Consumer Council ends inspection on “unfair trade” after Hato

The Consumer Council (CC) has ended its inspection operations on “unfair trade practices” reported by citizens after the passage of Typhoon Hato, the CC informed in a statement.

Since last August 24, the CC inspectors have reportedly performed a total of 1,491 patrols. They received a total of 80 cases reported by citizens in the last weeks.

Resident complaints mostly concerned a significant price increase in food and beverage (F&B) outlets, as well as overcharging of car washes, car towing and repair services. Other complaints related to breaches of food safety regulations.

Two citizen reports concerning F&B outlets have been transferred to the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau (IACM) and were duly charged. The CC noted that no illegal action was found in the remaining cases, and that the impugned shops were merely suggested to “improve” in their services.

The Council stated that they are overseeing 20 of the 80 cases, with another 18 being transferred to other enforcing departments. For the 42 remaining cases, the Council reports there is either insufficient information or no consumer-related matters involved.

The CC inspectors found no unfair trade practices in the majority of supermarkets, grocery stores, food and beverage outlets and drugstores, noting that, in some cases, the shops were even offering discounted goods and services to consumers.
Further research conducted through a supermarket price survey conducted by the Council found that there is stability in both the price and supply of items such as bottled water and noodles, among others.

The CC stated that the Council’s “WhatsApp Hotline” 62980886, established to receive resident complaints from August 25, would continue to operate. They further stated that they will investigate any further cases received concerning malpractice in the market.

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