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Active consumerism in this pandemic time

OPINION AND OPTION

By ELINANDO B. CINCO

CINCO NEWCINCO NEW

Elinando B. Cinco

Under this extraordinary time, housewives and retail buyers have become militant shoppers.

They are now vigilant as to pricing of the commodities they buy and the quality of the merchandise they purchase.

The onset of the present pandemic known as COVID-19 last March has triggered a critical concern on values of consumer militancy.

The first panic-buying happened immediately after the lockdown announcement was made.

Families were buying products by the cartons – sardines, milk, sugar and food condiments, dozens of bottles of alcohol and disinfectants.

The long lines at supermarkets and shopping places extended up to 10p.m. The sight did not look like Filipinos were about to discard their personal civility.

But evidently it was a show of active consumerism.

The government in an effort to pacify rampaging buyers instructed the outlets to limit the purchase of items per shopper. The idea was to prevent monied buyers from unnecessarily storing products they were not in any immediate need of.

This scheme, however, backfired. Businessmen claimed they have ample supply of the merchandise.

But militant consumer groups insisted the scheme only afforded some supermarket owners to hide their products for a latter repricing job.

And in some cases, it was averred by the same militant sector that it also gave the chance for manufacturers to sort of diluteor de-standardise the ingredients that went into the manufacture of their products.

Of course, the government was quick to deny this. And this harsh speculation promptly stopped. No further insinuation about businessmen making a fast buck of the situation.

Meanwhile, taking the biggest brunt of consumer activism were electric utilities distributors and water concessioners. Their customer service bills for March, April, and May went tripled. Infuriated consumers said the soaring bills were based on the entities’ own scheme and not on actual consumptions.

Customers’ complaints also were boosted by the fact that there were no meter readers who came to their places of residence during those three aforementioned months.

There you are. I can see that there will be more intense and widespread activism during the upcoming COVID months. Expect embedded reactions from consumers themselves.

There will be no need for regulators to holler, “Caveat Emptor!”

=”https://news.mb.com.ph//elinando-b-cinco/” rel=””>Elinando B. Cinco




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