1 Cebu-based establishment pays fine for ‘Price Freeze Order’ violation
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Of the four establishments in Cebu that were issued with Notice of Violations by the Department of Trade and Industry in Central Visayas (DTI-7) last January 14, only three appeared to the Pre-Adjudication Conference, in which one admitted to violations and paid the corresponding fine.
The DTI, in a press release, said that this establishment admitted the violation and paid the minimum fine of P5,000 and also vowed not to violate the Price Freeze Order again. The other two still need to proceed with the adjudication.
Last January 14, 2022, the department issued 84 Letters of Inquiry (LOIs) and 16 Notices of Violation (NOVs) in Central Visayas to establishments not complying with the Price Freeze Order and to some retailers of hardware and construction materials violating the Fair Trade Law.
These include Cebu establishments with eight issued LOIs and 4 NOVs. Bohol, on the other hand, had 67 LOIs and 12 NOVs.
Accordingly, establishments issued with NOVs are required to appear before the DTI within 48 hours in a Pre-Adjudication Conference to know any voluntary admission of violations or if there is a need for the filing of a formal charge.
The DTI-7 intensified its monitoring across the region a month after the typhoon Odette hit to check on the prices and supplies of the basic necessities and prime commodities (BNPCs).
This move from the DTI is in pursuance of Republic Act No. 7581, or the Price Act, giving DTI the jurisdiction to ensure that prices of BNPCs are at reasonable levels, and of Republic Act No. 71, or the Price Tag Law, requiring all consumer products sold in retail to have appropriate price tag label.
“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 higher price than that stated on the price tag,” a portion of the press release reads.
The said laws protect consumers from possible price manipulation, such as hoarding, profiteering, and cartel.
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