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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

DACO chief to businesses: Know the regulations and abide by them to avoid incurring fines

DACO Secretary Hiram Torres Montalvo

By The Star Staff

The Department of Consumer Affairs (DACO by its Spanish acronym) issued close to $140,000 in fines to businesses in the greater San Juan metro area in February. Therefore, the agency’s secretary said Thursday that he is reinforcing business orientation regarding regulations.

DACO levied 39 fines in February for various violations of its regulations and laws in force in the San Juan region, issuing over $139,000 in administrative penalties in total.

“As part of our efforts to continue defending consumer rights, personnel from the San Juan Regional Office carried out various operations in February that resulted in the issuance of 39 administrative fines for various violations of the agency’s current regulations,” DACO Secretary Hiram Torres Montalvo said. “Our interest is always to protect consumers since we guide businesses on commercial practices that comply with the laws established by DACO.”

The 39 fines and amounts were as follows: 25 to construction contractors for not having their licenses up to date, for a total of $125,000 ($5,000 for each fine); four for food quality and safety violations totaling $4,000; and four for misleading price and discount advertising, also for a total of $4,000. In addition, DACO levied fines of up to $2,000 against two service providers for not having a license to operate, up to $2,000 in fines against two public parking facilities for not having a permit, and up to $2,000 in fines against two businesses for not providing alternative payment methods to consumers.

“Our inspectors are always on the street. Among the fines issued, we highlight the one for quality and safety, which refers to expired products sold to consumers,” the DACO chief said. “We are very aware of this area due to the health problems it could cause. Therefore, we urge businesses to be very aware of the expiration dates of edible products so that they can withdraw them at the end of that period.”

“We reiterate our call to construction contractors, who continue to be one of the sectors of greatest consumer complaints, to comply with all the parameters of Act 146 of August 10, 1995, which establishes the Regulation for Registration of Contractors, and thus be in compliance to carry out the contracted work,” Torres Montalvo said. “In the same way, we urge consumers to ensure that they hire contractors registered with DACO.”

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