Saturday, October 29, 2011

“No time limit” regulation for
Return of shoddy items-DTI
Rey Anthony H. Chiu

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, October 28, 2011, (PIA) –Just as Consumer Act of the Philippines outlaws the “no return, no exchange policy” the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Bohol adds, there is even no time limit as to the return of shoddy or defective goods.

At the recent Kapihan sa PIA commemorating Consumer Consciousness Month, DTI Bohol consumer division head Jose Hibaya said the law is not specific on the time limit for return of defective items.

Change of mind or later finding out that a similar item is priced lower on the other store as a reason for change of goods however is not acceptable, he said.

The issue came just as ConsumerWatch Bohol, an outreach program of the Holy Name Alumni Association reported that they have facilitated the linking of consumers and agencies concerned over complaints of shoddy goods and imperfect services, a fact that was not as practiced then. 

ConsumerWatch Bohol advocates Gloria Araneta and Neneng Corales could not contain their elation over the apparent positive effects of the advocacy to inform consumers of their rights and responsibilities. 

The bulk of calls and text messages we handle during our radio programs is telling, shares Araneta of ConsumerWatch’s Timbangan’s Tuesday late afternoons weekly radio program.

ConsumerWatch gives free seminars and services to consumer groups requesting for education and information on consumer rights as well as handles a regular radio program as a half-way house for complaints and remedies for customer dissatisfaction.

It may be recalled that there was a time when sales receipts of stores and establishments bore the “no return, no exchange policy” which has deterred consumers from asserting their rights.

Since then, there has been issued prohibitions of the policy as DTI cites the implementing rues and regulations of the consumer act of the Philippines.

According to the DTI, the prohibition is aimed to correct the misconception that consumers do not have the right to return defective items.

Consumers are entitled to either exchange or refund, as long as it is proven that there has been a hidden defect in the item and that this is not caused by customer mishandling of the goods, Hibaya explained at the radio forum aired live over DyTR.

At the same radio forum, Hibaya said that while they accept consumer complaints, it is not the DTI which supervises over all the goods and services available in the market.

For complaints channeled to the DTI, Hibaya said most have been remedied through mediation, one of the most effective ways of satisfying consumers through DTI intervention.

Fir other tough cases, Hibaya said the DTI assures action by linking the complaints to the agency concerned within five days at most, but a day at the very least.(30)


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DA pushes for low-cost rice
productivity in “ratooning”
Rey Anthony Chiu

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Oct 28, (PIA) – Bent on hitting rice sufficiency by the end of 2013, the Department of Agriculture (DA) pushes for a technology called “ratooning” in rain-fed areas as low-cost practical formula for productivity.

According to the DA, ratooning is a method of propagation that uses shoots (ratoons) of the mother crop as the planting material for the next planting season.

This way, farmers increase cropping intensity as the new tillers can produce grains at a shorter time compared to new crops, can be grown and harvested with half the effort or less the cost, uses lesser water compared to growing a new main crop and still yields a bit more than 50% of the main crop if managed right, bares

Ratooning, uses a characteristic of rice and other members of the grass family which regenerates when cut and exposed to the appropriate environment.

This way, the mother crop develops new sprouts with characteristics almost equal to its original form and capacities.

In fact, according to Bureau of Agricultural Research, a farmer can harvest twice or even thrive from the mother plant without using new seeds.

The ratooned crop matures in only about 70 to 75 days and requires lesser inputs such as time, labor, and cost for land preparation, seedbed preparation, pulling of seedlings, transplanting, water and weeding, thus, farmers can save more.

To be successful in ratooning, farmers should practice a good water management system as ratoon crops thrive well if there is abundant water supply.

In here, scientists recommend that farmers store excess rainwater in canals within the field to ensure enough water supply for their crops.

Finally, an effective integrated pest management system is a must since ratoon crops compete with more weeds and pests.

For certainty of production, farmers however need to choose variety with good ratooning potential for main crop planting considering varieties with longer maturity, which are generally better for ratooning purposes.

Harvest at cutting height of not more than 30 cm, according to International Rice Research Institute experts, adding that a new lock and lodged rationing technology even increases tillers and thus yields.

This as Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala, who has earlier posted a DA goal of rice sufficiency by the end of 2013.

Here, he has ordered the immediate implementation of interventions including a ‘quick-turn-around’, right after harvest of the main wet season crop, including ratooning,  starting this month.

The DA will accordingly provide farmers quality certified rice seeds. (with DA-RIO)

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“Boholanos” to enjoy
Two 4-day vacations
Rey Anthony H. Chiu

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Oct 27, (PIA) – Two long weekends await Boholanos this week and the next, as Malacanang declared two consecutive Monday as holidays.

The two Monday holidays are October 31, a day sandwiched between Sunday and November 1 All Saints’ Day and November 7, the Muslim Feast of the Sacrifice or popularly known as Eid’l Adha. 

That means, the first long weekend of four days vacation happens on October 29 (Saturday) to November 1 (Tuesday). The second long weekend is again a four day vacation for Bohol which starts November 4 (Friday) to November 7. 

Bohol celebrates Carlos P. Garcia Day on Friday, November 4, which has already been declared by law as a regular holiday here.

That makes only two workday week-day, where the work days are only for November 2 and 3.

In fact, for some catholic schools here that also observe the All Soul’s Day on November 2, it could be a one day work week. 

In his Proclamation 265, President Benigno Simeon Aquino III declared October 31, a special non working day in the entire country.

The day falls between a Sunday and November 1, Tuesday, a traditional special non worki8ng day through the country as it is All Saints’ Day.

According to the proclamation, Malacanang sees the non-working day proclamation as a chance for people to have the perfect opportunity to properly observe the day with all its religious fervor which invariably requires them to travel to and from different regions of the country.

In Bohol, November 4 is again a holiday to commemorate the birth anniversary of the late President Carlos P. Garcia, the most illustrious son of Bohol.

Through Republic Act 7448, the law has declared November 4 a special non-working holiday, while it also declares November 2-6 as CPG week.

In the country’s Official Gazette, Malacanang has also posted Proclamation 276, which declares November 7 as regular holiday in the country in observance of Eid’l Adha.

The proclamation effectively effects another long week-end: three free days for the country and four consecutive no work days for Boholanos. (30)

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