PRRD signs Timbangan ng Bayan law

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MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte has signed a bill into law that establishes Timbangan ng Bayan centers in public and private marketplaces to safeguard consumers from deceptive and unfair sales practices.

RA 11706, signed by Duterte on April 13, modifies Chapter II, Title III of RA 7394, also known as the Consumer Act of the Philippines.

The new law, Article 62-A, directs all provincial, city, and municipal governments to establish accessible Timbangan ng Bayan Centers in all public and private markets, including supermarkets, and when practicable, in flea markets or tiangges and grocery stores, within their respective localities.

Timbangan ng Bayan Centers would give consumers with an effective approach for verifying the weight and quantity of the goods they are purchasing.

“These centers must have the necessary instruments for determining weights and measures, which shall be available, free of charge, to all persons who need to confirm the accuracy of the quantity or measurements of products purchased or about to be purchased,” the law read.

The law stipulates that the market supervisor is responsible for the safekeeping and routine maintenance of the Timbangan ng Bayan instruments and for keeping a record of every product found to be deficient in quantity or substandard in size, as well as the establishment where the product was purchased including the name/s of the owner/s or manager/s.

A certificate lawfully issued by the market supervisor or his/her authorized agent reflecting the contents of such record will constitute prima facie proof of a breach of Article 64 of this act.

Among the prohibited acts under RA 11706 is fraudulently altering, tampering, vandalizing, or destroying any scale, balance, Timbangan ng Bayan instrument, weight, or measure after it has been duly sealed.

In terms of penalties, anybody found guilty of illegal conduct may be fined not less than PHP50,000 but not more than PHP300,000, or imprisoned for not less than one year but not more than five years, or both, at the court’s discretion.

Upon conviction, the owner, possessor, or user of weights and measures will be subject to a fine of not less than PHP50,000 but not more than PHP300,000, or by imprisonment of not less than one year but not more than five years, or both, at the discretion of the court.

Two consecutive offenses will result in the immediate cancellation of the business permit of the offender or business establishment.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Department of Trade and Industry, must, in coordination with the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines, the League of Provinces of the Philippines, the League of Cities of the Philippines, the League of Municipalities of the Philippines, and other relevant government agencies and stakeholders, promulgate the rules and regulations to effectively implement the provision of this act.

The amount necessary to carry out the provisions of the new Article 62-A of the Consumer Act of the Philippines will be charged against the national tax allotment and other funds of the local government unit concerned.

House committees to hold hearings during break

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Spread the loveMANILA – The House of Representatives has authorized for its committees to conduct hearings during the five-week congressional break, extending until late April.