Press Release
December 1, 2021


CR 32 on SB 1241 Timbangan ng Bayan

Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph G. Recto

A wisecrack once compared candidates to canned goods - many are weighed but have been found wanting.

Appraising the former is a function of election. The latter, however, is verified through regulation.

Battered by the pandemic, our consumers today are having a hard time balancing income with expenses.

Inflation further corrodes the purchasing power of their reduced income. But inflation has a "devious cousin" called "shrinkflation."

Shrinkflation is reducing the quantity or size of a product while retaining its price tag.

Cookies are sold in the same package, but with fewer contents. Or shampoo that comes in the old familiar sachet but weighs less.

These are marketing devices that give the consumer the illusion that the price needle has not moved, although the scale has.

But what I cited are examples of shrinkflation by design. There is a variant that is vicious, and that is shrinkflation by deceit.

The latter happens when a certain commodity claims to be of a certain weight, but in fact is not. Yung sinabing isang kilo, pero hindi naman.

And discovering this fraud cannot be done through pisil-pisil or weighing the commodity on one or both hands as a circus juggler would.

It would need the help of a device, simple yet scientific, and that is the weighing scale or the timbangan.

The bill I have been filing for two Congresses now mandates the conspicuous and accessible placement of a Timbangan ng Bayan in all public and private markets, dry and wet markets, including supermarkets.

That tamper-proof, heavy-duty, constantly-calibrated scale will provide both buyers and sellers with a standard instrument for setting and validating weights.

It sets not only the market-wide benchmark for weight, but also for honesty.

Its presence alone will deter the proliferation of defective weights.

It will spare buyers of going through 'tinimbang ka ngunit kulang" moments when they think they have been wittingly or unwittingly sold underweight goods but have no means to confirm or debunk their suspicion.

It is a fair market practice that protects the brand of the place where they do business, because in commerce, nothing is more harmful than reputation destroyed.

Mr. President and my dear colleagues, let us pass this bill so that when history and our constituents weigh us, they will not find us wanting.

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