One of the things we make sure to publish whenever we spot one is a vehicle recall.

While some automakers are averse to the term “recall” (you can tell by the use of phrases like service campaigns), these kinds of notices from automakers -global, regional, or local- are actually good indicators. That means that potential problems and issues are being found, examined, and fixed, as opposed to just ignoring them and letting the PR machine blow it away.

Actually, we can tell you that not all automakers like us to be using the term recall on a regular basis, but that's really our commitment to vehicle owners and motorists that read us. And thankfully, a few lawmakers share our sentiments and want to establish a portal where consumers can learn about recalls and safety notices.

Yes, things are in motion to set up a Product Safety Information Center in the Congress of the Philippines. And by congress, we mean the correct definition of the term: both the upper house (Senate) and the lower house (House of Representatives).

In the House of Representatives, Rep. Joy Myra Tambunting of Paranaque filed House Bill 9503, while in the Senate of the Philippines there is already Senate Bill 2144 filed by Sen. Lito Lapid. Essentially, both bills are calling for a website where consumers can search for information regarding any product. Be it food, clothing, medicines, or cars, all information will be found on that website if it becomes law.

The Product Safety Information Center will have information on recalls regarding products, known defects, and other information on ingredients and components that consumers need to know. It will also have information on prohibitions, bans, alerts, and other info, including information on how to contact the manufacturers, retailers, distributors, and businesses over the matter.

The bills actually divided up the responsibilities depending on the product. The Department of Health (DoH) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will take the lead on food, drugs, cosmetics, and devices. The Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA) will be the lead agency for safety information regarding agricultural products. The Land Transportation Office (LTO) will be the lead on motor vehicles. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will handle most other products; presumably ones not covered by the other agency above. The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) will be the lead for the website itself.

The proposed website will likely be patterned after a US site: www.recall.gov. This site contains information from the different US agencies such as the EPA, FDA, USDA, and the NHTSA for road safety and automobiles.

The important bit about the proposed site is that it should be written in plain language (i.e. layman's terms); product recalls can get convoluted in euphemisms and can go overboard in technical terms and legalese.

Do you think this is a good step forward for promoting consumer protection and information? Let us know below.