Timbangan bill for Senate OK

(SF Velasco photo)

A ranking Mindanaoan congresswoman said on Thursday she is hopeful of swift Senate action on two Senate bills and one House bill seeking to provide in every public market a weighing scale or “Timbangan ng Bayan.”

With the Timbangan ng Bayan under the local market supervisor, Rep. Juliette Uy (Misamis Oriental 2nd District) said consumers can check the accuracy of the weight of food and other goods they purchase in their city or municipal public markets while at the same time discourage dishonest merchants to commit any irregularity.

Uy said House Bill 7857, which passed the House and is now with the Senate, has essentially similar provisions compared to SB 1970 (Sen. Ralph Recto) and SB 2050 (Sen. Grace Poe)

“Dahil halos magkakatulad ang tatlong panukalang batas, hindi na mahihirapan ang Senado na pag-isahin ang tatlong bill. Malamang maipasa ng Senado ang consolidated bill sa unang tatlong buwan ng susunod na taon,” she said.

HB 7857 seeks to amend the Consumer Act of the Philippines by providing stiffer penalties against fraudulent practices relative to weights and measures. For example, from the virtually insignificant P200 penalty in the current law, fraudsters stand to be penalized with P50,000 to P300,000 or imprisonment of one to five years if found guilty of tampering with weighing scales.

“The House version has its origins in HB 2957 of Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. In the Committee on Trade and Industry, I, as vice chairman, gave my full support and votes in committee and in plenary,” Uy said.

“The consolidated bill from Senate would, in turn, be swiftly concurred to or ratified by the House, and from there, onward it goes to Malacañang. Before this current session of Congress is over, this bill will become law,” she added.

p: wjg