While some people refer to Republic Act No. 10909 (the “No Shortchanging Act of 2016”) as the “Exact Change Law”, this law covers more than the requirement to give the exact change to consumers. Here’s a quick discussion on R.A. 10909 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations.
A change is defined as the excess in the payment given by a consumer for goods and services purchased or received from a business establishment. An insufficient change is a change that is less than what is due the consumers.
It is the duty of a business establishment to give the exact change to the consumer without waiting for the consumer to ask for the same. The business establishment can give an amount greater than the sufficient change, but it cannot give a lesser amount.
The cashier shall count the change in front of the consumer and place the change on the hand of the consumer or on the change tray, whichever is applicable.
In addition, it is unlawful for any business establishment which sells goods or provides services:
- Give the change in any form other than the present currency; or
- Ask the consumers for permission to be exempted from the provisions of R.A. 10909 for any reason, including the nonavailability of small bills or coins.
Establishments are required to post notices in every counter to ensure/remind their cashiers to give the exact amount of change, e.g., “Please demand for your exact change” or any language to such effect.
It is also the duty of business establishments to use price tags, when appropriate, indicating the exact retail price per unit or service which already includes the taxes applicable to the goods or services being offered.
Establishments are also required to put signs in conspicuous places within the establishments or reflect in the official receipts issued, the taxes incorporated in the retail price per unit of goods or services. This is to avoid misleading the consumers as to the exact price they have to pay for the goods or services and, consequently, the exact change due them.
Complaint within 10 days
The consumer shall write and submit a letter of complaint to the DTI not later than ten (10) working days after a violation has been committed.
Failure to submit the letter-complaint within 10 days or attach the required documentary evidence (e.g., official receipt, sales invoice, proof of transaction, police report) shall be a ground for dismissal of the complaint.
Penalty for violations
- First offense: a fine of P500 or 3% of the gross sales of the business establishment on the day of the violation, whichever is higher.
- Second offense: a fine P5,000 or 5 of the gross sales of the business establishment on the day of the violation, whichever is higher.
- Third offense: a fine of P15,000 or 7% of the gross sales of the business establishment on the day of the violation, whichever is higher, plus 3-month suspension of license to operate.
- Fourth offense: a fine of P25,000 or 10% of the gross sales of the business establishment on the day of the violation, whichever is higher, plus revocation of license to operate.