BAGUIO CITY – A member of the local legislative body admitted that the continuous sale of alleged fake Baguio products to foreign and domestic visitors by enterprising individuals roaming around parks and public places has significantly affected the sustained growth of the city’s tourism industry over the past several months.
Councilor Elmer Datuin, chairman of the City Council Committee on Tourism, Parks, Playgrounds and Special Events, claimed that by the mere word of mouth from disappointed visitors that they were victimized by unscrupulous individuals selling purported Baguio products has a great impact to the project influx of tourists because their friends and relatives have second thoughts in spending their vacation in the city for fear that they will be the next victims of such malpractice of trade.
The local legislator claimed the issue had been time and again discussed during inter-agency meetings but the issue that had been always raised will be the alleged curtailment of the so-called free enterprise being practiced by the roving vendors.
“We have been receiving numerous complaintws from visitors that they were induced to buying purported original silver or gold-coated bids and necklaces from people who approached them while walking around public places in the city but when it was washed once, the color suddenly changed that caused their disappointment which does not sound good if we continue to hard sell the city as a premier tourist destination, thus, something must be done to stop the said malpractice of certain unscrupulous individuals,” Datuin stressed.
The local legislator claimed some of the complaints that they have received include the fact that they were able to buy peanut brittle that was good to look at but when the said product was eaten, it turned out to be purely sugar inside.
According to him, some of the complaining visitors allegedly bought their supposed fake products in legitimate souvenir shops around the city and even in the public market that is why appropriate measures must be put in place to make sure that the quality of products being sold should not be compromised and should be pursuant to standards acceptable to the visitors.
Datuin appealed to legitimate souvenir shop owners and stallholders in the city public market to make sure that they police their own ranks to avoid repeated complaints from visitors on having bought alleged products from them because it will not speak well of the local tourism industry and it will also be not good to them because their buyers will surely decrease if the same offense will be repeated time and again.
He explained that it is not bad for enterprising individuals to earn income but they should do their trade appropriately so as not to shortchange their customers and that they will also reap the fruits of doing good business because it will be the visitors that will personally advertise their establishments to their friends, family members and relatives wanting to visit the city instead of them being despised by disgrantled visitors.
By Dexter A. See