SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
The House committee on Metro Manila development has created a technical working group (TWG) that will draft the necessary bill providing for stiffer penalties for the proliferation of fake beauty products and for the granting of police powers to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to address the problem.
The TWG creation was approved by the committee chaired by Rep. Winston Castelo (2nd District, Quezon City) during a recent briefing of lawmakers on the proliferation of fake beauty products in Metro Manila and the provinces.
Castelo said the imposition of stiffer penalties and the grant of police powers to the FDA will protect the interests of consumers and beauty and health companies, and the government as well.
Castelo said beauty and health care industry is now worth P2 billion.
Moreover, Castelo cited that about 80 percent of the population of Metro Manila have been buying fake beauty products.
“Time and again we have been receiving reports and complaints about the proliferation of beauty products and these have been compromising the health of our constituents,” said Castelo.
Castelo said there is a need to stop the practice of unscrupulous businessmen selling fake beauty products which not only causes losses to the government but also compromises the revenues of legitimate health and beauty companies.
“Thousands of Filipinos have been employed in beauty and health businesses. If these companies are compromised because of the continuous proliferation of fake beauty products, the government will lose more revenues and the livelihood of thousands of Filipinos employed under this industry will be affected,” said Castelo.
Castelo said Filipino women can achieve their desired fair skin without putting their health at risk and without the government losing money.
“All consumers of beauty products have to do is to avoid buying and using fake skin whitening products,” said Castelo.
Castelo said aside from imposing stiffer penalties on unscrupulous traders of fake beauty products, the government should grant the FDA police powers to go after erring businessmen.
The FDA, a regulatory agency under the Department of Health (DOH), is mandated under the law to ensure the safety, efficacy or quality of health products as defined by Republic Act 9711, otherwise known as “The Food and Administration Act of 2009,” which include food, drugs, devices, vaccines and cosmetics, among others.
Rep. Rodel M. Batocabe (Party-list, AKO BICOL) said there was an investigation on fake beauty products during the 16thCongress during which he moved for the implementation of stricter laws to address the anomaly.
“We should have stricter laws not only in the enforcement of the present law against fake products. We should also draft a remedial legislation that will provide stiffer penalties and ensure effective and efficient enforcement,” said Batocabe, a vice chairman of the committee on dangerous drugs.
Batocabe supported Castelo’s statements that the proliferation of fake beauty products can be hazardous to the consumer’s health and deprives the government of revenues.
“They are imported usually from China and are sold in the underground economy without any receipts. Our government has been suffering from lost revenues,” Batocabe said.
Batocabe said this is unfair to legitimate companies engaged in beauty products which are duly licensed by the appropriate government agencies such as the FDA.
Batocabe explained legitimate beauty product companies are taxed while fake beauty products, which are usually bought by the masses, are inexpensive and tax-free.
Silliman Sy, president of the Chamber of Cosmetics Industry of the Philippines, Inc (CCIP), said the industry also faces this problem with fake Chinese products.
The CCIP, according to Sy, is the biggest cosmetic association in the Philippines with about 145 members who include manufacturers, distributors and those in allied industries such as packaging, raw materials, and testing centers.
He said the CCIP is working hand in hand with the FDA by providing the agency with information and product samples of fake products.
“But I believe the problem is that the FDA does not have enough people to police the proliferation of fake beauty products,” said Sy.