DAVAO CITY--The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Davao has called on the public to patronize only Christmas light brands that adhere to government standards.

The local DTI office emphasized that uncertified brands or those that do not have Product Standard (PS) and Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) certificates are not properly checked by authorities, and thus, could pose danger as these may cause fire.

DTI-Davao Regional Director Maria Belenda Ambi said consumers must be cautious in buying electric holiday decorations.

“For years now, DTI has really been advocating the use of safe and certified Christmas lights. We want to continuously remind consumers that those which do not meet the standards may cause their lives and properties,” she said.

As early as September, the agency already started its monitoring activities throughout the region to ensure that the Christmas lights being sold in the local market are all PS or ICC-certified.

All certified Christmas lights are imported with PS marks or ICC stickers. PS marks are for foreign manufacturers with PS Certification Mark License, while ICC stickers are issued to importers with approved ICC.

The hologram ICC sticker contains security features that can be verified by inspection with a seven-digit alpha-numeric serial number. For 2017, all ICC certificates for Christmas lights issued by the Bureau of Philippine Standards (BPS) from January 1, 2013 to present are still valid.

Starting this year, the validity of the ICC certificates issued for imported Christmas lights shall be for a period of five years.

“Consumers should check that the name of the manufacturer, distributor and trademark are on the product packaging. If they want to gather another proof of the product’s quality and certification, they may also ask for a copy of the actual certificate,” she added.

The mandatory certification of LED Christmas lights or lighting chains shall be implemented by the BPS using PNS 189:2000 as reference to protect the consumers from the proliferation of substandard LED Christmas lights in the local market.

Exempted from the mandatory certification scheme are: Christmas lights integral in Christmas trees/decors; Rope lights; Meteor tube lights/stick lights/laser lights; Christmas lights using Edison screw lamp holder; Battery-operated Christmas lights; and, other types may be exempted subject to further verification by the BPS.

Ambi encouraged the public to report to the nearest DTI office immediately should they find uncertified or substandard products or have been victims of unscrupulous business practices. (Jenny Mendoza/PNA)