Bong Go

Bong Go files measure requiring standardized date labels on consumer products

January 31, 2023 People's Journal 189 views

IN an effort to better protect the interest of Filipino consumers, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go has filed Senate Bill No. 1785 which seeks to require the use of standardized date labels on consumer products.

In the explanatory note of his proposed bill, Go noted that most of the food and drug products that Filipinos consume are not packaged with standard labels.

Furthermore, existing measures are not sufficient to provide a uniform or standard format on how food labels should be presented on the packaging.

“Hence, it is appropriate to distinctly provide when the product was manufactured, when it becomes unsafe to consume, and when it is at peak quality,” said Go.

SBN 1785, which shall amend Republic Act No. 7394 or the Consumer Act of the Philippines, proposes to provide a standard printed display with the use of the phrases such as the “manufacturing date,” “expiration date,” and whenever applicable, the “best before date” on consumer and drug products.

Likewise, the bill seeks to disallow the use of other phrases such as “use-by,” “consume before,” and “best if used by.”

The bill also provides that the text of the date must be printed in single easy-to-read type style using upper and lower-case letters in the standard form.

Under the proposed bill, the text of the date must also be located in a conspicuous place on the packaging of the product and printed clearly and legibly on the label in the following order: month, day, and year.

To avoid confusion, the day and the year must be written in figures while the month must be written in words.

If passed into law, all consumer products that do not comply with the date label requirements will not be sold or distributed in the market by January 2024.

Go said that standardized date labels on consumer products will help to ensure that the products are safe to consume and have not expired, thus promoting the safety of Filipino consumers.

“Consuming expired or spoiled products can lead to serious health problems. Therefore, standardized date labels help consumers to identify products that are no longer safe to eat and discard them before they can cause harm,” said Go.

“Additionally, the use of a standardized format for date labels makes it easier for consumers to understand and interpret the information,” he concluded.