BAGUIO CITY— The Department of the Interior and Local Government here is asking provincial, city and municipal governments in the region to set up accessible Timbangan ng Bayan Centers in all public and private markets including flea markets, and groceries in order to protect consumers from deceptive and unfair sales acts and practices.
“Republic Act No. 11706, or the Consumer Act of the Philippines, directs all provincial, city, and municipal governments to establish accessible Timbangan ng Bayan Centers in all public and private markets, including supermarkets, and when practicable, in flea markets or tiangges and grocery stores, within their respective localities,” DILG Cordillera Regional Director Araceli San Jose explained.
RD San Jose said that the Timbangan ng Bayan Centers will provide consumers with a convenient way to verify the weight and quantity of the goods they are purchasing. Adding, “the law stated that these centers must have the necessary instruments for determining weights and measures, which shall be available, free of charge, to all persons who need to confirm the accuracy of the quantity or measurements of products purchased or about to be purchased.”
She also noted that the market supervisor should be in charge of the safekeeping and routine maintenance of the Timbangan ng Bayan instruments and shall be responsible for maintaining a record of every product found to be deficient in quantity or is substandard in dimension, as well as the establishment where the same was bought including name/s of the proprietor/s or managers.
“We, in the Department together with our LGUs will be closely working with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in coordination with the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines, the League of Provinces of the Philippines, the League of Cities of the Philippines, the League of Municipalities of the Philippines, and other relevant government agencies and stakeholders, to effectively implement the provision of this act,” RD San Jose said.
RD San Jose said anyone found guilty of fraudulently altering, tampering with, vandalizing, or destroying any scale, balance, ‘timbangan ng bayan’ instrument, or weight after it has been officially sealed may be fined of not less than PHP50,000 but not more than PHP300,000, or imprisoned for not less than one year but not more than five years, or both, at the court’s discretion.
Adding, “Two consecutive violations will result to the revocation of the erring individual’s or business establishment’s business permit.