Unfair business practice PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 20 August 2016 13:15

Table Talk

BY Mike S Apostol

My friend who runs a sari-sari store and b-b-q stand with a business license from the City Government (take note, Table Talk emphasizes city business license, because most of the sari-sari stores and other medium size business establishments in the city’s barangays are allegedly unlicensed), complained about his experience with  a Korean or Taiwanese establishment in the city that practices unfair business techniques to sell their products of allegedly surplus appliances. One day he visited one of the stores to buy a remote control for his television set at home. He was shown a counter for television remote controls,  selected one and paid almost P300 for the gadget. Upon arrival at home, he was surprised that the gadget was not working, so he had it returned. Luckily he still has the receipt of purchase and so he was made to select another remote control. Unluckily, the remote control since it was a surplus item, was not working too. His television is working because he can change channels manually. He has no other options, but return the item and possibly get his money. To his surprise and aghast, the owner, a foreigner — either a Taiwanese or Korean, he can’t spot the difference since they look similar—  does not want to return his money. Instead he was advised  by the salesgirl to look for other items with the same cost. My friend tried to convince the owner that he does not need another item because he only need a remote control for his television. But, the foreigner stood firm not to return his money. He lost his patience and blew his top and shouted at the foreigner in Tagalog “anong gusto mo patayin ko kayo? Hindi ka Filipino, bakit ganyan ka?”. It was only after the threat that he returned my friend’s money, intact without any deduction for any charges.

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This is one for the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). Are its people aware of this unfair business practice? Complaints of unfair labor practices on their Filipino employees have been heard of many times, and reported to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), like working overtime without pay, daily wages not following government recommended amount, sometimes complaints of maltreatment and worst sexual harassment. Perhaps this is now the time for these government agencies to look into the veracity of these complaints. The City Government must also order their business license inspectors to have a look on their business licenses.

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The business climate in Zamboanga City is already saturated by all types of business from trading to construction to services to fast food and appliance stores and even surplus items of appliances, vehicles and used clothings, to name some.This may be the reason why many establishments, especially foreign owned, resort to unfair business practices and cheat the government in taxes and their employees wages way below the recommended daily wages of DOLE. Worst, the city is flooded with fake items of canned foods, appliances and gadgets, lingeries and even cigarettes. Zamboanga City is fast becoming a city of unscrupulous businesses comparable to the smuggling tag that she was known before. Business saturation has not deterred Asian foreigner businessmen from opening up new establishments. Perhaps with unfair business practices, business is brisk in Zamboanga City.

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How true are reports that some of these alleged Taiwanese and Korean businessmen in the city are also involved in the illegal drug distribution? “Where there is smoke, there is fire” perhaps this may be the reason why with the massive anti-illegal drive campaign of our police authorities, dangerous illegal drugs like shabu can still be found and are sold in many of the city’s barangays. It seems the war against shabu in Zamboanga City is far from over.

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Scoop: Supply of chicken meat in Zamboanga City is very limited, reports reveal and the price per kilo of chicken has risen to an alarming proportion. B-B-Q sold at P15 per stick is now sold at P20. The poor man’s  favorite finger food during a drinking spree is now becoming expensive to buy. We hope, fake chicken meat like fake rice will not be found in our groceries and flea markets. Agree or disagree.