Candice Tiu was informed that her company would be receiving an award for “customer excellence.” But the company is being asked to pay a certain amount in connection with the award.
Tiu wanted to know from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) if the agency has knowledge of the award and if it had been given an endorsement.
I was very interested in what DTI had to say about this. It was not the first time I heard of an award in which the recipient was asked for a financial contribution.
Readers will find the reply of Geraldo C. Calderon, officer-in-charge of DTI’s Consumer and Trade Policy Division (CPAD), very informative.
CPAD said it was not aware of the existence of the so-called award and how recipients were chosen. More importantly, Calderon said, “As a matter of existing policy and practice,” the department did not endorse the giving of awards by an organization, especially “when it requires awardees to purchase a certain package in order to receive an award,” although there are organizations that give out awards or recognition but without charging fees.
Instead of cultivating an “awards conscious environment,” Calderon said DTI “would rather develop standards for products and/or customer service that would be adhered to by manufacturers and/or retailers.”
Calderon added that the department had launched the DTI Bagwis Program (formerly DTI-certified establishment) that aimed to give recognition to establishments that upheld the rights of consumers and practiced responsible and fair business ethics. He said the recognition did not require any registration fee from deserving establishments.
“The program also encourages the setting up of a sustainable Consumer Welfare Desk or a DTI-recognized customer service counter that will provide information to consumers and serve as a mechanism for speedy resolution of consumer complaints,” Calderon said.
The bottom line is, if we have to “pay” for an award, then it is not worth having at all.
LPG safety tips
As the country continues to mark Fire Prevention Month, liquefied petroleum gas company Solane offers tips on the safe use of LPG:
When there is a strong pungent smell from the kitchen, check if the stove is off. Open the windows. Do not switch on any electrical appliance because the spark may ignite the gas.
Never store LPG cylinders in basements. Gas is heavier than air so it settles in low spots and flows along floors. Choose a secure, well-ventilated space, preferably outdoors and away from direct sunlight, heat and other sources of ignition. Always turn off the cylinder valve and regulator.
Buy only from reputable dealers and make sure the tank has the safety measures installed by the company. Solane LPG tanks, for instance, come with safety caps and seals made of high-grade plastic that completely plugs the gas to prevent leakage. They also shut off automatically when the regulator is removed. The safety cap has a serial number and unique embossed markings. You can verify the serial number’s authenticity through Solane’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/Solane.PH. Click on Apps for the Solane Authenticity Checker.
Robinsons Starmills, Clark International Airport (CRK) and Genesis Bus Lines have partnered to make traveling to and from CRK easier and more convenient. The new Robinsons Starmills Transport Hub also makes traveling around northern Philippines more hassle-free.
Bookings may be made in advance. Four ticket booths serve travelers who buy their tickets on the spot. Safe and free parking spaces are available for vehicle owners.
The hub has an airport lounge, automated teller machines, convenience store, food kiosks, pasalubong shop, etc.
Send letters to The Consumer, Lifestyle Section, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 1098 Chino Roces Ave. cor. Mascardo and Yague Sts., 1204 Makati City; fax 8974793/94; or e-mail [email protected]