Stores not giving exact change to face imprisonment and fine

Valenzuela City Representative Sherwin Gatchalian files House Bill 4433 seeking to amend Republic Act 7394, the Consumer Act of the Philippines. The bill looks to penalize stores that will not give exact change to customers. With this bill violator faces one-year of imprisonment and a fine of not more than P10,000.

“RA 7394 is a government regulation that is aimed at protecting consumers’ rights and welfare. It has been in existence for 22 years with some minor amendments. In order to be responsive to the prevailing times, this measure intends to add another provision in Article 52 to further protect consumers,” Gatchalian said.

Gatchalian said Article 52 of RA 7394 provides that an unfair or unreasonable sales act or practice by a seller or supplier in connection with a consumer transaction violates Chapter I – Deceptive, Unfair and Unconscionable Sales Acts or Practices, whether it occurs before, during or after the consumer transaction.

The lawmaker added, an act or practice shall be deemed unfair and unconscionable whenever the producer, manufacturer, distributor, supplier or seller, by taking advantage of the environment or surroundings, induces the consumer or gross one-side in favor of the producer, manufacturer, distributor, supplier or seller.

Gatchalian proposed to amend Article 48 by providing additional circumstance by including that the consumer transaction was denied because of an alleged shortage of coins or change on the part of the seller, or that the consumer was shortchanged by the giving of candies or other items in lieu of money as change, or when due to lack of time, the consumer enters into the transaction even if it means waiving the change due.

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