Lawmaker wants beauty product manufacturer blacklisted for labeling Manila a 'province of China'

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 20) — A lawmaker is asking that a beauty product manufacturer be blacklisted after it labeled Manila as a province of China.

Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) Party-list Rep. Jericho Nograles on Thursday shared a photo of the packaging of Ashley Shine Keratin Treatment Deep Repair which bore the label.

In a statement, Nograles said the act could have been deliberate.

“It is hard to dismiss this insult as a simple error... The label clearly shows Manila, as a province of China. This incident must be investigated at the very least, and the manufacturer and importer should be blacklisted, as soon as legally permitted,” he said.

Nograles wrote both the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) about the issue, saying “Any act to undermine our sovereignty must be taken seriously. It is in this light that we respectfully ask your Office to immediately investigate this detestable and repulsive offense against our nation, and, if legally justified, prohibit the continued distribution of these products in our country.”

There was no immediate comment from DTI or FDA.

Nograles said based on the information received by his office, the product bearing this information was manufactured in 2018 and is still distributed throughout the country.

The business establishment Elegant Fumes Beauty Products Inc. in Binondo, which sold the product in question, has been ordered shut by Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso.

“Kung usapin rin lamang ng lisensya sa pagnenegosyo sa Maynila, meron na agad silang violation. 'Yan po ang misrepresentation ng kanilang address,” the mayor said in a live video aired on his Facebook page on Thursday evening.

[Translation: If we’re talking about the license to operate a business in Manila, they already have a violation: the misrepresentation of their address.]

He added that the store was found to have no permit to sell the beauty products, which he noted are not FDA-approved.

The shop's five owners, which include two Chinese nationals, will no longer be allowed to operate a business in the city, according to Moreno. He said he will also ask the Bureau of Immigration to deport the two foreign nationals and declare them as undesirable aliens.

The mayor delivered a stern warning to businessmen who violate local and national rules, particularly striking a firm note against Chinese nationals who "seemingly disregard Philippine sovereignty."

“Hindi ko po papayagan itong unti-unti na namang pamamaraan ng isang bansa na para bang inaangkin ang malayang bansa,” he said. “No way na harap-harapan niyong aalipustahin ang aming lungsod.”

[Translation: I will not allow this certain country's seeming gradual way of claiming our free nation. There’s no way that you’ll outright insult our city.]