By Rey Anthony Chiu | 10:55 PM December 26, 2021
Other than the 42 supermarkets and stores which the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) issued show cause orders on December 21 for overpricing, another 18 more were found in violation of the Fair Price Law, on the same day.
In their 9:00 bulletin Dec 21, DTI said they have issued Show Cause Orders to 42 supermarkets and stores, but hinted that more may come as reports from the towns have not arrived yet.
By 4:00 PM of the same day, the DTI and price monitoring teams from the towns have uncovered 18 more stores in violation of the price freeze.
The DTI said for reasons of giving store owners due process, the show cause order allows them to explain why they jacked up the prices of basic goods contrary to the price fixed for their goods by December 21.
This as the DTI issued a price freeze on basic necessities all over the region December 21, due to the state of calamity brought about by Tropical Storm Odette.
Other than Central Visayas, prices of basic necessities were also fixed in Region IV-A, Region VI, Region X and Region XIII.
The price freeze effectively nailed the prices of basic necessities as canned sardines in tomato sauce, milk, coffee, candles, bottled water, instant noodles, salt, bread and detergent soap.
Moreover, the DTI explained tbat they can act legally only on those establishments with legal business names and DTI-registered.
The agency also added that they do not have price monitoring powers over other goods and services other than those manufactured goods.
Other agencies are also tasked to implement monitoring and regulation on fuel (DOE), agricultural food and products (DA), fares and transport issues (DOTR), power (NEA) and still more products and services.
As to the DTI, monitoring and regulating prices on stores without DTI registration and have been issued local permits fall under the gambit of the local government unit issuing the permits.
The clarification surfaced when consumers asked about the trade malpractice of sidewalk and street vendors selling manufactured goods.
A day after the storm, when power was down all over Bohol, people trooped to stores to buy rechargeable flashlights, solar chargers and solar lights only to find that stocks in malls and big stores have already been consumed.
Displayed however in small vendor stalls are the same, but with prices jacked up three to four times.
“Out of respect for LGUs and their powers, we allow them to regulate and implement the Fair Price Law, which goes with their exercised regulatory powers,” the DTI said. (rahc/PIA7 /Bohol)