DTI 11 maximizes ALS 2 status to intensify consumer advocacy

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 11 has maximized the current quarantine status of the region to intensify its promotion of consumer welfare and protection.  

With the Davao Region being under Alert Level System (ALS) 2, limited face-to-face activities have been allowed. Thus, the office,  through its Consumer Protection Division, has taken advantage of this to reach more clients, especially those in the far-flung barangays.  

The DTI 11 field offices in Davao City and in the provinces have visited the far-flung barangays in their respective areas of jurisdiction to disseminate consumer-related information materials, and personally respond to related questions and concerns. The latest of which were done last December 1 and 10 in Toril and Calinan districts (Davao City), respectively.  

It is worth noting that since the start of the pandemic last year, DTI 11 adopted various online platforms to continue with its consumer advocacy campaign. It was the much-needed shift to ensure compliance with the minimum public health standards (MPHS). However, this move has its limitations since only those consumers who have access to the internet can particcipate in the virtual activities.  

DTI 11 Regional Director Maria Belenda Q. Ambi shared that since the consumer advocacy team members can already conduct limited physical activities, they chose to reach the consumers in the hard-to-reach areas.  

“This aims to create awareness among the consumers in areas where internet and social media are inaccessible to them. But this was only done when we were already permitted to do so after we were placed under ALS 2, particularly in Davao City. .       

The team reached out to the barangay officials to briefly introduce the services of the agency and personally hand over the brochures and flyers on the fair trade laws, product standards, and DTI projects and services, as well as the soft copies of the video clips produced under the Konsyumer, Sagot Kita! campaign. In the meantime, the hardware stores in the said areas were given a seminar on the product standard markings, and were encouraged to be vigilant of the proliferation of substandard products in the market.  A total of nine barangays and four hardware stores were visited during this leg.  

Ambi noted that such an initiative will continue in the upcoming year as the agency is remains steadfast in empowering consumers on their rights and responsibilities. The local trade official emphasized that they will maximize both the online and physical avenues to continue with their mandate to produce more empowered consumers.  

“As a way forward, we are looking at forging partnerships with the barangays in the far-flung areas to conduct consumer education activities regularly,” Ambi said.