The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) may issue an order against installment systems for vehicles, including motorcycles.
Consumers must have the choice of either paying the full amount in cash to avoid interest, or in installments, Commerce Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said during a Senate hearing Monday.
The DTI has received reports that dealers are encouraging consumers to buy vehicles only on an installment basis, he said. Mr Lopez added that vehicle dealers should inform buyers of other options.
In a separate mobile message to reporters, Mr. Lopez said the DTI would be conducting a legal review of the matter, which would allow it to issue an order or circular, depending on the law.
Lopez said it was possible for traders to receive incentives from financial institutions to insist on installment payment schemes.
“In addition, paying in installments makes it easier to buy motorcycles or even cars,” he said.
Senator Richard J. Gordon said during the hearing that merchants are implementing installment payment systems to compete with other merchants using the same process.
“Bakit ayaw tumanggap ng Cash register? Babyaran from Tao. Karapatan ba ng Dealers na ‘di tatanggap ng Cash register? Ibig Sabihin can Pinaplanong Masama’yan, (Why don’t they accept cash that people would pay? Is it the merchant’s right not to accept cash? That means they are planning something bad), “said Mr. Gordon, explaining that those who pay in installments and unable to do so, you are forced to restart the payment process.
Anyone who is willing to pay cash and in full should also be able to do so and not be obliged to pay in installments.
The DTI’s Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau has received 3,060 consumer complaints related to motorcycles, Lopez said, citing reports of defective units and vehicle sales under installment schemes.
Around 287 of the consumer complaints were resolved through mediation, he said. The majority of complaints, including complaints about delays in releasing receipts and certificates,fiCations relating to license plates or the transfer of registration or insurance were raised at the Land Transportation O raisedffice.
Mr Gordon on Monday chaired the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on alleged violations and failures in the implementation of the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act, which investigates an alleged delay in implementation of the law.
Republic Act 11235 was passed in 2019 to protect citizens from crimes committed by people on motorcycles by making license plates larger and more legible for witnesses from a distance. – Jenina P. Ibañez