Friday, March 4, 2011

Amid possible trade abuses…
DTI enjoins LGUs, LPMC
In protecting consumers

CITING consumer protection against unscrupulous traders and retailers, the Department of Trade and Industry urges local government intervention in making sure trade malpractice does not happen in their localities.

In a letter sent to local government units, Trade Secretary Gregory L. Domingo calls local government units increased visibility and intensified monitoring of prices.

This is in the light of increasing prices of basic necessities and prime commodities which may be caused by increases in prices of imported raw materials.  

The recent crisis in Western Africa and on several countries in the Middle East has also pushed several economies on a bind that the repercussions are felt even on oil consuming countries, including the Philippines.

Domingo then asks the Local Price Monitoring Councils (LPMC), which are tasked to monitor price irregular fluctuations and trade malpractice to conduct regular updating of price billboards installed in wet markets, or installation of such when there is none.

These price billboards give consumers price data at a glance and this facilitates more informed decisions as well as stops price manipulation by individual businessmen with interests, explained authorities at the local trade office.

Aside from price billboards, the DTI asks the LPCC, with the coordination of the LGU to set up Timbangan ng Bayan so consumers can compare the weights and measures used by individual businesses in the wetmarket.

The DTI Secretary, who is also the Chair for the National Price Coordinating Council also asks for regular inspection of weighing scales as well as price tags in al retail outlets including wet markets.  

According to Joe Hibaya, local DTI consumer protection division chief, fair trade laws demand that retailers put up visible price tags on every piece of goods, tags that show no erasures.

He even went on to say that the price tag law rules that upon payment, the consumers must insist the price tag value as it prevails when there is a discrepancy over price scanners and price tags.

At the recent Kapihan sa PIA which tackled on Fair Trade Laws in the real threat of unwarranted price increases in basic goods, Hibaya added that most major stores department stores and supermarkets have set up Consumer Welfare Desks to attend to consumer complaints.

Moreover, Domingo, in his letter sent to local government unit heads enjoined on continued joining of forces in keeping the commitment of protecting the welfare of consumers against any form of trade abuse. (racPIABohol)

BN registration now
A walk in the park

THE long and tedious process of getting a registered business name has become literally a walk in the park.

A transaction that was once lodged at the Department of Trade and Industry, business name registration can now be had at the Bohol Business One Stop Shop (BOSS) at the Bohol Investment Promotion Center or online at in no time at all.

When used to be a long transaction before one could get his business certification has become a 15 minute affair.

That is, provided one has already prepared his requirements, says Jose Hibaya of the business regulations division of the local trade office.

Speaking at the Kapihan sa PIA Thursday and aired live over DyTR, Hibaya said getting a business name is not just a proprietor’s right but for his protection as well.

In fact, one can even file his business name application online as long as he has a GCash, the sole payment transaction mode available for the service, Hibaya said. 

What used to be a very messy business name registration with more that 20 informations to be filled up, is now down to seven, which applicants fill up, he said.

Hibaya also added that mandatory agencies needed by applicants are available at the BOSS and social security system, Pag-Ibig and PhilHealth puts up separate tables at the venue to facilitate registration.

This too as the government attempts to spur business activity in the rural areas, one it does with its brisk campaign to put up more micro, small, medium enterprises (MSME).

According to the DTI, MSMEs play a major role in the country’s economic development through their contributions to rural development and decentralization of industries.

During a press conference at the MetroCenter Thursday, DTI also added that MSMEs create employment opportunities and more equitable income distribution. 

MSMES also use indigenous materials that they generate forward and backward linkages with existing industries, thus creating entrepreneurs. (racPIABohol)

Dimiao’s tourism dreams
Need media promotions

DIMIAO Mayor Sylvia Adame acknowledges the media’s critical role in introducing her town to a new tourism circuit leading to eastern Bohol.

The media can make or unmake this town, the lady lawyer mayor said even as she said her town is preparing for that big thing when tourists would start coming.

Speaking to welcome the guests at the Talakayan sa Isyung Pulis her town hosted Wednesday, Adame, who has proven her brand of governance said she hopes the media in Bohol helps in highlighting her town in the new tourism circuit map.   

Dimiao boasts of scenic beaches in Balbalan, grand 17th century stone church with twin towers and an ancient small chapel that could possibly be the first mission center in the town before the bigger church was erected later.

Local historians however claim that the “ermita” Spanish for small chapel was built after the church was completed.     

A town with a long history manifested by an age-old and imposing stone church and possibly an even older Ermita ruins with rare honeycomb niches, Dimiao has also a track record of good governance and a treasure trove of natural sights that can be one town’s visa to development.

We are proud to tell you that Dimiao has been a consistent Gawad Pangulo sa Kapaligiran provincial, regional and national winner until the awards eventually stopped, Adame said.

Spreading more of its menu of options, Adame also bares the town’s dive sites, mangrove forests and scenic waterfalls as additional areas for development.    

We are aligned with the tourism development plan laid out by Representative Arthur Yap, Adame admits when media told her it would be difficult to sell her town as a stand alone destination.

Congressman Yap, she said has also committed to help the town fund for the development of Panhangug Twin Falls, one of the town’s tourism ace in the sleeves.

Admitting too that the promotion aspect of the plan has to be boosted, the mayor tod the media, “We know it would still be a long way but with your help, we can make or unmake Dimiao.”  (racPIABohol) 

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