Monday, November 7, 2016

Consumer Awareness Month
Using bar code for 
price tag, legal?

TAGBILARAN CITY, October 27 (PIA)--Is affixing a bar code instead of a readable price tag in an item to indicate its price, a violation of the price tag law?

"Only if it is accompanied by a price of the product on the shelf where the product is displayed, or a pricelist is fixed near the products, plus a price scanner or verifier is provided nearby," says Department of Trade and Industry Consumer Welfare Division chief Jose Hibaya. 

This and still many questions that could determine whether a Boholano consumer is at a losing end of a retail transaction or not, surfaced at the recent Kapihan sa PIA celebrating October as Consumer Welfare Month. 

But as to how many price verifiers are needed to allow consumers to get an adequate information on the product price and compare them with the offers from other establishments, DTI has not determined, admits Hibaya, who also added that these price verifiers must be in visible areas. 

According to Article 81 of Republic Act 7394 or the Consumer Act of the Philippines says it is illegal to sell any consumer product for retail without an appropriate price tag, label or marking to tell the consumer the price of each article. 

Moreover it says, products should not be sold at a price higher than what is stated in the price tag. 

Any variation in the price tag, the one on the shelf must be followed, DTI sources said. 

Article 82 also says price tags, labels or markings must be written clearly, indicating the price of the consumer product per unit in pesos and centavos.

For smaller goods where placing price tags is impractical, a price list should suffice, according to the Department of Trade and Industry.

So unless, consumers can scan through the barcodes in retail goods, a retail establishment is mandated to fix the price tags, DTI reminded.

This too as Hibaya said DTI is happy there is a high consumer awareness rating for Bohol. 

In the recent Social Weather Stations survey, Hibaya said Bohol got a better consumer awareness average compared to the Central Visayas. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)
HIBAYA stresses that consumer welfare should also be about making sure consumers know the actual price of the item they are buying. Using bar codes can be a violation if there are not enough of the price scanners placed visibly in easily accessible places in stores. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

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