MANILA — Consumers will be able to check their purchases on government-installed weighing scales mandated by a new law, a copy of which was released by Malacañang on Monday.
Republic Act 11706 tasks local governments to establish "Timbangan ng Bayan" centers in all public and private markets, including supermarkets, and when practicable, flea markets or tiangges and grocery stores.
"These centers must have the necessary instruments for determining weights and measures, which shall be available, free of charge, to all persons who need to confirm the accuracy of the quantity or measurements of products purchased or about to be purchased" said the law.
The market supervisor shall safekeep the weighing instruments and maintain a record of products lacking in quantity.
To exact accountability from dishonest traders, the law makes Article 64 of the Consumer Act applicable to Timbangan ng Bayan instruments. Two successive violations shall automatically result in the cancellation of the business permit of the erring individual or establishment.
"Even during this pandemic when every peso counts, the buying public is still being defrauded by some unscrupulous people who seek to improve their profit margins through dishonest means," said Sen. Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, who sponsored the measure.
The Timbangan ng Bayan Centers aim to "protect Filipino consumers against the use of inaccurate weighing scales, which is considered as one of the most pervasive frauds committed in the marketplace," he said in January.
RA 11706 gave the interior and trade departments 90 days from the effectivity of the law to come up with implementing rules and regulations in coordination with several groups and stakeholders.
FROM THE ARCHIVES