New DTI rules to empower consumers

By Victor Anthony V. Silva September 11,2017

CONSUMERS are expected to be more empowered as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) seeks to implement changes in business name registration.

Under the Department Administrative Order (DAO) on the Revised Rules and Regulations implementing the Business Name Law or Republic Act 9883, the public will have the right to access information regarding the businesses they are dealing with.

“Right of access to information by the public is recognized, subject to limitations by applicable laws and upon payment of fees. It shall be disclosed in a form of certification,” Zaide Bation, chief of the consumer welfare division at DTI Cebu, said in a text message to Cebu Daily News.

The main objective of the DAO is to protect the public dealing with these businesses through the disclosure of names and the real identity of the person operating the enterprise as well as other information appearing in the records of the owner.

Moreover, the DAO aims to further streamline procedures on business name registration to make DTI frontline service efficient and business-friendly.

The revisions will be made to keep the law, issued on November 14, 1931, aligned with the government’s current Ease of Doing Business Program.

Bation added that request for personal classified confidential information may be granted provided the same is in writing and with the consent of the owner or when subpoenaed by the court.

Information without consent of the owner can be given such as approved business name, territorial scope, business location, name of business name owner, validity period, and certificate number.

Under the proposed DAO, the trade agency seeks to require DTI-registered enterprises to indicate their specific business address in their business name certificate.

At present, only the name of the city or municipality and the residence address of the owner are included in the business name certificate.

Other salient features of the DAO include the definition of “business without borders,” which Bation said sets a clearer policy on businesses done online.

Businesses without borders are those ventures whose operations are not limited by geographic boundaries or territories such as those using electronic commerce and online stores.

The definition also applies to enterprises conducted in a nomadic or roving manner such as, but not limited to, tiangges, mobile store operators, common carriers, and transport services.

The rules establish a territorial scheme for business name registration, with geographical divisions being the barangay, city or municipality, regional, or national.

If the applicant’s enterprise is considered a “business without borders,” the business name applied for will automatically be registered as national in scope.

Bation said they expect to encourage more online-based entrepreneurs to register their business names with the DTI once this proposed policy is implemented.

Data from DTI Cebu showed that the number of registered businesses in the province grew to 9,288 between January and June this year from 7,878 during the same period in 2016.

Bation said that of the online business names registered with DTI Cebu, most of them are from the fashion sector while some are engaged in food.

DTI is set to conduct a public consultation on the DAO at the Marco Polo Plaza in Cebu City this Sept. 14 and Davao City on Sept. 19.

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