Consumer Issues in Zamboanga, Philippines

To ensure getting firsthand information on issues and concerns confronting the consumers, the provincial office of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Zamboanga del Norte and the Dipolog Consumers’ Watch Group, Inc. over the weekend held an consumer assembly at the provincial auditorium here.

DTI Consumer Welfare and Protection Division Chief Julius Salaveria, said the participants included provincial and municipal officials, barangay leaders, Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) officers, students, media practitioners, public and private employees and other stakeholders.

Salaveria said those who attended the gathering at the Dipolog DTI office aired specific concerns on the goods and services being sold and provided by certain institutions and establishments.

A participant sought the help of the Department of Energy (DOE) to investigate local gasoline dealers for alleged failure to immediately effect price rollbacks on petroleum products following a series of price rollbacks being implemented in Metro Manila and other regions of the country, he said.

Another consumer raised complaints against some drugstores that refused to give discounts to senior citizens, he added.

“When a senior citizen buys his medicine, the common alibi among pharmacy owners and attendants is that the drug is out of stock,” Salaveria said.

Many have also lodged complaints against alleged unscrupulous rice retailers and traders that sell NFA rice as commercial rice, giving them low-grade rice when buying and paying for well-milled rice and other fraudulent practices, he said.

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