DTI 7 warns traders violating price freeze

·2 min read

THE Department of Trade and Industry Central Visayas has 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 are warned not to take advantage of the situation.

Central Visayas is composed of Cebu, Bohol, Negros Oriental and Siquijor

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.

Under the Price Act, the duration of the price control should not be more than 60 days unless sooner lifted by the President.

Penalties

Violators 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.

Earlier, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez warned about filing of criminal charges against retailers who jack up their prices to take advantage of the post-Typhoon Odette (Rai) situation.

“I have instructed our Consumer Protection Group and Regional Offices to immediately check the retailers and apprehend business owners who are profiteering and unduly increasing prices of consumer goods, especially at this time when we are recovering from the damage caused by Typhoon Odette,” said Lopez in a statement.

“We will not allow the public to be taken advantage of by unscrupulous individuals, and we will not hesitate to file charges against these individuals to the full extent of the law.”

Lopez asked the public to report to DTI the stores that are jacking up their prices so they can be penalized. (KOC)

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