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Wanted: consumer desks

- Lydia Castillo (The Philippine Star) - July 7, 2013 - 12:00am

We remember that sometime ago, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) announced that a consumer desk would be set up in commercial establishments. The project never really took off. In a span of about a year, we noted only one such corner in a supermarket. But it has since disappeared and there has been nothing more after that. What a pity.

We were reminded about this last week when we visited a small outlet in the Activity Area of the Alabang Town Center, selling a popular brand of under pinnings, t-shirts, shorts and even scents.

We purchased an item costing P299.75. We handed the cashier a P500 bill. When we counted our change, it lacked P0.25. The irritating thing was that she gave us the change with a straight face, no excuses for short-changing us, like it was the most natural thing to do and for us to accept.

But how many P0.25 will she accumulate during the selling hours? Does she keep them for herself or does she input it in her sales? The question needs to be answered and attended to. What do you say, DTI?

A few days after that, we sat with our friends Chit and Reena for lunch. The enterprising, ever-active and consumer-conscious lady broached an idea – to encourage the formation of a private consumer watchdog group to protect the public from such malpractice and other concerns about getting our money’s worth from the products we buy. Knowing her, she would pursue this.

It should be noted that she is among the very active ladies who have made headway to open global markets. The women who were erstwhile not using their talents toward earning a livelihood are now recognized as members of the selling community. They have been represented in various global gatherings, such as the Global Summit for Women. Some notable women in the region are now wearing colorful shawls specially designed by artist Jeanne Javelosa, like a stamp of approval of the artistry of the Filipina. 

Sipping an after-lunch Pinoy coffee later in Echo Café, an adjunct of Echostore in Serendra, we took pride in some of the food items produced by women in various far-flung towns in the country.

Addendum to our school baon series, they have chips – kamote, casava – in various forms. They have bottled jams – tomato, guava, coco cream etc., all with low sugar content.

Ever active, Chit and Reena are two of a trio who wrote the book titled “Cacao, Bean to Bar” which traces the origin of the beverage from its royal perch to the delightful chocolate that now graces most tables around the world. The third author is Josephine Ramos. It is a a very easy read and  offers recipes using chocolate from simple champorado to the innovative tablea mint chocolate sauce.

The book also opens our eyes to the meticulous way of transforming the bean into world-class chocolate powder. One would enjoy a drink of cocoa, hot or cold, even more after reading about it.

Have a good, blessed Sunday!

 

E-mail comments and questions to lydiacastillo327@yahoo.com.ph.

 

ACTIVITY AREA OF THE ALABANG TOWN CENTER CHIT AND REENA DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY ECHO CAF ECHOSTORE FILIPINA GLOBAL SUMMIT JEANNE JAVELOSA JOSEPHINE RAMOS
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