What are the 8 Consumer Rights in the Philippines?

A total of eight consumer rights protect the wellbeing of in the Philippine citizens, according to the Department of Trade and Industry.

Businesses especially should know about these consumer rights in order to avoid getting on the wrong side of the law.

When making purchases or transactions, the position of the consumer or customer can become very vulnerable. Consumers can fall victim to wrong business practices, such as scams and negative customer treatment. Thus, the importance of consumer rights.

It is because of these risks that both consumers and businesses alike should be aware of what are known as consumer rights. According to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), there are a total of eight consumer rights to safeguard the wellbeing and best interests of the consumer. 

The Right to Basic Needs

The first right of the consumer deals with the fundamental basic needs of any person. What this means is that the consumer has the right to guaranteed survival, which includes the following:

  • Adequate food
  • Clothing
  • Shelter
  • Health care
  • Education
  • Sanitation

Given this, the consumer should expect that these basic needs and commodities should be available in good quality and at affordable prices.

The Right to Safety

According to the DTI, the right to safety is “the right to be protected against the marketing of goods or the provision of services that are hazardous to health and life.” The consumer can expect that manufacturers will undergo extensive safety and performance testing before any product is sold on the market. 

These products should always have the appropriate labels, including useful information such as precautions and a guide on how to use or operate them. 

The Right to Information

The consumer has the right to be protected from misleading or fraudulent advertising or promotion. This means that the customer has the right to essential facts and information that will aid in purchasing decisions.

Products should always include complete information, including ingredients or chemical contents, expiry dates, and limitations of use, when applicable. 

The Right to Choose

The fourth right states that any consumer should be able to choose from different options for a product. These should be sold at competitive prices, and the consumer should have the assurance of good and satisfactory quality.

The consumer can then expect that the goods and services in the market are offered by a wide variety of brands. Goods can be expected to come in different sizes, shapes, and colors. 

The Right to Representation

The government has the responsibility of safeguarding the wellbeing and championing the rights of the consumer. Particularly, the right to representation states that the consumer has the right to express their best interests in the process of formulating and executing government policy. 

The consumer can, therefore, expect laws to be created “that would ensure that consumers have the chance to live a better life by getting the best value for their hard-earned peso,” as stated by the DTI. 

The Right to Redress

Should any consumer be unsatisfied with a service or product or fall victim to misrepresentation, the consumer has the right to be compensated for such incidents. It is therefore the right of the consumer to have goods replaced by manufacturers or business owners. 

However, this replacement must be pursuant to the provision “No Return, No Exchange” that can be found in the DTI’s Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Consumer Act of the Philippines.

The Right to Consumer Education

In order to make informed choices, the consumer has the right to access the necessary skills and knowledge. Educating the consumer can be done through the following means:

  • Information campaign on consumer-related issues
  • Seminars and conferences
  • Training
  • Public hearings 
  • Integration of consumer education in the school curriculum from elementary to secondary levels (mandated by the Consumer Act of the Philippines)

The Right to a Healthy Environment

Lastly, the consumer has a right to “live and work in an environment which is neither threatening nor dangerous, and which permits a life of dignity and well-being.” This right assures the consumer that the government will take action once there is an alarming increase in the degradation of the environment, such as dying wildlife and environmental contamination.

This also assures the consumer of the constant monitoring of the waste disposal practices of factories and the country’s water bodies, even coral reefs. The monitoring should ensure there is no violation of any law on environmental protection. 

Violation of Consumer Rights 

While any violation of the aforementioned rights of the consumer can be reported to the DTI, awareness of these rights is key to safeguarding the consumer. Consumers, first and foremost, have to be aware so that they may be able to protect themselves and not fall victim to any act that will violate their rights. 

Businesses, on the other hand, should be aware of these rights so that they can avoid any practice that could violate them. Instead, these rights should be championed in every facet of their business.