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    Posted July 22, 2014 by

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    President signs Lemon Law

    After more than twelve years of long and arduous legislation, President Benigno S. Aquino has finally signed the landmark Lemon Law as Republic Act No. 10642 on July 15, 2014. Initially filed by former Representative Manuel “Way Kurat” Zamora during the 13th Congress, the bill was shepherded and seen through the legislative mill by his successor and daughter, Rep. Maria Carmen Zamora of the 1st District, Compostela Valley Province during the 15th and 16th Congresses.

    “We thank the President for supporting and signing this Lemon Law, as it comes at a time when we truly need to raise the ante for consumer protection,” said Rep. Maria Carmen Zamora. “Our colleagues have long supported the Lemon Law since it was first put forth, and we thank the leadership, our colleagues in the Senate and in the House for having one voice in passing the Lemon Law,” she further added.

    Under R.A. No. 10642, car buyers are assured of the alternate remedies of a refund or vehicle replacement if an automaker or dealer is unable to address defects complained of within a 12-month warranty period, or the first 20,000 kms. traveled. The act also upholds Rep. Zamora’s avowal of consumer protection as state policy, and especially by reconciling the determination of reasonable allowance for use (RAFU) in balancing consumer vis-à-vis manufacturer’s rights. The RAFU is the amount deducted from the value of the non-conforming (lemon) vehicle in cases where it will be replaced or refunded.

    During the bicameral conference deliberations, Rep Zamora lobbied that Sec. 9 of the proposed law is to state that the RAFU value will be “whichever is lower”, on the argument that this is more in keeping with the intention and the policy behind the proposal. She opined that the RAFU deduction should be weighed in favor of the consumer, to be consistent with the law’s policy.
    The Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (“CAMPI”) through its president, Rommel R. Gutierrez has also welcomed the passage of RA 10642, on the finding that it is good for the consumers and the automotive industry. CAMPI and other stakeholders have regularly participated in all public hearings held on the then-proposed law. These consultations and deliberations ensure that the interests of both consumers and car manufacturers/assemblers and distributors are protected, striking a balance which will further enable the automotive industry to better serve their customers.
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