By Rey Anthony Chiu | 10:08 AM December 29, 2021
Fifty of the 52 supermarkets and stores which the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in the region caught overpricing basic necessities are stores in Bohol.
The remaining. two are from Cebu while the DTI monitored no overpricing in Negros Oriental and Siquijor.
The DTI implemented its issued price freeze order in Regions IV-A, VI, VII, X and XIII, as the government placed these regions under state of Calamity and State of Emergency.
Pursuant to Section VI of Republic Act 7581 as amended by RA10623, it dicates that a price freeze on the prevailing prices of basic necessities would be implemented in areas declared under state of calamity.
Immediately, DTI teams along with localnprice coordinating councils monitored the prices and issued Show Cause orders (SCO) or Letters of (LOi) Inquiries to violators.
According to DTI 7 Consumer Protection Division Chief Ines Cajegas, after receipt of SCO or LOI, store owners have three working days to explain to the DTI why they jacked up the prices of their goods and basic necessities.
If within three days, they shunned off the DTI orders, the agency would issue Notice of Violation (NOV).
Upon issuance of the NOV, store owners only have 48 hours to personally appear before the DTI Adjudication Officer, to explain their side.
Failure to do that means the government would be forced to file appropriate suits to the offenders.
Upon the court’s orders, authorities can the start to padlock stores in violation of the price freeze.
Culpable violation of the price freeze would mean a fine of not more than a million pesos, or jail terms, or both as the court may determine. (rahc/PIA7/Bohol)