Lapid files bill establishing product safety online information center

Published May 7, 2021, 10:44 AM

by Mario Casayuran

Senator Manuel “Lito” Lapid has filed a bill which seeks to establish a Product Safety Online Information Center which will be in the form of a website for easy access by the public.

The online information center will contain recalls, prohibitions, bans, defects and other relevant safety information on consumer products and motor vehicles, as well as their ingredients or components.

Lapid’s measure, Senate Bill 2144, seeks to strengthen the information dissemination and consumer education of regulatory bodies and agencies.

Features of the said website are as follows:

a) Searchable list of all valid and existing product recalls, prohibitions, bans, defect notices, and other relevant safety information;

b) Alerts on latest recalls, prohibitions, bans, defect notices, and other safety announcements;

c) Simple, plain-language explainers of recalls, prohibitions, bans, defect notices, and other safety announcements in English, Filipino, and other local language or dialects as may be necessary;

d) A platform for reports and complaints on possible safety issues and information on how to spot and detect unsafe or defective products through labels, identification numbers, batch and lot numbers, vehicle identification numbers (VIN), etc;

e) Information on how to reach and contact manufacturers, retailers, distributors, and other related businesses connected with recalled, prohibited, banned, or defective products;

f) Integration with existing consumer complaint and grievance procedures of the implementing government agencies; and

g) Other feature and information as the implementing government agencies may deem necessary in order to foster convenience, quick-access, and a user-friendly and practical interface.

The management and maintenance of the online information center will be a multi-agency effort involving the Department of health (DOH) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with respect to food, drugs, cosmetics, devices and substances.

The Department of Agriculture (DA), and Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA), meanwhile, will be responsible for products related to agriculture, including fertilizers and pesticides.

The Land Transportation Office (LTO) will manage the information with respect to motor vehicles while the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will be responsible for other consumer products.

These agencies shall enlist the technical assistance of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) for the setting up and maintenance of the website and its support infrastructure.

The goal of this bill is simple: to keep our consumers informed on product safety issues and concerns in the most accessible and comprehensive manner, Lapid explained.