THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said it has relaxed the requirements for consumer organizations to be officially recognized.

A consumer organization registers by enlisting in the department’s database after filling out a form and paying a fee, according to Department Administrative Order 20-07 signed on Oct. 9.

Consumer organizations are organized to promote welfare and protect the rights of consumers.

To qualify, an enlisted consumer organization must have at least five members to be considered a local organization and 30 to be considered a national organization, the DTI said in a statement Monday.

A certificate from the Securities and Exchange Commission or the Cooperative Development Authority is no longer required for the recognition of a local consumer organization.

Consumer organizations that have been recognized by the DTI will be automatically enlisted in the database for free. There are 10 recognized consumer organizations in the country.

“We recognized the need to revisit the guidelines on COs (consumer organizations) to encourage more organizations to enlist with the DTI and revitalize their involvement in the development of policies and programs,” DTI Consumer Protection Group Undersecretary Ruth B. Castelo said.

The certificate of recognition is valid for three years, unless cancelled or suspended. — Jenina P. Ibañez