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The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has reiterated its warning to consumers in Negros Occidental to be watchful against substandard products, particularly Christmas lights, as the holiday season approaches.

Reginald Hudierez, trade and industry specialist of DTI-Negros Occidental, said Monday that months before Christmas, there is already an anticipated increase in the demand for Christmas lights and other decorations.

Starting this month, the agency will conduct massive inspection to ensure that uncertified products are not being sold in the provincial markets, especially those in Bacolod City, said Hudierez.

“There are still establishments which are non-compliant thus, the buying public is urged to be vigilant and to immediately report erring stores to the DTI,” he added.

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Under Republic Act 7394, or the Consumer Act of the Philippines, establishments should secure Philippine Standard (PS) and Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) for Christmas lights and other electrical products, including appliances.

During the inspection, all products without PS and ICC markings will be subjected to confiscation.

Establishments will face penalties and formal charges.

The law provided that on top of confiscation of substandard products, penalties will also be imposed on erring establishments amounting to PHP25,000 to PHP300,000 per kind depending on the level of offense.

Enforcement operations cover establishment premises, including stock and storage rooms, it added.

In 2016, the DTI-Negros Occidental, through its regular monitoring and enforcement operation, seized almost 4,000 pieces of various substandard products from a general merchandise store at the downtown area here.

Most of these items were electrical products which pose risk to health and safety of the consumers.

“To the buying public, let us not compromise the safety and welfare of our family by patronizing products that are cheaper but of low quality and substandard,” Hudierez added. (PNA)

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