Press Release
June 29, 2009


Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago filed two bills that she said would address consumers' complaints against abusive practices by credit card companies.

Her Senate Bill No. 3315 seeks to prohibit retail stores from imposing surcharges, extra charges, or additional charges over and above the price tag on the consumer goods and services.

"Its main purpose is to make retail stores use only one price tag for every product they sell. It also makes the stated price on the tag the same for all customers, whether they are paying cash, credit card, or debit-ATM card," Santiago said.

Santiago's bill is derived from the Department Administrative Order No. 10 issued by the Department of Trade and Industry, and the senator said that her bill seeks to give the department order a more permanent status rather than its present form.

"This would ensure stability in its enforcement. The bill also increases the penalties provided in the order, and it includes other methods scheming retailers use to circumvent DAO No. 10," Santiago said.

Santiago, who filed almost one-fifths of all Senate bills in the Fourteenth Congress, also called for the passage of S.B. No. 3292 which prohibits the delivery of any credit card application, pre-approved written solicitation, or credit card to people under twenty-five years old.

According to Santiago, the availability of credit cards coupled with a young person's lack of financial experience can easily lead to an accumulation of an overwhelming amount of debt.

"In times of financial crisis, it is despicable for credit card companies to take advantage of the inexperienced youth unprepared for financial responsibility. This abusive practice must be put to an end," Santiago said.

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