Tourists warned vs. dishonest vendors in La Union

ROSARIO, La Union — The provincial government of La Union has advised tourists to be vigilant in purchasing products from ambulant vendors along the national highways in the province following reports of alleged underweight goods.
Joanna Guerrero, provincial information officer-designate, in an interview on Wednesday, disclosed they have received several complaints through e-mail and personally reported by tourists who have bought products, specifically seafood, from street vendors along the different national highways of the province, which turned out to be underweight.
Grace Viray, municipal treasurer of Rosario La Union, said they have also received several complaints in the past about these ambulant vendors.
“They carry large prawns that would really entice customers to buy. But when the buyer got home and checked the actual weight of the products bought, it lacked a certain kilogram. Some would even go back but the seller is already gone (sic),” she said.
Viray said they have conducted operations in the past, together with the town police, to address this problem but the vendors just move from one town to another.
“We do spot check every now and then. It seems though that these sellers know when we are coming to inspect and just hide somewhere. Possibly, they are not from here. Those we caught in the act, we just warn them to stop what they are doing, we do not confiscate nor arrest for humanitarian reasons. They disappear for some time but now they may be back again,” Viray said.
There are also vendors along the highway in the towns of Sto. Tomas, Aringay and Sudipen this province, she noted.
Viray discouraged tourists from patronizing these ambulant vendors, and instead go directly to the town’s market, where they regularly monitor the weighing scale of the vendors.
“Or if unavoidable, they should carry their own portable weighing scale in order to avoid such instances,” she added.
Meanwhile, the La Union provincial government immediately conducted inspection to verify the reports and vowed to address the concern, provincial administrator Jennifer Joan Ortega-Manguiat said.
“We apologized to the victims and rest assured we are investigating this and we will catch the people behind this unlikely practice,” she added.
Manguiat said they will also conduct information dissemination,  through social media and local radio and television stations. Hilda Austria/