Negros Oriental Sangguniang Panlalawigan member Saleto Erames has asked the local Department of Trade and Industry to stop collecting what he called its “oppressive” processing fee of P100 each from motorcycle helmet owners, and P1.25 for the ICC sticker as proof that the headgear passed the agency’s standards.
Erames said the fees are illegal and have no legal basis as there is no law ordering such collection.
The DTI’s role is to deal with the importers, manufacturers and store suppliers of helmets and items related to public health and safety, it has no direct jurisdiction on matters like collecting fees from helmet owners, he added.
But provincial DTI chief Jong Fortunato told the SP recently he was only following orders from the top, although he did not say who issued him a memo to collect fees from the more than 20,000 motorbike riders in Negros Oriental.
Erames said the Consumers Act of 1992 mandates the DTI to check on the standards of items that affect the health and safety of consumers. “And this would be imposed on importers, manufacturers and store supplies, not upon the consuming public,” he added.
He said helmets that are supposed to meet safety standards should have already been inspected by DTI from importers, manufacturers and store suppliers.
If DTI failed to do so, then it’s a sign of neglect by the DTI and its failure should not be passed on to the public, Erames said.
He said the SP is expected to pass a resolution in support of his stand this week, to make it the official position of the province.*RG
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