In Central Visayas, DTI issues notices to 16 price freeze order violators
MANDAUE CITY, Cebu – At least 16 establishments in Central Visayas were issued Notices of Violation (NOVs) while 84 others were sent Letters of Inquiries (LOIs) for their failure to comply with the Price Freeze Order and the Fair Trade Law for retailers of hardware and construction materials that was ordered after super typhoon Odette hit.
Majority of 12 of those issued with NOVs and 76 of those that were issued LOIs are in Bohol province, the Department of Trade and Industry in Cenral Visayas (DTI-7) said in a report.
A total of 4 of the 16 establishments issued with NOVs and eight of those issued with LOIs are located in Cebu.
Most of the violators were supermarkets and stores selling essentials and construction materials.
DTI-7 said “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.”
Price monitoring is in compliance with Republic Act No. 7581 or the Price Act. The law “gives the DTI jurisdiction to ensure that the prices of basic necessities and prime commodities are at reasonable levels.”
Republic Act No. 71 or the Price Tag Law, on the other hand, “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,” DTI-7 said.
“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-7 is asking the to public to be vigilant and to report abusive retailers 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.
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