THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) issued a warning to delivery company PH Global Jet Express, Inc. or J&T Express over its alleged mishandling of packages, and ruled that merchants will be responsible for replacing damaged products.

J&T Express cargo workers were recently caught on video mishandling packages being loaded on a delivery truck.

In a radio interview Thursday, Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said that the department’s policy is to hold sellers responsible for defective or broken products.

“Ang nangyari po, nakita lang din natin ‘yung video na ‘yun pero ang amin pong sinasagot ay ‘yung kung may consumer complaint dahil sa practice na ‘yun kasi ang siguradong gagawin ng DTI diyan ay pananagutin hindi po ‘yung J&T kundi ‘yung pinagbilhan. ‘Yung kliyente ng J&T. (While we have viewed the video, our practice is to hold sellers responsible for consumer complaints about damaged and defective products — and those sellers are J&T’s clients.)”

Mr. Lopez told reporters said that the department will investigate J&T Express’s operating practices, but clarified that consumer complaints are mainly addressed by the sellers, who have to repair or replace the products or issue refunds.

“As far as the buyer is concerned, the seller should be liable to (the buyer) because the buyer is not privy to the delivery service engagement by the seller with the logistics company,” he said.

He added that the seller may sue for damages against the logistics company if it is the cause of the product damage. The department may then look into complaints raised against the logistics company.

“(If the) finding is perennial and represents a repeated violation of good business practice, we can reco(mmend) to LGUs to cancel business permits,” he said.

The Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) started investigating the logistics firm on orders of President Rodrigo R. Duterte, who had threatened to shut down the company. — Jenina P. Ibañez