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Published February 8, 2022, 5:11 PM
by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
Legitimate direct selling (DS) and multi-level marketing (MLM) firms are eligible to avail of Seal of Legitimacy, according to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez issued Department Administrative Order No. 21-09 Series of 2021 the Guidelines on the Grant of Seal of Legitimacy for Legitimate DS and MLM to promote responsible business conduct and prevent the proliferation of chain distribution and pyramid sales schemes.
The grant of the DTI Seal of Legitimacy gives due recognition to business enterprises that are engaged in legitimate DS and MLM.
In issuing the DAO, DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez noted of the complaints and queries alleging the sale of products using pyramid sales schemes, DS or MLM scams thus depriving consumers of their savings and hard-earned money.
This resulted in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Direct Selling Association of the Philippines (DSAP) and DTI to collaborate, prevent, and address issues related to pyramiding schemes. Among the areas of collaboration is the creation of a list of companies with the DTI Seal of Legitimacy.
The DTI Seal of Legitimacy shall serve as a mark that a company is a legitimate DS or MLM company. The seal will differentiate them from those engaged in pyramiding schemes.
The DTI seal will only be granted to companies that passed evaluation of the DTI Seal of Legitimacy Evaluation Committee, including a notice to the public that the applicant is a legitimate DS or MLM company.
Factors to be considered in evaluating the company include profit/commission schemes; precondition for membership; selling of multiple heads; unusually high returns on investment; product prices higher than fair market value; and, policy on returns, refund, exchange, or warranty.
The DTI Consumer Policy and Advocacy Bureau (CPAB) shall be in charge of keeping and maintaining an updated record of all seals issued, cancelled or revoked. CPAB is also responsible in introducing security features on the Seal.
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