Capitol limits number of basic goods a customer can buy
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Do not buy more than what you need.
This is the warning of the new provincial ordinance which now limits the number of goods a customer can buy at a time to prevent cases of hoarding and panic buying amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) scare.
On Monday, March 23, 2020, the Cebu Provincial Board has passed in first, second and third reading a measure that will penalize sellers and customers who would acquire more than the approved number of supplies (basic goods) in their households.
Under the ordinance, these will be the maximum number of items that a household can purchase at one time:
The ordinance also limits the number of items that registered retailers can purchase for their stores.
Board Member Glenn Anthony Soco, the author of the ordinance, said that since the provincial government imposed strict border controls to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the public had been on a buying frenzy out of fear of a possible lockdown.
“The purchase of basic and essential goods and necessities must be regulated to protect the public, particularly, the citizens of Cebu against abuses of persons and business establishments by unreasonably hoarding supplies and purchasing items in excess of their normal consumption,” Soco said.
The measure was certified as urgent by Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, enabling its immediate passage on Monday’s session.
Under the ordinance, consumers who hoard supplies (basic goods) may be fined P1,000 in the first offense, P3,ooo in the second offense and P5,000 and up to one year of jail time in his or her third offense.
Retailers, who will violate the ordinance, will also be fined P3,000 in the first offense and P5,ooo in the second offense. In its third offense, the owner will be fined P5,000, jail time of up to one year and immediate revocation of business permit.
The limit on the number of items that may be purchased should also be posted in the supermarkets in order to guide their customers.
Establishments that will fail to post the limit of items will also be fined and have the same sanctions as that of the retailers, who will purchase items more than they are allowed to./dbs
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