The JMC on E-Commerce for senior citizens and PWDs, power and oil prices

Published May 14, 2022, 5:14 AM

by Atty. Vic Dimagiba

Joint Memorandum Circular 1 Series of 2022 prescribed the mandatory guidelines in the availment of privileges of senior citizens and PWDS done through online commerce, telephone or sms. It took almost two (2) years for the implementing agencies from the time our consumer group raised the issue of the absence of the guidelines.

The Joint Circular reiterated that all qualified purchases of goods and services by senior citizens and PWDS under existing laws done through the internet or open network, telephone, mobile phones, SMS are covered by the JMC.

The new feature of the JMC is the inclusion of third-party service providers who deliver the goods or services shall grant the discounted amount to the senior citizens and Pwds,

It is worth while that existing consumer associations of senior citizens and PWDs should conduct information dissemination of the JMC  .In the last election, I found out at least more than five (5) party list groups of senior citizens and Pwds . Laban KonsyumerInc. is ready and willing to conduct the information dissemination upon adequate invitation and preparation.

The JMC reiterates transparency inthe use of authentic and genuine identification cards,booklets, prescription, among others. Any complaints shall be filed and resolved by the proper OSCA or PDAO office.Penalties as provided by existing laws for violation shall continue to be applied,

A period of 90 days transition from the JMC effectivity, i.e., 30 days from publication is provided in the JMC.  In my count, that brings us to September 6, 2022. A copy of the JMC 1 can be accessed in the website of the DSWD.

On power rates

I noted that the Energy Regulatory Commission had ordered Meralco to refund to it’s subscriber’s almost a Php 1.00 per kWh over the past months .However, at the same time Meralco reports increases in generation charges by power plants, independent power producers and the wholesale spot market prices.  In the latter, why is ERC unable to validate when those increasesare valid and in accordance with contracts.Consumers may deserve more than a Php 1 .00 kWh refund.

On oil prices and basic goods

I was interviewed on national television and was asked what can be done on soaring prices of basic goods,I offered two proposals as follows:

1. Consider and study the imposition of mandated price ceiling on prices of certain basic goods under the authority of Section 7 of the Price Act. The law allows the implementing agency to recommend to the President the imposition of price ceiling when prices of transportation cost had gone up to an unreasonable level. As of date, diesel had increased by Php 35.00 per liter.

2. Order implementing agencies to procure and open more Diskwento caravan and Bagsakan Centers that shall sell basic goods at prices below production costs. This may ebb the impact of soaring prices of basic goods.

3. Finally, on what consumers see the next administration priority  action on prices of fuel products , we reiterated our public announcement that the new Energy Secretary immediately stop the ridiculous and anomalous weekly pricing formula which is  anti consumer .

Atty. Vic Dimagiba, AB,LLB,LLM

President , Laban Konsyumer Inc.

Email at [email protected]