Naing Oo (DOCA)
Nowadays, the world is of modernity, unsafe foods, utensils and personal products are much harmful to the people. Consumers are encountering impacts of dangerous diseases and various types of death and injuries based on aforesaid products.
It is of great importance to create chances for consumers so as to enjoy full rights through measures of consumer protection with the aim of ensuring life expectancy of human, using safe commodities and secure services and emerging fair competitions among businesspersons.
Consumers are fulfilling their basic needs depending on community service providers, foodstuffs, cosmetics, construction materials, electronic products, other goods and services on a daily basis. They wish to enjoy goods and services which would be safe and beneficial to them. An economist had said, “Human exchanges expectation with money.” Businesspersons need to take responsibilities for providing deservedly safe commodities and services to consumers.
As such, businesspersons have to strictly follow the prescribed laws, directives and orders issued by relevant departments in providing the fully safe consumer products and services meeting the domestic and international standards.
Not only businesspersons but also producers, exporters, importers, wholesalers and retailers are involved on all steps of producing safe products and services. It is necessary to scrutinize and supervise safety of products on the different steps. As such, problems of loss based on lack of safety in consumption, storage and maintenance can be solved.
In Myanmar, people are facing disadvantages of unsafe products. These advantages are as follows:-
(a) Some people are facing impacts of vomiting, dizziness, unconsciousness and death in the events that they consumed the expired and illegal foodstuffs made of chemicals.
(b) Some people are suffering from various diseases because they consumed the so-called genuine groundnut oil mixed with illegal chemicals and incenses but these are very expensive.
(c) Some people were dead and injured in untimely collapse of buildings because builders used low quality of construction materials which did not meet the set standards.
(d) Many casualties happened in traffic accidents of vehicles because some automobile maintenance services gave disqualified services.
(e) Fatal causes occurred in impacts of low quality imported medicines which did not meet the set standards.
(f) Many Myanmar women are losing their beauties in impacts of unguaranteed cosmetics.
(g) People face loss for use of cheap and low quality construction materials instead of guaranteed ones in construction of ordinary and high-rise apartments.
(h) Outbreaks of fire based on use of low quality electronic equipment leave many people homeless and make dead and injured.
(i) Services of telecommunications such as sales and maintenance do not meet the guarantees.
(j) Some businesspersons are lying to sell stocks and shares though social media ways.
(k) Telephone bills are charged in unfair ways.
Although various kinds of media dutifully express sufferings and loss of consumers, it is regrettable to hear that the consumers who do not have access to the presentations of media and who have lesser knowledge are still encountering the aforesaid loss.
That is why the Department of Consumer Affairs under the Ministry of Commerce enacted the Consumer Protection Law 2019 so as to beef up process for safety of more than 51 million of population in Myanmar and to ensure production of industries for the safety products in cooperation with relevant departments. The all-out efforts of the department are as follows:-
(a) The work committee for accepting complaints from consumers and the work committee for ensuring safety of products were formed under the committee for solving consumer disputes at region and state and district levels.
(b) DOCA cooperates with relevant departments in making field trips to take measures on inspection, supervision and action against the industries which manufacture unsafe products.
(c) The department joins hands with ASEAN countries in exchange of information.
(d) The department also gathers market information as well as exposes unsafe and dangerous products.
In so doing, staff members of the department gave talks to both businesspersons and consumers about prohibitions for distributing the commodities and providing the services which were not in conformity with information and facts mentioned on the labels, the commodities without bearing manufactured and expired dates, the commodities without bearing side effects, impacts and usage ways and the commodities without recommendations from any organizations, made field trips to production industries and took action against offenders.
It is very difficult to set up a business but easy to fall it down. If the businesses which were set up with a large sum of money and manpower as well as taking a long time cannot produce safe products, they will not stand tall as progressive and successful businesses in a long run. Businesspersons will face loss of integrity in the business society. As both businesspersons and consumers are Myanmar citizens, losses of both sides are undesirable. Not to cause like this, I would like to request the businesspersons to manufacture safe commodities and provide secure services.
That is why I would like to urge all business people to abide by laws, procedures, rules and regulations and directives prescribed by Myanmar and meet international standards in order to produce safe products and operate secure services for the safety of consumers in accord with the business ethics. On one hand, consumers should choose safe products, commodities and services free from danger. (Translated by Than Tun Aung)