Month: August 2014
1. A thought paper on the price tag law of the Philippines. Create a summary about its provisions.
Price Tag Law
A price tag is a device attached to a commodity stating the price at which it is offered for sale.
The price tag law requires merchants to place prices on every item. Many retailers, including big chain of supermarkets, have resorted to clever, if not dishonest way, of going around the law. As early as 1946, the law on price tag on consumer products is clear. Republic Act No. 71 covers “all articles of commerce and trade offered for sale to the public at retail.” Retail items should be “publicly displayed with appropriate tags or labels to indicate the price of each article and said articles shall be sold uniformly and without discrimination at the stated price.”
The price tag law is in place to keep retailers from changing the prices of goods without warning. Most retailers prefer shelf tags to individual price stickers, or bar codes that consumers cannot read. Some retailers install price scanners in hideous corners of the store; others don’t. Some items don’t have any price tag at all: no individual price tag, no shelf tag, no price list, and no bar code. Buyers end up getting shocked upon seeing the price of untagged item once it is punched in the counter.
Selling the item at a price higher than that displayed is unlawful. For a while, following introduction of the price tag law, there were problems with some retailers simply increasing their prices to cover the charges levied on them by credit card processing agencies. Although this met the letter of the law, because the highest price payable was shown, it meant it was possible to negotiate a lower price by paying in cash. Legislators hoped to curb haggling with the act, as they considered it “a waste of time and energy of both buyer and seller.” In 2006, the Philippines Department of Trade and Industry banned credit card surcharging.
A first offense results in a fine of not less than 200 pesos but no more than 5,000, or by “imprisonment of not less than one (1) month but not more than six (6) months or both, at the discretion of the court.” A second violation results in the revocation of business permit and license.
As a consumer, enables business to grow, compete, and succeed, and to care for consumers so they get the best value for their money. That is why they need to put double price tags, shelf tags without individual tagging, and to just install price scanners to read bar codes. These variations from what the law and implementing rules provide constitute amendments to the Price Tag law and the Consumer Act that the DTI is not empowered to do. Doing so is usurping the power of Congress to legislate.
Any person who violates the price tag requirements, the manner of placing price tags and any regulations for price tag placement shall be criminally liable under Consumer Act of the Philippines. The displayed price must be in pesos and centavos. The law states that the item’s price must be “in Philippine currency, except when a law or regulation allows consumer products to be sold in foreign currency such as in the case of duty-free shops.” Banned practices include showing separate price tags for cash and credit card sales.