LKI Press Statement 2021-040
December 31, 2021
Laban Konsyumer bares programmes in 2022
Starting January 6, our consumer group shall participate in the questionnaire workshop for the Fair Digital Finance Accelerator network. The FDFA shall accelerate the implementation of consumer centric policy by the financial regulators which is directed towards ensuring consumer a safe, secure and sustainable digital economy. A training module to educate consumers on the digital payment economy shall be the product of the FDFA network . At this early, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines will explore collaborative activity and opportunity with Laban Konsyumer Inc. on consumer education in the digital economy.
On proposed laws enhancing consumer association, we continue to advocate that this Congress pass the Timbangan Ng Bayan, Sim Card Registration, the Internet Transaction and Financial Consumer Protection bills into laws. We shall actively participate in the drafting of the rules on the enacted LPG protection law.
On power rates, we shall continue to oppose increases of the Feed in Tariff, the Feed in Tariff Allowance, the universal charges on missionary routes, the proposed capital expenditures of the generation companies, the transmission company as well as the private distribution utilities. We shall pursue our opposition to pass on to the consumers the payment of real property tax, the local franchise tax and the local business tax of the distribution utilities. We shall exert efforts that the Malampaya funds absorb all stranded debts and contract costs of the National Power Corporation that consumers continue to pay as provided in the law.
We are looking at filing cases against government regulators for inaction on cases that greatly prejudice consumer interests. The filing of cases supports our advocacy on greater transparency and good governance.
On product quality and standards of basic necessity and prime commodity, we shall endeavor to seek laboratory tests of construction materials like GI Sheet, plywood, all types of cement and nails.
We shall improve our collaborative partnership with all forms of media to ensure wider outreach of our information and education materials. We shall accept invitation as resource person in webinars dealing with consumer interest from private institutions like the Chambers of Commerce, the Management Association of the Philippines, Stratbase and the University of the Philippines.
We shall represent the country in regional and international cooperation dialogues and forum like the Asean, the Consumers International and the Asean consumer association Network that showcase the country’s best practices in consumer protection.
Our wish list for the 19th Congress.
- Pass the unbundling of prices of fuel products for accountability, transparency and to inform consumers that retail prices are reasonable and ensure business a fair return. At the moment, the consumers are in the complete mercy of the companies in terms of prices. This will place the retail business of fuel products similar to the electricity and water utilities.
- Review the oil deregulation law and transition to a regulated industry but with safety nets in ensuring stable supply.
- Remove from the oil regulators the enforcement and police powers and transfer to an independent entity.
- Reorganize the Energy Regulatory Commission and appoint Members with career eligibility. This will stop the appointment of members with political and corporate affiliation with the private energy sector.
- Revive the Spouses Recto bills that shall appoint qualified consumer representative with significant experience in the Boards or Commission of regulatory agencies with primary mandate on consumer protection and welfare.
- Pass the Revised Consumer Act and create the proposed National Consumer Coordinating Council of the Philippines where four members are from the consumer sector.
- Pass the proposed strengthening of the National Price Coordinating Council.
- Repeal the VAT on socially sensitive fuel products like household LPG, kerosene and diesel.
- Suspend the collection of the excise taxes on socially sensitive fuel products like LPG, kerosene and diesel, when the year-to-date increases in the retail prices of these products exceed by 150 pct. of the excise taxes on the said products.
- Transform the Philippine Competition Commission into a quasi judicial entity to hear all disputes on anti competitive practices and abuse of dominant position.
A safe new year to all.