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DTI chief says prepaid load shouldn't expire since it's already been paid for

MANILA, Philippines – Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez said in a report over the weekend that there should be no expiry dates on prepaid credits for phone and data services.

In a Manila Bulletin report, Lopez said the services have already been paid for by the consumer and the denial of use of these services after a set period is illogical.

"I do not see any reason why the buyer will be denied the use of the services or goods in the future," the DTI chief said.

At the budget hearing conducted by the House appropriations committee, Lopez said the DTI would continue to battle companies that may be impinging on consumer rights by setting expiry periods for their products.

Aside from prepaid mobile services, Lopez said warranties on sales and prepaid gift certificates by certain malls and establishments should also have no expiry dates.

DTI Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya will oversee the department's efforts to curb these practices, added Lopez.

Bagong Henerasyon Representative Bernadette Herrera-Dy had brought up the issue at the hearing.

Herrera-Dy said the practices remain rampant and establishments still "shortchange our consumers who are mostly unaware of their rights under the law," according to a report by Business Mirror.

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