Need Servicing? Patronize DTI Accredited Repair Shops-A A +A
By Art Tibaldo
Monday, April 7, 2014
THE Department of Trade and Industry has been receiving numerous complaints from consumers and among the common issues noted include poor services rendered by repair shops. Because of this the DTI according to a statement issued by its Consumer Welfare and trade Regulation Division will be taking a tougher stance against repair shops that do not comply with accreditation laws.
Service providers engaged in automobile and appliance repair are required to accredit their shops in accordance with Presidential Decree 1572 and Chapter VII, Title III of Republic Act 7394, or the Consumer Act of the Philippines. The law focuses particularly on enterprises engaged in the service and repair of motor vehicles, heavy equipment, engines & engineering works, electronics, electrical, air conditioning and refrigeration, office machines and data processing equipment, medical and dental equipment and other consumer mechanical and industrial equipment, appliances or devices.
Accreditation is deemed an important measure in safeguarding the interest of the public against unethical, unfair and incompetent practices of service and repair enterprises. Likewise, through accreditation, the reputation and good name of reliable and competent service and repair facilities are protected and distinguished from shops that provide poor or shoddy work. Lastly, accreditation encourages enterprises to keep abreast with the latest available technology, and compels repair technicians to professionalize their industry and establish ethical standards based on competence and discipline.
According to Atty. Samuel D. Gallardo of the DTI’s Consumer Welfare and Business Regulation Division, there are over 240 accredited enterprises all over the Cordillera Administrative Region, however these are significantly less than half of all shops engaged in repair and engineering work. This means therefore that consumers are very likely to encounter a questionable shop at least once in their lifetime.
Gallardo admitted that consumers are at a disadvantage when they go to an unaccredited shop and that the cost of repairs may prove to be more expensive in the long run because or repeat or return-jobs. The DTI official added that uncertified technicians may not fully understand the extent of the work needed to restore a product to its expected function. And, should something happen to the items that instead of being repaired, it is further damaged or destroyed altogether, the consumer has no guarantee of compensation from the shop.
To address this kind of situation, DTI provincial offices have already begun inspecting repair establishments according to Gallardo, and those who have not yet applied for accreditation are being required to do so. Applicants will have to submit documents that list the tools and machineries, technicians and other personnel of the enterprise, and a description of the shop’s location. Apart from these, enterprises will have to submit a copy of an insurance policy & its official receipt covering the property entrusted by customers for repair or service, and a bond for an amount of not less than P20,000.00. The bond is intended to guarantee the full and faithful performance of the enterprise. All requirements are detailed in DTI’s Department Administrative Order No. 3, s. 2006.
Gallardo encouraged owners to apply for accreditation during the first month of the year, so that they need not pay for late accreditation. Enterprises that fail or refuse to comply with the laws on accreditation face administrative sanctions that include the payment of fines beginning at P5,000.00, as well as suspension of operations or closure. At least eight shops are issued notices of violation in the Baguio/Benguet area annually, and these have yielded an average of P25,000.00 in fines every year. With the heightened monitoring activities of the DTI provincial offices, these figures are expected to correspondingly increase.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on April 08, 2014.