‘PM is the Key’, a violation to Price Tag Law-DTI

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DAVAO CITY — “PM is the Key” or sending private message being the key to know the price of a product being sold online a popular language among online sellers is a violation to Republic Act No 7394 of the Consumer Act, which will lead violators to confiscation of permit and other fees.

Online selling without the tag would constitute the offense of profiteering, an illegal act of price manipulation.

As it is now, online shopping plays a major role in the distribution of goods as it even paves the way to a cashless transaction given the financial technology platforms as people hesitate to go to markets and malls due to the dreaded Coronavirus-19. But many are abusing the law.

The law mandates all sellers to display the prices of products. Goods may also not be sold at a price higher than what is stated.

With the coronavirus pandemic unresolved, many consumers tend to buy goods and other things they need through the online transaction as many do not display the prices of their goods, but instead, just put a note to their product “PM is the Key” that simply means any buyer is instructed to send a private message to the messenger of a Facebook account holder.

Arriel Nengasca, of DTI, said the Consumer Price Act mandates all sellers to display their prices.

“May law kasi tayo na price tag law. It is stated that all products for selling should bear a price tag to protect the consumers from unscrupulous sellers. Sa palengke, naa man sila price tag ginabutang sa isda, karne, manok, etc. Same sa mga grocery stores thou others use bar code,” he said.

The law provides that buyers should know the price for them to be guided in their budget.

For online sellers, Nengasca said, “They raise the importance of engagement with prospective buyers but engagement should be inquiries of the product features but not the price. Because it is online and the physical product is not displaced, pictures are shown instead”.

As it is now, even the RA No. 8972 or the Electronic Commerce Act needs to be more comprehensive, it lacks teeth as it does not provide specific penalties for violators. -Newsline

FUNDING. Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Chua. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

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