DTI-6 cautions public against substandard Christmas lights

By John Noel E. Herrera

As the Christmas season nears, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-6 reminds the public to observe product safety in buying Christmas lights and other electronic decorations, as there are some people who sell substandard or low-quality products.

DTI-6 also said that consumers should make sure that the lights they buy must comply with the requirements of the Bureau of Philippine Standards (BPS).

Under the Consumer Act of the Philippines or Republic Act No. 7394, all stores and selling outlets can only sell products that are certified or confirmed to have complied with the DTI’s Bureau of Products Standard.

“As early as October, Christmas lights are already in the market and immediately, the DTI was already conducting monitoring of our Christmas lights as to its compliance with the Product Standards Law or with the PNS of Christmas lights,” DTI-6 officer-in-charge, assistant director Felisa Judith Degala said.

To pass the test by the DTI BPS-accredited laboratories and for products to be available in the markets, manufacturers should follow the specifications contained in PNS 189: 2000.

Prior to testing, there shall also be “no preparation, modification, or adjustment, special quality control, testing or assembly procedure conducted in any manner on a test sample or any parts and sub-assemblies, thereof which is not normally performed during production or assembly.”

Christmas lights not compliant with the specifications might have thin cords which overheat easily and can cause fire, explosion, electrical overload, and electrocution.

Degala also emphasized that consumers should check for the Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) sticker paired with an ICC certificate, or the Product Standard (PS) mark to make sure that the product is not substandard.

ICC and PS stickers are validating seals to ensure product quality and authenticity for home appliances, electronics, and other electrical items.

“The stickers (ICC and PS) should be found either outside of the box or joined with wiring inside the box,” Degala added.

In verifying the stickers, DTI-6 said that consumers can download the ICC verification application on their phone, then use it to scan the QR code found on the boxes of the Christmas lights, and information about the lights will appear after scanning, matching the information on the box.

DTI-6 also said that the package of Christmas lights must have the name of the manufacturer, supplier, distributor, address, and trademark, as well as its rated voltage and wattage, a mark stating if it is for “indoor use”, the number of standard use, and the country of origin.

The agency added that they will keep on monitoring different establishments and vendors to make sure that everyone will comply and no consumers will become victims of fraud, fire, and other major incidents just because of substandard Christmas lights.