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Thursday, September 29, 2011

DA to spearhead Consumer Welfare Month; focus on food sufficiency

The Department of Agriculture (DA) will lead this year’s observance of Consumer Welfare Month from October 4 to 6, 2011 to highlight its continuing program on food self sufficiency and to provide consumers safe and affordable food.

In cooperation with the National Consumer Affairs Council (NCAC), the DA expects over 300 participants, consisting of representatives from government agencies and the private sector, to attend activities lined up by the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service represented by Assistant Secretary Salvador S. Salacup and Director Leandro H. Gazmin.

Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said this year’s theme “Sapat, Ligtas at Abot-kayang Pagkain para sa Lahat” to highlight DA’s food sufficiency program and to provide quality and safe food to consumers.

It will be the third time the DA will host the event, alongside the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the Department of Health (DOH), he added.

Consumer Welfare Month is observed each October by virtue of Presidential Proclamation 1098 issued in 1997. It is initiated by the NCAC created by Republic Act 7394 or the Consumer Act of the Philippines to improve the management, coordination and effectiveness of consumer programs of various government agencies.

The agencies involved in the NCAC, aside from those mentioned by Secretary Alcala, are the Departments of Education, Environment and Natural Resources, Energy, and Transportation and Communication. Four representatives of consumer organizations, and two representatives from the business and industry sectors are also included in the Council.

The objectives of Consumer Welfare month are: to instill consumer consciousness on food quality and food safety; to present government consumer programs; to make consumers aware of their basic rights; for advocacy of Consumer and Price Acts; and to consolidate issues or concerns affecting consumers.

To achieve these objectives the activities calendared for this year’s observance include a formal opening ceremony, exhibits and selling booths from October 3-7, a series of seminars, and the holding of month-long consumer-related activities in the different regional field units, bureaus and attached agencies of the DA.

The National Steering Committee for the activity is headed by Ms. Velma Lim, NCAC officer-in-charge as chairperson, with co-chairs DA Assistant Sec. Salacup and AMAS Director Gazmin. DA Information Service

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