A watchdog group for consumer safety and environmental health exhorted candidates for the May 9 polls to disclose to the electorate what they plan to do to protect the rights of every Juan and Juana de la Cruz as consumers.
As the World Consumer Rights Day is observed today, March 15, the EcoWaste Coalition pressed all political aspirants to come up with a “Consumer Protection Agenda” that will address the key needs of Filipino consumers.
“We expect those running for public elective positions to instigate measures that will advance the eight basic rights of consumers, especially the deprived and the poor,” said Aileen Lucero, Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition, a member of the Green Thumb Coalition.
These rights, as articulated by global consumer movement, include the right to the satisfaction of basic needs, the right to safety, the right to be informed, the right to choose, the right to be heard, the
right to redress, the right to consumer education and the right to a healthy environment.
Zeroing on the right to a healthy environment, the group expressed its hope that poll candidates will come on strong in asserting the citizens’ right to clean air, safe water, renewable energy sources,
and waste-free, toxic-free ecosystems.
“We also hope that those running for Congressional or Senate seats will support amendments to strengthen the Consumer Act of the Philippines, as well as file other bills to localize the United
Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection (UNGCP),” Lucero said.
“Stronger consumer protection laws will prevent market abuse, ensure fair play and justice, and safeguard the public health and the environment,” she said.
Like the Department of Trade and Industry, the EcoWaste Coalition welcomed the adoption by the UN General Assembly last December 2015 of the revised UNGCP, which among other things, acknowledged “access to essential goods and services, and the protection of vulnerable and disadvantaged consumers as new consumer legitimate needs.”
According to Consumers International, “adequate consumer protection can directly support the achievement of UN Sustainable Development Goals relating to ending hunger and improving nutrition by supporting access to safe, affordable and healthy diets; to health and well-being by protecting consumers from unsafe products that cause illness or injury and expanding access to effective pharmaceuticals.”