Quezon 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 

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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