TABUK CITY, Kalinga – On March 8, 2023, the Kalinga office of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI-Kalinga) hosted a meeting between the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) North Luzon Cluster and the Tabuk City Local Pricing Coordination Council (LPCC), a group of organizations with the goal of enhancing consumer welfare with regard to market-sold unlabeled goods.
The council came together during the meeting with all the interested offices, including the city government, and decided to monitor at random some stalls selling unlabeled products, specifically cooking oils and vinegars, in the public market.
Following the monitoring, representatives from DTI-Kalinga headed by Provincial Director Renie Ramos and the FDA North Luzon Cluster headed by Director Gomel Gabuna purchased some unlabeled products to be analyzed in their lab to determine whether the contents are safe for human consumption.
DTI and FDA personnel warned the stall owners to be cautious of their suppliers as a result of the stall owners’ failure to reveal their suppliers. They were encouraged to work with the authorities and report the matter in order to avoid being held responsible for the products they are selling to the consumers and to avoid liability under the Consumer Welfare Act and other relevant legislation.
FDA and DTI state that it is illegal to repackage and sell any products without the required license being issued by authorized agencies. Anyone found in violation of the law will be held accountable.
It was proposed that the City Legal Services Office will handle legal matters including prosecution of violators. Likewise, it was agreed that the Business Permits and Licensing Office be statutorily included in the council in order to improve the efficiency of the council’s operations.
It was also suggested that the market administrator be given regulatory powers, including the power to seize items. Clearly, the wellbeing of consumers is the primary concern in an effort to make the council’s operations more effective.
Also, in accordance with the Price Act, the council decided to publish a monthly price list of basic goods in the city at the City Public Information Office page to keep the public informed.
Finally, after the examinations are complete, the FDA will publish the findings of the unlabeled products that were purchased. By Ian Jefrey Addatu