The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI-7) in Central Visayas said it introduced a mobile app that can be used by consumers in determining substandard Christmas lights in the market.
Trade regulation inspectors are now checking retailers suspected of selling substandard Christmas lights.
Ines Cajegas, chief of the Consumer Protection Division of DTI-7, showed to local media an easy way for consumers to check if the Christmas lights they want to or have purchased passed product standard.
“It is just simple, they just have to download the software application in playstore for android phone, download the ICC verification system. If you have it already, you just have to scan it on the QR code. And it is just for free,” she said.
Cajegas said the system was launched by the Bureau of Philippine Standards (BPS) in Manila earlier this year, and was tested as a usable and user-friendly application.
Upon using the Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) verification system, Cajegas said, consumers will know whether a Christmas light passed the product standard or bears an ICC mark once it is verified.
As the Yuletide season draws near, Christmas lights are in demand. The agency has adopted precautionary measures against number of Christmas lights that do not pass standards for safety and durability.
“It is important nga ma-check (it is checked) because it will involve the safety of our consumers. These Christmas lights are one of the favorite decorations every Christmas. So almost everyone buys Christmas lights. The chances are other consumers might just choose the cheaper one,” Cajegas said.
She said some people buy the “3-for-PHP100” Christmas lights which are not certified. With the ICC mobile app, it is already easy, backed up with the physical presence of DTI standard enforcement officers visiting the stores and markets,” she added.
DTI-7 standard enforcement officers conducted a mapping activity last week in areas in the region where Christmas lights are being sold.
Local government units, Cajegas said, are giving them information on retailers that are displaying lights which have not been certified.
The cities of Mandaue and Danao, she said, have requested the DTI-7 to prioritize them in the inspection.
She said substandard Christmas lights will be confiscated.
If retailers of substandard Christmas lights resist during confiscation, a formal charge will be filed and appropriate penalties will be imposed against them.
Cajegas also reminded consumers to inspect the plug and wires of the lighting set and avoid buying lights with brittle and dented parts. (PNA)
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