By PR | 08:04 PM January 17, 2022
A month after typhoon Odette, the Department of Trade and Industry Central Visayas (DTI 7) provincial offices ramp up their monitoring of establishments across the region to check on the prices and supply of basic necessities and prime commodities (BNPCs).
As of January 14 this year, the department has issued 84 Letters of Inquiries (LOIs) and 16 Notices of Violation (NOVs) in Central Visayas to non-compliant establishments of the Price Freeze Order, and to retailers of Hardware and Construction materials in violation of the Fair Trade Law.
In Cebu, there were 8 LOIs issued, while 4 NOVs were served to erring establishments.
In Bohol, around 76 LOIs or Show Cause Orders and 12 NOVs were issued to non-compliant supermarkets and stores of the Price Freeze Order and to retailers of hardware and construction materials who were in violation of Fair Trade Law.
Doing so is in pursuance of Republic Act No. 7581 or the Price Act, which gives the DTI jurisdiction to ensure that the prices of basic necessities and prime commodities are at reasonable levels; and of Republic Act No. 71 or the Price Tag Law, which requires that all consumer products sold in retail to the public shall have appropriate price tag, label, or marking indicating their prices and shall not be sold at a higher price than that stated on the price tag.
Both laws protect consumers from illegal acts of price manipulation, such as hoarding, profiteering, and cartel.
According to law, erring retailers may be penalized for violation of Price Ceilings with fine of not less than 5,000 nor more than 1 million.
For Acts of Illegal Price Manipulation (profiteering, hoarding & cartel) , erring retailers may be penalized with fine of not less than 5,000 nor more than 2 million.
It is the policy of the government to make certain the availability of basic necessities and prime commodities at reasonable prices at all times without denying legitimate businesses a fair return of investment. It also provides effective protection to consumers against illegal price spikes.
DTI Region 7 continues to appeal to the public to be vigilant and report retailers’ unconscionable acts to the following offices: CEBU- 09178188419 or DTI Cebu FB page; BOHOL – (038) 5018260 or DTI Bohol FB page; SIQUIJOR- (035) 4809065 or DTI Siquijor FB page; NEGROS ORIENTAL- 0917-300-5811 or DTI Negros Oriental FB Page.