DTI urged to impose price ceilings to avoid price manipulation this Christmas season

Price manipulation of any basic necessity or prime commodity is unlawful under the Price Act.

By: Niña Mae C. Oliverio - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | November 26,2023 - 12:28 PM

DTI urged to impose price ceilings to avoid price manipulation this Christmas season

Inquirer file photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — As the Christmas season nears, a councilor in Cebu City has requested the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to look into and impose price ceilings on basic necessities during the holiday season.

Cebu City Councilor Jose Lorenzo Abellanosa made this request in his proposed resolution that was among the agenda during the council’s regular session last Wednesday, November 22.

READ: Prices up among ‘noche buena’ items

“It has been the tradition of many Filipinos to celebrate the Christmas season by buying gifts and preparing feasts such as the noche buena which entails an increase in spending and causing a rise in economic activity, especially when bonuses and 13th pays are released around this time of the year,” Abellanosa said.

He said that the advent of the Christmas season would entail an increase in the demand for certain products including basic necessities and prime commodities which could be taken advantage by some establishments through price manipulation.

Abellanosa said that under Section 10 of the Price Act, price manipulation of any basic necessity or prime commodity would be unlawful.

READ: Filipinos turn to TikTok for Christmas shopping ideas

Moreover, pursuant to DTI’s Administrative Order (DAO) No. 17-19 series of 2019, the agency may also issue suggested retail prices (SRP) for any or all basic necessities and prime commodities under DTI’s jurisdiction.

With this, he requested the DTI to impose a price ceiling on basic necessities or prime commodities that would be essential during the Christmas season, and see if there would be a prevalence or widespread acts of illegal price manipulation.

READ: The power of Christmas

Noche Buena Price Guide

Last Tuesday, the DTI released its Noche Buena Price Guide which covered 150 products and among them were ham, fruit cocktail, cheese, queso de bola, mayonnaise, all-purpose cream, pasta, and spaghetti sauce.

Moreover, the DTI also advised the consumers to compare prices of products when buying and to consider their options.

DTI also advised the public to check the product labels before purchasing, inspect the products’ quality, and buy only at their trusted stores.

The prices indicated in the DTI Noche Buena Price Guide would be effective until December 31, 2023.

DTI Undersecretary Ruth Castelo said in a 2022 report that the price guides are not the same as the suggested retail prices (SRPs) because Christmas products could not be covered by SRPs because they were not basic necessities or prime commodities.


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TAGS: Christmas, DTI, noche buena, prices of goods

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