Davao business leaders are advising the public to report to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) any overpricing of basic commodities amidst the coronavirus pandemic committed by abusive sellers.
In a statement on Monday, Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCII) Executive Vice President Belinda Torres said she believes the government should go after erring retailers.
“We should not condone profiteers,” said Torres, who also represents the ICT sector. She called on consumers not to share the online stores of companies who are selling basic commodities at prices way beyond the prices indicated in the prize freeze order.
On March 18, 2020, DTI released Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 2020-01 that reiterates the implementation of a nationwide price freeze on all agricultural and manufactured basic goods, essential medicines, and other medical supplies following the declaration of a State of Public Health Emergency and a State of Calamity last 08 and 16 March 2020.
DTI monitors the prices of basic goods such as canned fish and other marine products, locally manufactured instant noodles, bottled water, bread, processed milk, coffee, candles, laundry and detergent soap, and salt. They constantly update the list of prevailing prices of basic necessities on their Facebook page.
On the other hand, the Department of Agriculture is in charge of basic agricultural goods such as rice, corn, cooking oil, fresh, dried and other marine products, fresh eggs, fresh pork, beef and poultry meat, fresh milk, fresh vegetables, root crops, sugar, and fresh fruits.
Violators of the price freeze may face charges and be fined ranging from Five Thousand Pesos (5,000) to Two Million Pesos (2,000,000) or imprisonment of up to 15 years.
The business chamber urges the public to report any violation to DTI’s One-DTI (1-384) Hotline or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org (RSP)