Press Release
November 22, 2010


With less than forty days before Christmas, Senator Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. urged the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to intensify its efforts against fire-prone products that are being sold as Yuletide bargains in sidewalks and malls nationwide.

The senator stressed that it is not enough that the DTI merely instructs the public not to patronize products that do not bear the Philippine Standard (PS) or the Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) marks. The PS and ICC marks are stamped on critical products such as Christmas lights, home appliances, LPG cylinders, electrical and electronic devices, wires and cables, fire extinguishers, safety matches and lighters to make it easier for the buying public to distinguish safe and reliable goods from inferior and defective ones.

"Christmas season is also a fire season. We should guard against sub-standard products that are on sale but are prone to fires," Bong Revilla pointed out.

He reminded that substandard Christmas lights, which are prone to overheating and short-circuiting, had been blamed for past fires during the Yuletide season. "Whether buying products for personal use or to give as gifts, consumers must see to it that the products they buy met the quality standards imposed by the government. They might save money on buying cheaper-priced products, but in the process risk their safety and health," Bong Revilla said.

He explained that the DTI should protect 0Christmas shoppers by ensuring that sub-standard Christmas bargains will not reach the market. "The DTI should take these inferior products out of the market. They should work double-time on launching successive raids on warehouses, malls and local markets which are found to store and sell sub-standard products that may cause hazards to health and properties," he said.

The lawmaker appealed to the DTI, through its Bureau of Products Standards (BPS), to intensify its information campaign to warn consumers against patronizing sub-standard products. He also advised consumers to be meticulous not only in the price but also in the quality of the products that they will buy during the Christmas season. "Buying products that last long are good investments. A dissemination campaign against sub-standard products will remind the public that smart-buying means primarily considering quality. Sub-standard products endanger health, life and property," he pointed out.

Aside from electrical and electronic products, the lawmaker also warned against toys that may be hazardous to health, particularly those highly tainted with lead. "Consumers must exercise prudence. Price cut-off on toys might be a health rip-off to their kids," he said.

According to health experts, short-term exposure to high levels of lead can cause vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, coma or even death. Even small amounts of lead can be harmful, especially to infants, young children and pregnant women. Symptoms of long-term exposure to lower lead levels may be less noticeable but are still serious. Anemia is common and damage to the nervous system may cause impaired mental function. Other symptoms include appetite loss, abdominal pain, constipation, fatigue, sleeplessness, irritability and headache. Continued excessive exposure can affect the kidneys.

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