazardous products.” (Section 9, Article XVI, 1987 Constitution)

Right to Information


Consumers have the right to be given the facts needed to make an informed choice, and to be protected against dishonest or misleading advertising and labelling.


The Constitution says:


“The State recognizes the vital role of communication and information in nation-building.” (Section 24, Article II, 1987 Constitution)


The Constitution further provides:


“The advertising industry is impressed with public interest, and shall be regulated by law for the protection of consumers and the promotion of the general welfare.” (Section 11, Article II, 1987 Constitution)

Right to Choose


Consumers likewise have the right to have consumer interests represented in the making and execution of government policy, and in the development of products and services, offered at competitive prices with an assurance of satisfactory quality.


The Consumer Act says:


“It is the policy of the State to protect the interests of the consumer, promote his general welfare and to establish standards of conduct for business and industry. Towards this end, the State shall implement measures to achieve the following objectives:

xxx

  1. provision of information and education to facilitate sound choice and the proper exercise of rights by the consumer;

xxx” (Article 2 par. c, R.A. No. 7394)

Right to Representation


Consumers shall have the right to have their interests as consumers be represented in the making and execution of government policy, and in the development of products and services.


The Consumer Act says:


“The Departments shall establish procedures for meaningful participation by consumers or consumer organizations in the development and review of department rules, policies and programs. Such procedures shall include provisions for a forum, where consumers can express their concerns and recommendations to decision makers. The departments shall exert efforts to inform consumers of pending proceedings where their participation is important.” (Article 156, R.A. No. 7394)

Right to Redress


Consumers shall also have the right to receive fair settlement of just claims, including compensation for misrepresentation, shoddy goods or unsatisfactory services.


The Consumer Act says:


“The concerned department may commerce an investigation upon petition or upon letter-complaint from any consumer: Provided, That, upon a finding by the department of prima facie violation of any provisions of this Act or any rule or regulation promulgated under its authority, it may motu proprio or upon verified complaint commerce formal administrative action against any person who appears responsible therefor. The department shall establish procedures for systematically logging in, investigating and responding to consumer complaints into the development of consumer policies, rules and regulations, assuring as far as practicable simple and easy access on the part of the consumer to seek redress for his grievances. (Article 154, R.A. No. 7394)

Right to Consumer Education


Consumers shall have the right to acquire knowledge and skills needed to make informed, confident choices about goods and services, while being aware of basic consumer rights and responsibilities and how to act on them.


The Consumer Act says:


“The Department of Education, Culture and Sports, with the cooperation and advice of the Council, shall develop and adopt a consumer education program which shall be integrated into existing curricula of all public and private schools from primary to secondary level.

A continuing consumer education program for out-of-school youth and adults shall likewise be developed and undertaken.

The consumer education program shall include information regarding:

  1. a) the consumer as a responsible member of society and his responsibility to develop:

1) critical awareness which is the responsibility to be alert and questioning about the use of and price and quality of goods he uses;

2) assertiveness which is the responsibility to assert himself and act so he is assured of a fair deal, aware that for as long as he remains to be a passive consumer he will continue to be exploited;

3) social concern which is the responsibility to be aware of the impact of his consumption on other citizens, especially the disadvantaged; and

4) environmental awareness which is the responsibility to understand the environmental consequences of his consumption, recognizing his individual and social responsibility to conserve natural resources for future generations;

  1. b) consumer rights; and

  2. c) practical problems the consumer faces in daily life.” (Article 154, R.A. No. 7394)

Right to a Healthy Environment


Consumers shall have the right to live and work in an environment that is non-threatening to the well-being of present and future generations.


The Constitution says:


“The State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.” (Section 16, Article II, 1987 Constitution)


Source: Alburo Law

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