2 establishments caught selling overpriced goods

·2 min read

TWO business establishments out of the 126 monitored by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Cebu were caught selling overpriced basic necessities as of December 24, 2021.

According to DTI- Cebu Consumer Protection Division chief Ines Cajegas these two establishments were issued Letters of Inquiry, asking them to explain why they are selling basic necessities at higher prices despite the price freeze.

If unjustified, a notice of violation will be served.

DTI 7 on December 23 issued a price freeze on basic necessities under its jurisdiction following the declaration of a state of calamity in typhoon hit areas in the Visayas and Mindanao.

Retailers have been warned not to take advantage of the situation.

Among the commodities that are categorized as basic necessities and monitored by the DTI are bread , canned fish and marine products, potable water in bottles and containers , processed milk , locally manufactured instant noodles, coffee, salt, laundry soap, detergent, candles, flour processed and canned pork, processed and canned beef and poultry meat, vinegar, patis, soy sauce, toilet soap, paper, school supplies, cement, clinker, G.I. Sheets, hollow blocks, construction nails, batteries, electrical supplies, light bulbs and steel wires.

Violators of the Price Act will be charged and penalized with criminal and/ or administrative penalties.

A penalty of P1,000 to P1 million will be charged for violation of the automatic price control or mandated price ceiling.

For illegal price manipulation, a fine of P5,000 to P2 million shall be imposed against the violator.

Intensifying monitoring

DTI 7 said it is currently intensifying its monitoring of establishments for compliance to the price freeze of basic necessities.

The price freeze on basic necessities is in place for 60 days unless earlier lifted by the President.

Besides the two establishments caught in Cebu, there were vendors in Bohol who were also made to explain why they were selling goods beyond the price ceiling.

If an unjustified increase in the prices of basic necessities is proven, they will be issued a notice of violation by the DTI.

Moreover, the DTI 7 is coordinating with the local government units (LGUs) in monitoring the establishments’ compliance with the price freeze.

If there’s an alleged violation by establishments, LGUs can suspend, revoke and cancel their business permits.

The DTI also received several unverified reports/social media posts of unscrupulous traders selling water and construction materials at relatively high prices.

The agency enjoins the public to be vigilant and report these acts to DTI- Cebu office at 09178188419 or to DTI Facebook Pages of Cebu, Bohol, Negros Oriental and Siquijor. (with PR)

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