CABALEN, KAMAY KAINAN RESTOS FINED FOR FALSE ADSQuezon City, May 21, 2003 -- In a bid to protect the welfare of consumers, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has expanded its campaign against erring establishments by going after restaurants that are charging customers more than the amount stipulated in their menus and price lists. The DTI Tuesday reported that it has fined Cabalen and Kamay Kainan restaurants operating on West Avenue in Quezon City, P5,000 each for false advertising after investigations showed that the two establishments charged their customers more than what was in their menus and advertising materials. Acting Trade Secretary Adrian Cristobal Jr. said in a statement that administrative charges have been filed against the two restaurants for violating provisions of Department Administrative Order 4 after they failed to include value-added tax in the final prices of their respective food promotions. In the case of Cabalen owned by entrepreneur Maritel Nievera, it charged consumers P242 plus 3-percent municipal tax for its eat-all-you-can promo despite the P222+ price in their menu and advertising materials. On the other hand, Kamay Kainan charged customers P198 plus value-added tax despite the P198+ price in their eat-all-you-can promo menu. "Advertising an amount that is lesser than what the customer actually has to pay is false and misleading," Cristobal said. He said prices on food menus and other marketing collateral used by restaurants should contain those that are already inclusive of expanded VAT and other applicable charges. The DTI has launched a massive campaign against unfair selling practices of business owners to rake in excess profits from uninformed consumers. The agency has been promoting consumers welfare through price monitoring and broadening consumer movements nationwide. The law provides that price tags, labels, markings and price lists should indicate prices of goods and services by incorporating all price components like VAT. It also provides that advertisements used for the purpose of indicating prices of goods and services should indicate prices that incorporate all price components like VAT. Cristobal explained that regulation to include all price components in the menu's final price, price list and advertising materials like streamers and posters assures customers that they would not be charged arbitrarily by restaurant owners. "This protects the consumers against the unscrupulous practice of constantly adjusting prices without prior notification," he added. The DTI has been strictly implementing the price tag law in wet markets, supermarkets, sari-sari stores as part of its effort to protect the welfare of consumers. It has also targeted big companies and has recently fined Shopwise Supercenters Inc. P24,000 for false advertising.
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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