Focus Group Discussion and Workshop on “Advancing the Realm of Ethical Trade Empowerment” or (ARETÉ) Project was recently conducted on May 18-19, 2017 Bayombong Central School, Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya.

The ARETE Project is focused on promoting and establishing acceptable ethical trade practices among the producers, middlemen, retailers and consumers. It also aims to create and raise awareness in the community on the benefits of promoting ethical trade practices as a relevant factor towards improving their quality of life.

Focus Group Discussion and Workshop on the ARETE project was separately conducted for the School Supply Retailers in Nueva Vizcaya on May 18, 2017 and for the members of the Parents-Teachers Association (PTA) of the Municipality of Bayombong, Nueva Vizcayaon May 19, 2017.

Results of the surveys that were conducted to determine the perception of producers, middlemen, retailers and consumers of school supplies on Unethical Trade Practices along the Supply Chain were presented.

In the case of retailers, it was found out that 55% of the respondents (consumers) believed that “untruthful”, “misguiding incomplete labeling” and “false complaints” were the most prevalent unethical trade practices of retailers (school supply) and 50% of the respondents identified “false advertising” as the most encountered unethical trade practices of school supply retailers. The respondents believed that “weak enabling and regulatory environment” and “absence of code of ethics/universally acceptable trade practices” were the leading causes of unethical practices of retailers.

Meanwhile, in the case of consumers, it was found out that 55% of the respondents believe that “shoplifting” and “false complaints” wee the most prevalent unethical trade practices of consumers. About 65% of the respondents identified “shoplifting” and 50% of the respondent identified “false complaint” were the two most encountered unethical trade practices of consumers. According to the respondents, they experience 60 times shoplifting cases and 47 times false complaints cases from consumers.

Mr. Gerome Rogel, Technical Assistant of DTI Nueva Vizcaya also discussed the eight (8) Consumer Rights and five (5) Consumer responsibilities.

The project is the Re Entry Project of Mr. Roel Dolaypan, Jr., Senior Trade Industry Development Specialist of DTI Region 2 and scholar of the Development Academy of the Philippines.