Consumer Welfare Month centers on sustainable consumption

The Department of Trade and Industry-Iloilo (DTI) holds a press conference to give update on its accomplishments and upcoming activities on October 9, 2023. (Rjay Zuriaga Castor photo)

By Rjay Zuriaga Castor

The Department of Trade and Industry-Iloilo (DTI) will celebrate its annual Consumer Welfare Month (CWM) with an emphasis on the importance of responsible consumption and the adoption of sustainable consumer practices.

This year’s CWM theme, “GenS: Generation Sustainable,” is set to put into action the 7Rs of Sustainability: rethink, refuse, reduce, reuse, repurpose, recycle, and repair.

“It’s all anchored in our environment, how we take care of our environment and what are the things that we need to do in order to help protect our environment,” said

Ma. Dorita Chavez, Officer-in-charge Division Chief and Senior Trade Industry Development Specialist, said the core focus of the month-long celebration is to advocate for responsible consumer practices and how these practices can contribute to environmental preservation.

“It’s more on advocacy kung paano nila ina siya ihandle or paano natun ina siya himuon or paano kita sina makabulig sa atun nga advocacy […] Then gina anchor natun ina siya sa atun nga project sa Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs),” she explains.

Chavez noted that DTI-Iloilo is also intensifying its efforts in encouraging MSMEs to limit and gradually transition their activities toward reducing pollution and conserving electricity.

This effort, according to Chavez, aligns with the broader awareness of climate change’s adverse effects on the environment and to sustain and restore the natural environment.

The projects slated this October include advocacy activity in Concepcion, Lambunao, and Zarraga on October 6, 12, and 20, respectively; social media and infomercial making contest on October 15; and product standards corner during the Artesanias de Iloilo Trade Fair.

The Artesanias de Iloilo Trade Fair will run from October 11 to 15 at SM City Iloilo. There are around 98 participating local exhibitors this year that will offer different locally-made products, like bamboo, coconut, cacao, coffee, wearable and other processed food to the public.

DTI-Iloilo development specialist and promotions officer Shaynge G. Jornadal said they are eyeing to generate up to P3.5 million in sales in this year’s Artesanias de Iloilo Trade Fair.

The five-day trade fair will also include side events such as plenary talks on coffee, latte art, coconut production, cake decorating, a crafting demo with local artisans, decorative pot painting, and a fashion show.

Meanwhile, DTI-Iloilo director Ma. Dinda Tamayo said the celebration is an avenue to inform consumers of the assistance given by the agency and educate them of their rights and responsibilities.

“It’s our giving back to the consumers that we give importance to them. In this Consumer Welfare Month, we want to package and let them know our assistance […] and also share with them and emphasize that we are helping and it is our mandate that we empower consumers because we want to build a consumer-group,” she explained.

She further emphasized that DTI-Iloilo is committed to empowering consumers with knowledge about their rights and responsibilities, all while promoting environmentally sustainable practices.

“We are ensuring that while we are empowering them, we are also relating to them, telling them that there are rules also in getting and exercising the rights and at the same time, implementing or taking on responsibilities,” she added.