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Duterte OKs ‘Timbangan ng Bayan’ centers



President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law a measure institutionalizing the establishment of “Timbangan ng Bayan” centers in public and private markets.

Duterte signed last Friday Republic Act 11706, which seeks to help protect consumers from unfair sale practices.

According to the measure, provincial, city and municipal governments were mandated to install weighing scales in supermarkets, flea markets, and groceries to allow consumers to check that they got what they paid for.

Market supervisors should maintain a record of every product found to be substandard and lacking in quantity, Duterte wrote in the law.

“These centers must have the necessary instruments for determining weights and measures, which shall be available, free of charge, to all persons who need to confirm the accuracy of the quantity or measurements of products purchased or about to be purchased,” he said.

The President said efforts to alter, tamper with, vandalize, and destroy weighing scales after it was officially sealed would be penalized, based on RA 11706.

Violators would face fines ranging from P50,000 to P300,000 and imprisonment of not less than one year but not more than five years or both upon the discretion of the court.

Two successive violations of the law would automatically result in the cancellation of the business permit of the establishment, Duterte said.

He also directed the interior and trade departments and other concerned government agencies to promulgate the rules and regulations for the law’s implementation.

Copies of the law were released by Malacañang on Monday.

Duterte said the measure would take effect 15 days after its publication in at least two newspapers of general circulation or in the Official Gazette.