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MANILA, Philippines – “How much? PM sent.”
For those who frequently shop on online marketplaces via social media, this is a common scenario.
But 4Ps Representative Marcelino “Nonoy” C. Libanan, a lawyer, warned online sellers that this practice is illegal.
“Online retailers who do not put price tags on their products, and who only divulge their prices via private message (PM) to prospective buyers, are violating the law,” Libanan, a House of Representative minority leader, said in a statement to media on Wednesday, December 21, while people are making last-minute purchases for their holiday gifts.
“We must stress that the law compels all retailers, under pain of penalties, to put price tags on their products for all consumers to see. This applies to all retailers, regardless whether they are selling online or in physical stores,” Libanan said.
Libanan also said that under the Consumer Protection Act of 1992, products cannot be sold at a cost higher than what is on the price tag.
“In order to protect consumers, we would urge the Department of Trade and Industry to rigorously enforce the price tag requirement,” Libanan said.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) previously warned online sellers against this practice in 2020 during the beginning of the pandemic, when many Filipinos were turning to online shopping as brick-and-mortar stores shut down.
Article 82 of the same law also makes it illegal for retailers to sell products without a proper price tag.
Those who violate this law can face up to six months in prison or a fine of up to P5,000, or both.
Repeat offenders may also get their business license revoked. – Rappler.com